Jan 6, 2017

Why augmented reality will replace virtual reality in 2017

In 2016, publishers and platforms invested in expensive virtual reality storytelling technology hoping to sell high-impact advertising against it. It wasn't easy.

It was too early: Media companies weren't wrong betting on VR, but the market wasn't quick enough to adopt it through headset purchases and app downloads.

It couldn't go viral: Most VR headsets, like the Google Cardboard, weren't tethered to a digital platform that could make VR stories easy to share, like or engage.

It was isolating: The technology was immersive, but had to be consumed at the individual level. The viewer couldn't engage with other consumers in real time.

It was expensive: A VR piece could cost an advertiser anywhere from up to $500,000 or more to produce and required an additional large-scale investment to promote and distribute the content on or through a publisher's network. With some high-end partnerships totaling $1,000,000+, and few having enough key performance metrics to back their effectiveness, many advertisers couldn't risk the investment.

What's next?

Several outlets, like The New York Times and Verizon Labs, debuted new augmented reality products at the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week, hoping to find better luck monetizing a platform that the market embraced through apps like Pokemon Go and Super Mario Run in 2016.

Last week, Snapchat announced that it acquired an Israeli augmented reality start-up called Cimagine, to begin experimenting with AR technology on their platform.

Go deeper

China tries to contain coronavirus, as Apple warns of earnings impact

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's NHC; Note: China refers to mainland China and the Diamond Princess is the cruise ship offshore Yokohama, Japan. Map: Danielle Alberti/Axios

As China pushes to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus — placing around 780 million people under travel restrictions, per CNN — the economic repercussions continue to be felt globally as companies like Apple warn of the impact from the lack of manufacturing and consumer demand in China.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed at least 1,775 people and infected more than 70,000 others, mostly in mainland China. There are some signs that new cases are growing at a slower rate now, although the World Health Organization said Monday it's "too early to tell" if this will continue.

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Apple will miss quarterly earnings estimates due to coronavirus

Apple CEO Tim Cook

Apple issued a rare earnings warning on Monday, saying it would not meet quarterly revenue expectations due to the impact of the coronavirus, which will limit iPhone production and limit product demand in China.

Why it matters: Lots of companies rely on China for production, but unlike most U.S. tech companies, Apple also gets a significant chunk of its revenue from sales in China.

America's dwindling executions

The Trump administration wants to reboot federal executions, pointing to a 16-year lapse, but Pew Research reports the government has only executed three people since 1963.

The big picture: Nearly all executions in the U.S. are done by states. Even those have been steadily dropping for two decades, per the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) — marking a downward trend for all executions in the country.