I’m reading the book, “The fourth transformation,” and having had the chance to attend different presentations given by Robert Scoble at various tech conferences in the past, I particularly enjoy his current vision about how AR/VR/MR (augmented, virtual and mixed reality) will change everything.

Robert mentions in his book the three phases of transformation that we have already experienced:

  •      The 70’s when people started using text characters to talk directly through computers.
  •      The 80’s post-Mac with GUI (Graphic User Interface) followed by Windows, which was an essential stepping stone into the worldwide web.
  •      The 2007+ years after the introduction of the iPhone followed by android phones when touch became the primary interface and transformed personal computing connecting everyone to everywhere in seconds.

And now, based on Robert and his co-author Shel Israel, we are at the dawn of the fourth transformation that will move technology from what we carry to what we wear, the user interface will move from a screen you tap to computer generated images that you touch and feel.

Of course, AR/VR/MR is  the center of this new transformation and that’s why Google, Apple, Facebook (the focus on AR topics on the latest F8 conference from last week was impressive), Microsoft and many other tech giants are investing billions of dollars to figure out the right way to leverage this technology into our daily lives.

After many years working in live events as an event organizer, event technology founder, investor, and advisor, I’m particularly focused in trying to understand how technology is affecting live events and which specific technologies could have a real impact on the way that people interact with live event experiences.

I’m so obsessed with this subject that I invested in around ten companies around the space and I’m finalizing my own book (co-authored with my friend and partner Jay Weintraub) named The Face of Digital (more info about this topic during the next couple of months) where we talk with very intelligent  live events and tech entrepreneurs and big corporations about their own views on these topics.

Many smart and sophisticated entrepreneurs and investors are also investing hundreds of millions of dollars around AR/VR/MR just focused on live events.

From live sports, concerts, and trade shows to corporate events AR/VR/MR can and will revolutionize the way that we interact with live events forever. Why? Because it will dramatically change the way that we access and interact with the event content and experience in ways that we never seen before.

How and when? I don’t think that this will happen tomorrow or even next year, but we will probably see the first interesting and successful experiments and initial traction in the next couple of years with definite exponential growth in the next decade.

Is this going to kill, replace or damage live events? Absolutely not! I wrote about this topic on a previous blog and I’m totally convinced that nothing can beat a live events experience. However, this technology will certainly change and improve the overall experience, particularly once organizers, agencies, brands and end users learn and interact on a regular basis with AR/VR/MR in different areas of their life’s like entertainment, retail and their daily jobs.

If you read and believe in Goldman Sachs report and many similar reports available around this topic, we are talking about billions of dollars and billions of users jumping into this industry during the next decade around gaming, healthcare, entertainment, engineering, and commerce. live events on its on represents a $4.1B opportunity before 2025. This report mentions live event tickets as the main category to be disrupted but I honestly think that AR/VR/MR live events disruption will go way ahead of ticketing and will impact registrations, advertising and sponsorships, networking, product demonstrations and interaction, commerce and many more areas.

Event organizers are starting to think and analyze on different threats and opportunities around this technology and initial pilots are showing concrete evidence of positive and negative impact into the live events business.  

In my case, I want to walk the talk  since I’m so convinced on the positive impact of AR/VR/MR into live events that I’m investing (time and money) on a AR/VR/MR company 100% strictly focused on live events helping event organizers to monetize and improve their customer’s experience and return of investment (reach out if you are interested…we are hiring!)

I think that this technology will allow event organizers to create new and incremental revenue categories and engagement opportunities for brands and visitors to experience live events like never before. I want to be part of this “fourth transformation” in an industry that I love and have belonged to for many years, serious  benefits can emerge from this new wave of innovation.

As always, innovation is slow and takes tons of time, investment, trial and error, and particularly mature and well established industries like live events. But, I think that we are and we will experience a sort of “perfect storm” on this particular case with a fast speed of change and improvement from a technological perspective and with billions of dollars and new users coming into this category during the next decade as well as smart event organizers and tech entrepreneurs thinking of clever ideas and using cases for the fourth transformation impacting live events.

I can’t wait to see these ideas come to life and change the way that we experience live events forever.

Originally published on www.marcogiberti.com