Oculus Go Was His “largest product failure” & Why it Issues for Imaginative and prescient Professional


Hugo Barra, Meta’s former Head of VR, provided some distinctive perception into the XR trade not too long ago with an extensive blogpost that facilities round Apple Imaginative and prescient Professional. Barra warns that, like the corporate’s first standalone headset Oculus Go, the novelty round informal content material consumption will in all probability fade pretty shortly.

Wanting again at his time at Meta (then Fb), Barra notes that Oculus Go was “the most important product failure” he’d ever been hooked up to, stating that though informal content material consumption was the headset’s raison d’être, the hype wore off fairly shortly.

Right here’s Barra’s appraisal of the scenario:

Watching TV/films in digital actuality appeared like such an extremely compelling concept that we (the Oculus staff at Meta/Fb) constructed a complete product round that concept — Oculus Go.

Launched in 2018, Oculus Go was the most important product failure I’ve ever been related to for the easy purpose that it had extraordinarily low retention regardless of sturdy partnerships with Netflix and YouTube.

Most customers who purchased Oculus Go fully deserted the headset after just a few weeks. The total story is rather more nuanced (together with the truth that the Oculus Go failure acquired us on the trail to Oculus Quest in a short time), nevertheless it taught us an essential lesson.

Oculus Go | Picture by Highway to VR

Barra notes that poor retention for Oculus Go needed to do with just a few frequent components, together with consumer consolation, friction in beginning a session when not already sporting the headset, and the social isolation of watching content material alone—all of which is true for Imaginative and prescient Professional as nicely.

Barra concludes that, at the very least so far as Oculus Go went, conventional media consumption was “not a core ‘every day driver’ pillar however extra an ancillary use case that provides some worth to different core pillars (corresponding to productiveness or gaming).”

Granted Barra says Imaginative and prescient Professional brings extra to the desk due to its higher shows than earlier VR headsets, which might create “magical film experiences from time to time,” however those self same challenges that Oculus Go contended with mainly stay.

Barra initially moved to Meta (then Fb) in 2017 from his function as International VP on the China-based tech big Xiaomi, changing into head of Oculus and VP of Actuality Labs partnerships. Leveraging his expertise at Xiaomi, Meta even tapped the Chinese language tech big to fabricate Oculus Go for each the worldwide market and the Chinese language home market, additionally branding it underneath the identify ‘Mi VR Standalone’, belying simply how large the corporate anticipated Go to resonate.

Solely a brief 12 months after the discharge of Oculus Go although, the corporate shifted gears to launch its first room-scale-capable standalone Oculus Quest, practically abandoning Oculus Go fully, which along with largely counting on Samsung Gear VR apps, omitted movement controllers as a consequence of solely being tracked in three levels of freedom.

Then once more, that’s the place the comparions cease, as Imaginative and prescient Professional has nice hand-tracking, hundreds of thousands of apps, and compelling combined actuality passthrough—all the issues Barra says Apple is hoping to make use of to make Imaginative and prescient Professional “the way forward for work.”

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