The Virtual Reality/Augmented Reality Relationship

Carl Weinschenk

This week, Datamation offered an overview of the Silicon Valley Virtual Reality (SVVR) conference. The overall theme was upbeat.

A key question with which industry insiders must deal is the relationship between virtual reality and augmented reality (VR and AR). It’s a bit difficult because the two overlap but are distinctly different in terms of what they offer users, use cases and business models. Datamation’s David Needle found that SVVR creator Karl Krantz thinks that the two are far different:

The SVVR conference had only a few augmented reality exhibits. Krantz says he’s kept SVVR “hyper-focused on VR” because a lot of other conferences do both, but he thinks AR is a very different community, that tends to be more conservative and backed by big companies, where VR is more bottom up and accessible as evidenced by the many Kickstarter VR projects.

Krantz told Needle that the two eventually will merge, but in the interim VR will outpace AR. The latter, he said, is more difficult and VR is evolving more quickly.

Wi-Fi Sense No Longer in Windows 10

InformationWeek reports that Microsoft is abandoning Wi-Fi Sense, which is – or was – a feature in Windows 10 that enabled users to share Wi-Fi networks with contacts automatically. The problem is that it required the sharing of security credentials and authentication information, which spooked users and was criticized by security experts.

In a blog post this week, Microsoft said that Wi-Fi Sense was removed because the cost of updating the code is high and usage was low.

Sprint Small Cell Spending Down

Sprint is deferring much of its “network densification spending” to its 2017 fiscal year. This fiscal year will see it spend about $3 billion, which is down a hefty 36 percent from last year, according to RCR Wireless.

A related move involves more than Sprint. The telco is slowing down, and no doubt saving a lot of money, by taking a pass on small cell technology. The reason that it is focusing on small cell is that there is a backlog of applications for use of public rights-of-way for the technology. The story cites Iain Gillott of IGR Research.

The idea is that the industry may have moved too quickly and the permitting officials now are a bottleneck. Thus, Sprint’s choice of small cell as the prudent technology to delay may spell big problems for that sector.

Enter the “Laplet”

Another label – the “laplet” – has arrived. It’s a catchall phrase for devices that combine elements of tablets and laptops.

John Brandon at Computerworld suggests that laplets are making a move on tablets. He backs up the claim with research from 1010data that is yet to be fully released. Though the term is new, the form factors are familiar:

While the Apple iPad is still dominant (at 32.5% market share), the Microsoft Surface Book increased in market share by 9% in Q1 (to second place and 25%) over the same quarter last year while the iPad leveled off. Also, laplets like the Surface Book accounted for 33% of all tablet sales. The trend suggests that more people are buying a 2-in-1 that works as a laptop and as a touch tablet when you detach the display.

Brandon writes that some characteristics of laplets make it seem that they are a strange choice for enterprise use. He addresses these issues and suggests that there is logic behind the choice for business users as well as consumers.

Security Departments (Hopefully) Never Sleep

There are so many security issues to worry about that some get lost in the noise. One that was discussed a good deal a few years ago but has largely faded from the headlines is the use of mobile devices for industrial espionage. People may not be talking about it, but it remains a potential problem.

eWeek reported this week on the Action Cam from LG. The phone enables streaming via a separate LTE connection. There is no need to use the phone. It is unclear if this makes surreptitious transmissions easier to hide. This is a good reminder, however, that security forces must continually assess security ramifications of new technologies and approaches.

Carl Weinschenk covers telecom for IT Business Edge. He writes about wireless technology, disaster recovery/business continuity, cellular services, the Internet of Things, machine-to-machine communications and other emerging technologies and platforms. He also covers net neutrality and related regulatory issues. Weinschenk has written about the phone companies, cable operators and related companies for decades and is senior editor of Broadband Technology Report. He can be reached at and via twitter at @DailyMusicBrk.

Add Comment      Leave a comment on this blog post
May 14, 2016 9:36 AM vrtime vrtime  says:
I've loved every minute of gameplay using my vive and i've played most of the room scale titles and just love moving around to play. Reply

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