Virtual Reality & My First Week On Meerkat

From Barcelona Nightlife to San Francisco Buses.

It has been a little over a week now since I started using Meerkat, the live streaming app that uses the Twitter platform. In the first week I have watched someone:

  • eat breakfast
  • walk through the bustling Barcelona nightlife
  • play video games
  • wait in line
  • do a product demo
  • make dinner with their family
  • play with their shoe while on a Muni bus in San Francisco
  • release a new product
  • stream their startups monthly kickoff meeting
  • chat about dealing with startup and founder stress
  • walk home from work

If someone told me a week ago that I would be enjoy watching these things I would of told them that they were out of their minds. The funny thing is that I do enjoy it. It offers me a window into other peoples lives that I did not have before. Even though it is trivial and often boring watching someone walk down a sidewalk it allows one to transport myself into a new dimension that was not present before.

Virtual Reality

This is Jimmy Fallon demoing the Oculus Rift on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.
This is Jimmy Fallon demoing the Oculus Rift on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.

This is Jimmy Fallon demoing the Oculus Rift on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.

If Meerkat is the future of virtual reality, I am ready. How amazing would it be to put on an Oculus Lense and experience the world just as someone else is. Initially virtual reality technology never excited me as I saw the only application to be in the gaming industry. I never enjoyed gaming systems and probably never will. Meerkat has opened my eyes to a new set of potential experiences that virtual reality can eventually unlock.

One of my personal role models, Randy Pausch was a professor at Carnegie Mellon University and lead the early days in virtual reality. Unfortunately, his life was cut short by terminal cancer which he writes about in his book “The Last Lecture” (Side note: I will be writing a post on this soon) one of the few books that I read routinely once a year. Sadly he is no longer with us. I can’t help but wonder how amazed he would be at the state of virtual reality today and how quickly it has developed. It’s no longer animated figures or scenes out of a pixar movie we have moved leaps and bounds ahead of that.

What Will This Technology Change?

The more I consider the standard curve of adoption for most technologies I think about all of the potential use cases that have such an incredible impact to our world.

virtual reality
This image is from Wired.com in the article, “Army’s Virtual Reality Plan: A Digital Doppelganer For Every Solider”

From enhanced training for high stress jobs such as a trauma surgeons or combat soldiers. There’s no better way to train than through simulations. If virtual reality can become life like enough these applications can potentially change the world.

Also Published on Medium. 

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4 comments

    1. Right now I have to say Periscope, due to the beautiful UI. However, for the long term I am still rooting for Meerkat. Love the founders and think the new API that they launched could be huge. It turns Meerkat into a platform instead of another social network/live streaming company.

  1. Great thoughts, Brandon. Do you think Meerkat or Periscope will architect their own VR experiences? Or will a third party jump ahead with their own VR app that utilizes one of the two livestreaming services? I think it could go either way, but I’m excited nonetheless.

    1. Thanks for commenting Alex. I think they both could create virtual reality experiences. I don’t see it happening in the near future as they both have started to clarify their vision.

      Last week Meerkat released an API which allows other apps and services to integrate Meerkat live streaming into the user experience. Meerkat has to find a way to separate itself from Periscope, an API is not something that Periscope would do now being a part of Twitter.

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