Upload VR journalists had a brief chat with Tim Sweeney, CEO of Epic Games, at GDC 2019 to learn more about his views on the future of AR and VR technology and its challenges.
Tim Sweeney on the future of AR and VR: “I believe in a future in which billions of people wear AR hardware”
Tim Sweeney is known as the founder and CEO of Epic Games and his work on the Unreal Engine. In addition, a team from its developer studio developed the VR title Robo Recall for Oculus Rift as well as the Dev tools for the common, unified and license-free XR standard OpenXR.
In a brief conversation, at GDC 2019, he shared his views on the future of the AR and VR markets and the associated plans of his company:
“VR and AR will change the future of entertainment, and Epic is investing heavily in the two areas. Much of our investment is business related, […] to visualize amazing products and perform virtual productions for movie sets and similar things. “
However, according to Sweeney, the technologies are still in their infancy, as he suggests in a smartphone analogy with the Personal Digital Assistant Palm Pilot:
“However, I think that despite many early hopes, we are still in the Palm Pilot phase of this technological revolution and not in a smartphone era. We are already investing heavily, but it will be years before the market develops to change the world forever. “
Although it will take a long time, the Epic CEO believes firmly in the technology, especially the AR:
“But I believe in the future of the world, where billions of people wear AR hardware and AR goggles are part of everyday life. I think that’s the entertainment platform of the future. And we will be part of it. And we are very, very happy that Microsoft announces HoloLens and wants to implement all future AR efforts as open platforms. I think that’s an incredibly important thing for the future of the industry. Especially for AR, when you think of hardware that offers unrivaled visuals – imagine a full field of vision with 8K per eye – and imagine sensors constantly tracking your facial movement and the world around you to digitize. “
But such technical implementation brings new challenges, such as data protection:
“We will need very strong privacy and strong guarantees for open platforms as well as open access to the platforms, so we do not end up in a kind of surveillance dystopia, as we know it from science fiction.”