• 3 Dangerous Entrepreneurial Myths You Need to Ignore

    This terrible advice won’t actually get you anywhere.

    We’ve all heard the numbers about how hard it is to build a long-lasting business. While there are many factors at play to get there, without effective marketing and sales a business cannot survive.

    Unfortunately, there is a multitude of dangerous and destructive marketing advice swirling around the heads of vulnerable entrepreneurs. Like vultures seeking their next meal, “gurus” pontificate nonsense that these hard-working business owners follow, only to discover that what they tried doesn’t work.

    Often, once the damage is done, it is too late for them to do anything else about it.

    If you want to not only survive, but thrive, here is some of the terrible advice you need to start ignoring:

    1. “You need to be everywhere.”

    I’m sorry, but how do these people sleep at night without the use of narcotics? “Experts” spew out dribble to make headlines saying you need to get on Snapchat, get on Periscope, do YouTube Live . . . be everywhere! They’ll say you need to get on this platform or that social media network. Oh, and use LinkedIn Live! And make sure to post on Instagram three times a day and Facebook twice a day. And don’t forget those Facebook Lives. Make sure to do them every day.

    ACK! Just writing that paragraph stressed me out. How the heck are you supposed to be on all of those channels, never mind doing it all effectively, and still run your business? Of course you can’t. And you shouldn’t. (Unless self-torture is your thing, in which case have at it. There are books about that, but I’m not giving any titles because I’d have to Google them and then I’d be retargeted by the ads and that would just be gross.)

    It is impossible to spend even half an hour on each major network and still get any work done. Forget about focusing on measurement, profit and return on investment. They don’t mention that on purpose, because then these crazy-pants suggestions would really make no sense. But, then these “experts” would stop making the headlines, so they keep serving up spoiled advice for the poor folk who chow down and then get sick on it.

    Don’t allow yourself to fall victim to their plots of deception. Demand strategies that value your time and produce results in a significant and measurable way quickly.

    2. “It takes money to make money.”

    I didn’t take the easy way out. I am part of a group of scrappy entrepreneurs who have a lot of hustle and heart and little/no/negative funds. I didn’t come from family money, and the big banks certainly weren’t lending to businesses like mine. The only way I was going to get a big pile of cash was if I won the lottery. And since I’ve only played about four times in the last decade, the chances of that happening were slim. What I had to find was the same thing you most likely want — a solution to predictably bring in customers when there is no marketing budget to play with.

    3. The Schmo-bags.

    The worst are who I call the “Ferrari Marketers.” They rent a sportscar for an hour or two, hang out in front of it and then sell us shiny object strategies that they haven’t even used in their own business.

    They are abhorrent, hideous and dangerous. Not only are they crooks stealing the money of the people who are seeking a solution from them, but they may prevent really talented people who have a gift/service/product/offer to share that can help someone else from ever reaching them.

    Did I mention they suck?

    But, once you discover a game-changing system, you are responsible for implementing it. You can’t be distracted by shiny objects any longer.

    As Jack Welch says, “Good business leaders create a vision, articulate the vision, passionately own the vision and relentlessly drive it to completion.”

    Don’t allow yourself to be enticed or distracted by fads or the “latest and greatest/not greatest” new social media strategy, channel or tactic.

    Once you uncover how to truly get results, be strong-willed and stubborn. Repel any idea, strategy or initiative that requires you to keep spending money to make money. If you keep throwing dollars and time at a goal, hoping and wishing that it will work, yet not tracking or measuring the results and scaling accordingly, then you cannot expect results.

    Start measuring, tracking and demanding results from your time and money, rising above others and landing in the successful minority that thrives instead of survives.

    Source: entrepreneur.com

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  • Keys to a Successful Crowdfunding Campaign

    For entrepreneurs, crowdfunding is more than just raising money.

    Crowdfunding is not only about raising money for entrepreneurs. It is much more than that. Creating a crowdfunding campaign actually allows you to see the interest in your product as well as enables you to get feedback and develop it even more before the actual launch. If your campaign becomes successful, it means that you actually built a customer base too because most probably people who support your campaign would like to purchase your product after the launch. Therefore, it is essential to develop a well-tailored crowdfunding campaign. Keep reading below to find some tips for it.

    1. Choose your platform wisely.

    Do your research and choose the platform that fits your product and your needs at the same time. There are some famous platforms which receive a lot of traffic but at the same time there are hundreds and even thousands of projects in these platforms. Therefore, getting noticed among these platforms may be difficult. For this reason, choosing a smaller but specialized platform can be a better option, especially if your project is in a specialized area.

    2. Have a prototype, not only an idea.

    An idea by itself is not enough because everybody has many great ideas. The important part is to turn that idea into reality. Show everyone that you took the time and energy to invest in your idea. Design, develop and test your product. Finally, have a prototype to show others so they can also invest in your innovation and you can develop it more. It would be beneficial for you, if you also have a launch plan and share these plans in your crowdfunding campaign.

    3. How you present makes the difference.

    Not just upload a PPT presentation or a boring video, include both! Tell your story and keep your message personal. Make a connection with other people and explain others why you are doing this so they can feel themselves part of something bigger and exciting. Try to touch other people’s lives with your story. As a result, they can find a reason to support you.

    4. Update your supporters.

    Interact with your supporters and answer any questions they may have. Also, if they make a positive comment about your project, don’t forget to thank them. After your campaign is over, don’t leave them on dark. Try to engage with them through social media, thank you emails or newsletters to keep them in the loop. Send them updates about how your project is going and plans about your launch. You can create a countdown clock to increase excitement about your launch date.

    Source: entrepreneur.com

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  • The Big Reason Why You Should Hire Highly Educated Employees

    They are more likely to detect patterns and speak up if something seems amiss.

    When you’re looking to hire, you’re thinking about cultural fit and whether a candidate has not only the qualifications to fulfill your company’s needs now, but also the potential to take on more responsibility in the future.

    Despite the debate around whether leaders need college degrees, a recent study out of the University of Georgia found that the educational background of non-executive hires can make a big difference in the long term success of your business — and keep you out of trouble with the law.

    Researchers found that when it comes to handling sensitive financial data, employees who have the most extensive educational backgrounds are best at forecasting trends and dealing with legal matters.

    “We find that when companies are located in a place where the workforce is highly educated, they produce better accounting information,” said study co-author John Campbell, an associate professor of accounting in UGA’s Terry College of Business, in a summary of the findings. “The employees don’t have to be experts in accounting, but if they see something that doesn’t look right, they’re more likely to say something about it and tell their superiors about it.”

    As your business expands, you need to be on top of your books, and non-executive employees often are the first line of defense for finding errors in your accounting. Building off that observation, the researchers also identified a correlation between educated populations and fewer instances of misconduct in both business and politics.

    “There’s a study in political science showing that states that have more educated voter bases have less corruption in their political systems, and we wanted to see if that analogy held in business,” Campbell said. “One of the reasons for that might be whistleblowers. In both instances, the better-educated the population is, the more likely there will be a whistleblower if something bad is going on.”

    Source: entrepreneur.com

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  • The 4 Top Business Investments Right Now

    Green energy and high-tech industries are best bets for savvy entrepreneurs looking to diversify.

    Our world has become the global village. Ideas are being produced rapidly around the world, and most of them have the potential to change life as we know it for future generations. Already, we’ve witnessed amazing ideas and technologies that have sahped the way we think, interact and build businesses.

    You can focus solely on growing your own empire, or you can plan to invest in some of the best business options in 2017. Investments aren’t just about becoming a part of something revolutionary. They can give way to opportunities for success for your business idea as well. If a single idea can promote such a positive change, then a combination of them can do multiple wonders — not only for the business industry but for people around the world.

    Here are some of the top business-investment moves you can make in the next 12 to 18 months.

    1. Virtual reality.

    Entrepreneurship has strong roots in the virtual-reality industry. Despite being around for a few years now, virtual reality gained better momentum in 2016. Experts believe the industry most likely will continue this positive trajectory in the near future — with projected revenue of roughly $4.6 billion in 2017. Virtual reality still is greatly under research, and this provides ample opportunities for new ideas.

    2. Translation and interpretation.

    The United States always has been home to multiple cultures and languages. The Census Bureau reports Americans speak more than 350 languages in their homes. On the other hand, businesses have become global. This highly increases the need for both understanding and awareness of more languages. Giants such as Google and Skype have enhanced and expanded their translation capabilities. This allows them to encompass a target market whose customers want a more personalized service. As companies embrace more languages and cultures, employment in areas supporting this industry are projected to increase by 30 percent by 2024.

    3. Drone technology.

    Drone technology is meeting the diverse needs of multiple industries, including infrastructure, mining and transport. The developing drone market is estimated to be valued at $127 billion. If you decide to invest in this sector, consider choosing a publicly traded company. It’s worth mentioning that big, public drone companies such as Go Pro recently have experienced difficult times on the stock market. Instead of selecting popular manufacturers, weigh the benefits of putting your dollars in drone technology and components. One such example is Ambarella, which specializes in producing the video chip sets used in drone cameras.

    4. Green energy.       

    Civilians and big-business names both are becoming increasingly conscious about their carbon footprints. Businesses have a much larger role to play as they set example for green practices. If trends in environmentally friendly business methods are any indication, this is a good place for investment.

    Wind power, in particular, is gaining momentum. It’s inexpensive, and the amount of electricity generated has increased fourfold since 2000. At present, America is the world’s top wind-energy producer.

    According to Wunder Capital CEO Bryan Birsic, solar also is experiencing strong tailwinds, “with the cost of a solar system down by 50 percent in the last five years and installed solar in the U.S. up a remarkable 95 percent in 2016.” Solar is becoming a significant job engine, too. A Department of Energy report reveals there are twice as many workers building solar as there are employed at coal, oil, and natural gas power plants.

    How to get started in the next 12 to 18 months

    As an entrepreneur, your connections with other idea-generators are among your biggest strengths. Work to reinforce these relationships and learn which kinds of decisions your peers are making in 2017. Choose investments that are geared to not only make a profit in the long run but also increase the value of your personal venture. Investing in certain emerging technologies can give you the opportunity to make your existing platform better. Moreover, it may open up more ideas for the future.

    Experts generally agree that you’ll ultimately benefit from being a bit defensive about your investments for the remainder of this year. The current bull market has been the second longest in history. While it doesn’t indicate falling stocks, some market watchers do expect a correction or recession — but the “when” is unpredictable. Incorporating some defensive investments could help cushion the impact (and certainly won’t harm your portfolio). For example, you might consider an index fund that invests in dividend growth stocks, which are supposed to perform better during recessions.

    Keep your options open when it comes to big-business names. Some of these stock buys will be the best investment decisions you can make in the coming months. Consider Amazon, which rapidly is moving from its major online-retailer function toward cloud computing, video content and artificial intelligence. Stock buys of Medspace, a huge name in the biotech industry, are expected to hit more than $35 over the coming months.

    Finally, banks are expected to perform better in the near future. The 2016 election was a game-changer in the business world, and markets still are fluctuating not yet a full year into President Donald Trump’s administration. Such an environment leaves plenty of unforeseen elements. Financial stocks could be a wise play against this backdrop. Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase fared well under the Trump rally. Rumors of a coming increase in interest rates and paring down of regulations also should make it easier to do business with banks.

    Source: entrepreneur.com

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  • Everyone Talks About Living Their Best Life. How do You Actually do it?

    Living your dream life requires grappling with a lot of cold reality.

    What does the life of your dreams look like? Are you exploring the world and working from your laptop? Are you hanging out with celebrities at award shows? Are you at home spending time with your kids every day?

    It’s possible to engineer the lifestyle you want. You might not get every aspect of it, but don’t confuse having everything in life with having the lifestyle of your dreams. You don’t have to earn billions of dollars to have it. You don’t need to come from the right pedigree. (I know I didn’t.)

    However, for this life-engineering to work for you — you will need to put effort into the process. Understand this: It will likely take several years to accomplish the planning stage of these goals. What else will it take to engineer the lifestyle of your dreams? Here are some tips to get you started.

    1. Clarity.

    What is it that you actually want? You don’t need to construct a vision board, just be honest with yourself. How much money will it take until you feel accomplished? What experiences do you want to have? Write it down if it helps you put it into focus.

    Dr. Gail Matthews, a psychology professor at Dominican University of California, conducted a study, and found that people who wrote down their goals on a regular basis were 42 percent more likely to achieve them.

    When envisioning what you want, don’t confuse lifestyle with assets. You can drive a Maserati every day without ever owning one-if that’s what you want. In other words, you can experience the lifestyle without the large price tag.

    2. Time and effort.

    There is this odd expectation that people can quit their jobs, launch a business and become overnight millionaires. Achieving anything extraordinary takes time.

    Building a business or becoming an industry expert can easily take seven to ten years. You will likely spend several years experiencing incremental changes and iterating on these changes before you have a quantum leap.

    Most successful people spend countless hours working and training to reach their goals. If you’re not willing to clock in the time, then you shouldn’t expect results.

    3. Network.

    A mantra that has been highly influential to my own lifestyle engineering is: “The quality of our lives is defined by the people we surround ourselves with and the conversations we have with them.”

    In order to create the lifestyle that you dream of, you need to surround yourself with positive people that push and encourage you. Research by Nicholas Christakis and James Fowler found that our network-friends, colleagues, and family-influence our life.

    Behaviors and emotions can be passed from person to person, even if it is a friend of a friend that you’ve never met. Your network has the power to influence everything from voting habits, obesity, divorce and even happiness, so choose your connections wisely.

    Connect with key people. If you’re an entrepreneur, you need to meet investors, potential clients and press years before you need their help. If your dream is to be a digital nomad and travel blogger, you need to develop connections with those in the industry to find out what separates the successful people from the wannabes.

    When it comes to success and career, it is important to also have a diverse network that is made up of both strong ties (loved ones) and weak ties (acquaintances). According to research by Mark Granovetter, people are 58 percent more likely to get a job through a weak tie.

    4. Continuous improvement.

    Psychology Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi studied what top achievers and successful people have in common. He found that most are able to enter a state of peak human performance, otherwise known as flow state.  Csikszentmihalyi claims that the key to happiness and success is flow, and to enter this flow state, you need to do something that is just outside of your skillset.

    If it is too difficult, you’re setting yourself up for failure. If it’s too easy, you’ll lose interest. Take on projects and work that you have the skills to handle, but that challenge you in new and exciting ways.

    Most importantly, be patient. You don’t need to fulfill your goals as quickly as possible. Instead, always have something that you are striving towards. Continual improvement is more realistic and rewarding than sudden success or stagnation.

    Designing your dream life takes patience, hard work and drive. You can expect to put in a significant amount of effort that yields little to no results in the beginning. However, don’t give up. Eventually, all your hard work will pay off.

    Source: entrepreneur.com

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  • ‘Are You More Interesting than Average?’ in 5 Questions

    What makes people interesting? And can it be learned?

    Being an interesting person who commands attention is not easy in this 4G world of advancing technologies and diminishing attention span. And being interesting is good. Interesting people can draw others in, captivate and inspire. They can lead, revolutionize and build something great from the ground up.

    What makes for an interesting person is somewhat subjective. However, we’ve teased out five determinable qualities that universally captivate and engage interest — and also can be learned by anyone who is willing to put in the time and effort.

    Let’s get you started on this quiz to gauge where you fall on the “interesting” scale.

    1. Are you a powerful storyteller?

     

    Knowing how to tell stories in a way that elicits empathy, humor and what it is to be human is a powerful skill that interesting people possess. It’s also a skill that entrepreneurs need to have. “Entrepreneurship and storytelling go hand in hand,” said Carmine Gallo, author of The Storyteller’s Secret: From TED Speakers to Business Legends, Why Some Ideas Catch On and Others Don’t.

    Being interested in rags-to-riches stories is part of our DNA, explained Gallo. And there is science that supports this. He touched on the research in his book where scientists find that hearing stories about struggle followed by success actually causes the brain to release the bonding chemicals of dopamine and oxytocin. “We like hearing the story about hardship, risk taking and failure after failure,” said Gallo. “Of course, there has to be some success at the end.”

    When it comes to a famous business leader with a mastery of storytelling, Howard Schultz, the executive chairman of Starbucks, immediately comes to mind. The former CEO of Starbucks has repeatedly shared his narrative of growing up in the Brooklyn projects to self-made multibillionaire. What’s more, whenever speaking about company initiatives, like full-time benefits for part-time workers or paying for employees’ college education, he ties them back to stories about his early struggles.

    “This makes him so much more interesting beyond him presenting a PowerPoint about why they have to raise the price for a cup of coffee,” said Gallo.

    2. Are you an active listener?

    Find a good listener, and you’ll find someone who possesses the quality of making you (the listened-to) feel like the most fascinating person on the planet. Good listeners are a very rare species to come by — which is why they’re regarded as so interesting.

    Research shows that we spend up to 80% of our waking hours communicating — and 55%of that time is spent listening. Yet, for the most part, adults aren’t great at actively listening. People remember, at most, 25% of what they hear.

    Active listening involves being totally present (put away your smart phone), demonstrating strong listening cues (sounds and head nods) and related follow-up questions for clarity and inquiry into further points of interest.

    Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has a strong reputation for being an exceptional listener. “He doesn’t need to talk a lot. He just sits there and listens,” said Silicon Valley venture capitalist Chamath Palihapitiya. “Once he’s done listening, Zuckerberg quickly assesses the information and comes up with all the various outcomes. It’s just a truly special skill.”

    3. Are you wildly expressive?

    People who are good at being expressive are able to successfully convey enthusiasm, curiosity and joy — as well as empathy — through their voice, choice of words and body language. Those who can express a warm glow of feelings tend to captivate people and lower their guard.

    Richard Branson comes to mind as a business leader who has a flair for expressive communication, whether it be through his interviews, his Virgin blog, or his books. His latest book is his autobiography cheekily titled Finding My Virginity: The New Autobiography. Branson is also an effusive communicator over his various social media accounts. Through Instagram, he swiftly shared his response to big events, like Hurricane Irma, and comes across as the multibillionaire you’d most like to have a beer with.

    Other things we’ve learned about the expressive Virgin Group founder that enhance his warm persona? He won’t back out on a lost bet, he had a serious learning disorder as a child, he loves his 93-year-old mother Eve Branson and he cried buckets when he sold Virgin Records for $1 billion in 1992. He had a similiar reaction when he heard that Alaska Airlines will retire Virgin America (the airline he’d founded) by 2019. He’s emotional, he’s a sharer and we love it.

    4. Do you live an exceptional life that generates intrigue?

    You don’t have to lead the life of James Bond to be interesting. However, it does not hurt. The best way to kick off your exceptional life is to seek out people who already do fascinating things. Let them influence and inspire you. According to a study that followed 1,000 people over the course of eight decades, the people you associate with are the strongest influence on who you grow into.

    Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk definitely qualifies as a person who leads a riveting life. His ability to live large and attract people’s interest likely started with his most formative relationships: His family.

    Musk hails from a deeply fascinating tribe. His maternal grandparents were swashbuckling flying adventurists in their own time, searching for the Lost City of the Kalahari, a mythical civilization reputedly located in the deserts of southern Africa. His mother, Maye Musk, accustomed to accompanying her parents on their piloting adventures, became a nutritionist, entrepreneur and model. Musk’s siblings are adventurers in their own right: His sister is a producer in the film industry, and his brother is an entrepreneur and pioneer in the sustainable food industry.

    The engineer-turned-rocket-man is an epic dreamer who is able to make large-scale visions of the future come to life. He is the real-life inspiration for the Tony Stark character in the film series “Iron Man.” His love life also conjures intrigue: He married the same woman twice and divorced her twice — and then dated Johnny Depp’s ex-wife. Clearly, he doesn’t live a life of moderation.

    5. Do you love sharing knowledge?

    “Interesting people love sharing what they know and have learned with others,” wrote Travis Bradberry, co-author of Emotional Intelligence 2.0. And people strongly respond to that quality. The very success of TED Talks is built on people’s never-ending hunger for knowledge from interesting and diverse sources.

    In the business world, Sheryl Sandberg is known for her uncanny knack for learning powerful life lessons through personal experiences and then sharing the wisdom. The Facebook COO shares her knowledge in speeches, Facebook posts and books.

    One of her best qualities is how she ties her knowledge back to a very personal and vulnerable place, such as her own insecurities as a woman in a leadership position in Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead.

    She also did this beautifully in her moving commencement speech about her late husband at the University of California, Berkeley in 2016. Her speech was so popular, that she followed it up with more knowledge: A book Option B: Facing Adversity about losing her husband and how resilience got her through the worst of times. Sandberg’s knowledge sharing has not only made her a media darling, but it’s made her a true beacon of wisdom for those who are struggling.

    How did you do on the quiz? If you scored…

    5: Congrats, Super Interesting Person. You command people’s interests quite naturally and are a pro at reeling off anecdotes, drawing people out, listening, connecting and leading. So if you’re not doing so already, it’s time to help others get better at what you do naturally.

    3-4: You’re strong on the majority of interesting qualities — so double down on those and work on where you have room for growth. Whether it’s in active listening, storytelling or expressiveness, buy some books or hire that executive coach and keep on learning.

    1-2: You’ve got room to grow in the interesting department. No big deal. All skills can be improved with consistent practice and application. So choose a skill that interests you, whether it is storytelling or sharing knowledge, and keep practicing for the next year.

    Source: entrepreneur.com

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  • Google Makes It Easier to Create Virtual Reality Videos

    Google last week introduced a new video format, VR180, developed with input from its Daydream team.

    The VR180 format, which displays what’s in front of the user only, delivers good video quality both on desktop PCs and mobile devices.

    While VR180 videos appear in 2D on desktops and mobile devices, they appear in 3D VR when viewed with Cardboard, Google’s Daydream headset or Sony’s PlayStation VR headset.

    The VR180 Creative Process

    Creators “don’t have to choose between making a 360 video and/or providing new content for their subscribers,” said Google spokesperson Liz Markman.

    “It’s easy for creators to start producing VR videos since they won’t have to change up their filming style or production techniques,” she told TechNewsWorld. “There’s no need to think about what’s behind the camera.”

    YouTube supports VR180, so it “works anywhere YouTube is,” Markman pointed out. VR180 also supports live-streaming videos.

    Video creators can set up and film videos just like they would with any other camera. They can use their existing equipment, or eligible creators can apply to borrow a VR180-enabled camera from a YouTube Space in certain cities, including London, Paris and New York.

    They soon will be able to edit the videos using familiar tools such as Adobe Premiere Pro.

    Content creation issues aside, “VR headsets are still very intrusive and cumbersome,” observed Trip Chowdhry, managing director for equity research at Global Equities Research.

    “The VR industry is still not ready to take off,” he told TechNewsWorld.

    Making VR Technology Less Expensive

    Companies including Yi Technology, Lenovo and LG have committed to building cameras from the ground up for VR180.

    They will be as easy to use as point-and-shoot cameras and cost about the same, according to Google’s Markman.

    The cameras will be available this winter. They will target consumers and “will be tightly integrated into our services, like YouTube, so it’s easy to go from filming to uploading,” Markman pointed out.

    Google will offer a VR180 certification for other manufacturers. Z Cam will be one of its first partners.

    Both the VR camera space and VR video content are forecast to experience “tremendous growth,” said Sam Rosen, a vice president at ABI Research.

    Each segment will hit nearly US$7 billion by 2021, he told TechNewsWorld.

    Clever Use of Technology

    VR180 halves the viewing angle so consumers viewing videos on browsers and smartphones will see two 180-degree images of an object, one with each eye.

    This “is more natural and pervasive from a camera technology standpoint,” ABI’s Rosen observed.

    Google isn’t the first company to offer this capability, he said. Lucid VR will ship this month, for example.

    However, based on its evaluation of early versions of the technology, ABI has “found it failed to adequately handle some of the complexity with 3D video,” said Rosen

    It’s likely that Google will integrate VR180 into wearables, including smart glasses, to compete with Snapchat, he suggested.

    Not Yet Ready for Prime Time

    The VR180 format has applications in various segments, such as demo videos in the real estate and art fields; as productivity tools for remote workers; and perhaps gaming, as part of a mixed reality platform, said Jim McGregor, principal analyst at Tirias Research.

    The ease of development and use lets anyone create VR content “with relatively inexpensive equipment,” he told TechNewsWorld. “This is much better than offering a high-end solution that takes years for an OEM to develop a solution that’s offered at a high cost to consumers.”

    That said, “it’s interesting that we see these new video formats being adopted in alternative media spaces like social networking and YouTube videos, not traditional media,” McGregor noted. “This is possibly because the user base is still too small.”

    Google last week introduced a new video format, VR180, developed with input from its Daydream team. The VR180 format, which displays what’s in front of the user only, delivers good video quality both on desktop PCs and mobile devices. While VR180 videos appear in 2D on desktops and mobile devices, they appear in 3D VR when viewed with Cardboard, Google’s Daydream headset or Sony’s PlayStation VR headset. The VR180 Creative Process Creators “don’t have to choose between making a 360 video and/or providing new content for their subscribers,” said Google spokesperson Liz Markman. “It’s easy for creators to start producing VR videos since they won’t have to change up their filming style or production techniques,” she told TechNewsWorld. “There’s no need to think about what’s behind the camera.” YouTube supports VR180, so it “works anywhere YouTube is,” Markman pointed out. VR180 also supports live-streaming videos. Video creators can set up and film videos just like they would with any other camera. They can use their existing equipment, or eligible creators can apply to borrow a VR180-enabled camera from a YouTube Space in certain cities, including London, Paris and New York. They soon will be able to edit the videos using familiar tools such as Adobe Premiere Pro. Content creation issues aside, “VR headsets are still very intrusive and cumbersome,” observed Trip Chowdhry, managing director for equity research at Global Equities Research. “The VR industry is still not ready to take off,” he told TechNewsWorld. Making VR Technology Less Expensive Companies including Yi Technology, Lenovo and LG have committed to building cameras from the ground up for VR180. They will be as easy to use as point-and-shoot cameras and cost about the same, according to Google’s Markman. The cameras will be available this winter. They will target consumers and “will be tightly integrated into our services, like YouTube, so it’s easy to go from filming to uploading,” Markman pointed out. Google will offer a VR180 certification for other manufacturers. Z Cam will be one of its first partners. Both the VR camera space and VR video content are forecast to experience “tremendous growth,” said Sam Rosen, a vice president at ABI Research. Each segment will hit nearly US$7 billion by 2021, he told TechNewsWorld. Clever Use of Technology VR180 halves the viewing angle so consumers viewing videos on browsers and smartphones will see two 180-degree images of an object, one with each eye. This “is more natural and pervasive from a camera technology standpoint,” ABI’s Rosen observed. Google isn’t the first company to offer this capability, he said. Lucid VR will ship this month, for example. However, based on its evaluation of early versions of the technology, ABI has “found it failed to adequately handle some of the complexity with 3D video,” said Rosen It’s likely that Google will integrate VR180 into wearables, including smart glasses, to compete with Snapchat, he suggested. Not Yet Ready for Prime Time The VR180 format has applications in various segments, such as demo videos in the real estate and art fields; as productivity tools for remote workers; and perhaps gaming, as part of a mixed reality platform, said Jim McGregor, principal analyst at Tirias Research. The ease of development and use lets anyone create VR content “with relatively inexpensive equipment,” he told TechNewsWorld. “This is much better than offering a high-end solution that takes years for an OEM to develop a solution that’s offered at a high cost to consumers.” That said, “it’s interesting that we see these new video formats being adopted in alternative media spaces like social networking and YouTube videos, not traditional media,” McGregor noted. “This is possibly because the user base is still too small.”

     

    Source: www.technewsworld.com

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