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A Look Inside Consumer Perceptions of Oculus Go



More than just the latest in a long line of niche gadgets, Oculus Go represents the linchpin of Facebook’s lofty goal of putting one billion people into virtual reality. Built with the new or casual user in mind, the device’s non-intimidating tether-free design and Snapdragon 821 mobile processor (which will be two years old in August) manage to keep costs low and user-friendliness high.

Guest Article by J.C. Kuang

J.C. serves as an Analyst at Greenlight Insights in the Devices Group. He has more than three years of experience in market research and analysis and has delivered custom consultancy and presentations for global companies covering ideation, roadmap validation, market sizing, disruptive strategy, and competitor analysis, among other areas. He is based in Boston, Massachusetts.

An improved fresnel lens design addresses a major complaint of Rift owners regarding negative experiences with lens flare, while built-in stereo speakers eliminate the need to fiddle with headphones after fitting the headset—an inconvenience of the Go’s precursor, Gear VR. The headset is also offered with two tiers of non-expandable flash storage (at 32 and 64 GB).

Oculus Go Review: Standalone VR Priced for the Masses

The Go is being lauded by journalists and hardware critics as a major milestone in VR hardware, set to drive adoption to new highs. In contrast to higher-end standalone VR headsets, such as HTC’s Vive Focus and Lenovo’s Mirage Solo, the Go is largely unopposed at its low price point of $200, and has drawn interest from mainstream media outlets as a result. While it lacks an important feature offered by its competitors, 6DoF tracking, the Go represents an otherwise tempting alternative to its pricier competitors, which have not been received as favorably.

Consumer Perceptions

Initial consumer impressions of Oculus’ overall user experience are positive, according to consumer reviews at online retailers and first impressions from early adopter forums.

A lack of native media apps (such as YouTube) remains a going concern for owners of multiple headsets, who are most aware of the fragmentation currently plaguing VR content pipelines. Meanwhile, high build quality, an intuitive and hassle-free interface, and support for multimedia apps (from major players such as Netflix and Hulu, to more focused platforms such as Plex and Bigscreen), have been consistently popular among buyers. In fact, usage as a portable multimedia device was the most cited use case amongst online user reviews.

Criticisms have been levelled against the headset’s short battery life and a lack of expandable storage. These are noticeable areas where traditional tethered VR excels over the Go (having access to virtually limitless power and storage via a connected gaming PC). Oculus’s own offering, the Rift, has played a major role in setting these expectations for VR usage patterns in the first place. Presumably, these criticisms are of least concern to the company since their other hardware addresses these issues.

China’s Oculus Go Variant Sells Out in Minutes, 50,000+ Await More Stock

The Go relies on a wireless connection to a smartphone for high-level content management, as well as privacy and login functions to ensure fast and functional connection to the Oculus platform. This connection naturally has deep integration with Facebook, which has sparked some infrequent criticisms regarding privacy. While these criticisms are less common among consumers, the persistent uneasiness surrounding privacy at Oculus’ parent company does little to help assuage them.

Greenlight Insights’ annual VR/AR consumer survey revealed some insights surrounding the release of the Go.

  • Approximately 1 month before release, Oculus’ new headset had low aided brand awareness* among all respondents (36%) when compared to the Rift headset during a similar period (42%).
  • Non-owners of VR headsets reached a low of 28% aided brand awareness*. This data point presents a particularly glaring weakness in the company’s marketing for the Go, which is aimed squarely at onboarding new users to VR.

* “Aided brand awareness” refers to consumer knowledge of a specific brand or product, after being prompted. Might be measured with a question such as “How familiar are you with Oculus?” as opposed to “Can you list three VR headset brands?”

Now that the Go has been available for two and a half months, Greenlight Insights has gathered data from major US electronics retailers showing how customers have received the Go and other standalone headsets, algonside high-end tethered headsets for comparison.

The Future of Go & Standalones

Up until Oculus’ 2017 developer conference, hardware initiatives from HTC, Oculus, and other leading headset makers prioritized highly detailed and demanding AAA experiences which capitalized on the novelty of VR. The Go meanwhile represents an intelligent pivot from traditional VR design philosophy, which often sacrifices accessibility for immersion. Oculus has set a new goal that focuses on adoption and onboarding as opposed to hardware brinkmanship. This trend is poised to continue as HTC and Lenovo’s standalone offerings populate higher price points on the market.

Sales of all three new standalone headsets through Q3-Q4 ‘18 will be crucial in gauging adoption rates over the next 5 years. We expect that global standalone revenues will grow from over $350 million in 2018 to $3.2 billion in 2022. This growth will be due in part to a previously untapped market that neither smartphone-based nor tethered headsets can serve: new users with no additional computing hardware. This factor will only become more compelling as content, hardware, and usability improve over time. The overall global VR industry will benefit from this growth as well; we anticipate it will grow from just under $9 billion in 2018 to $48 billion in 2022.

The impact of standalone headsets on the global VR market is becoming more and more apparent with the release of competing hardware from formidable foreign OEMs, such as the Lenovo Mirage Solo and HTC Vive Focus, each bringing with it it’s own development and distribution platforms. As new displays, sensors, and processors (such as the upcoming Snapdragon XR1 which is specially designed for low cost standalone headsets) begin to show up in subsequent iterations of standalone headsets, hardware markets will begin to expand to accomodate a much larger sector of this new, accessible form of virtual reality. Further insights into current and future VR markets can be found in the the semi-annual Virtual Reality Industry Report, published by Greenlight Insights in collaboration with Road to VR. The report contains forecasts and in-depth analysis on VR hardware and solutions, including standalone headsets such as Oculus Go.

The post A Look Inside Consumer Perceptions of Oculus Go appeared first on Road to VR.



The Digital Age Is Here: Crypto And Fintech Companies Soar, While Bank Stocks Tank



2020 has been so far a challenging year. Issues such as the Australian wildfires and the global COVID-19 pandemic have harmed the planet and its inhabitants. The financial world has also suffered, especially during the first several months.

The effects are evident within different sectors of the financial industry. While some have felt adverse consequences during these uncertain times, others have thrived and reached for the stars.

BNN Bloomberg’s senior anchor, Jon Erlichman, recently published some stocks’ price performances for banks and fintech companies and the two largest cryptocurrencies – Ethereum and Bitcoin.

CryptoPotato exemplified it with the graph below. It concludes that innovative fintech companies such as Square and PayPal have massively outperformed the old dogs – the banking sector. Bitcoin has also experienced a notable YTD price surge, while Ethereum has trumped them all with a substantial triple-digit surge.

YTD Price Performance Of Crypto, Fintech Companies, And Bank Stocks. Source: CryptoPotato
YTD Price Performance Of Crypto, Fintech Companies, And Bank Stocks. Source: CryptoPotato

YTD: Bank Stocks Haven’t Enjoyed 2020

The stocks of some of the world’s largest banks were on a roll since the previous financial crisis over a decade ago. Bank of America shares had increased approximately ten-fold since 2009 to their highs in February 2020 of about $35.

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In the same period, Citigroup stocks went from $15 to $80, JP Morgan Chase & Co (JPM) from $20 to $140, and Wells Fargo (WFC) surged from $11 to above $50.

However, the COVID-19-prompted crisis took the world by storm this year. March alone saw price slumps not seen in decades. Most of the aforementioned bank stocks lost about 50% of its value in merely days.

Although their shares have picked up from the March bottoms, the graph above demonstrates that their year-to-date performance is still in the red. JPM is down by 30%, Bank of America by 33%, Citigroup by 46%, and Wells Fargo has it the worst – 58% YTD dump.

Other financial service corporations, such as Western Union (-17%) and American Express (-19%), have also lost significant chunks of value since the start of the year.

It’s worth noting that one of the most old-school investors and biggest supporters of the banking sector, Warren Buffet, sold the majority of his bank stocks this year.

Financial Companies In The Green

Although the crisis reached all companies on the graph above, some have not only recovered but actually increased in the following months. MasterCard stocks plummeted from $345 to $203, while Visa’s nosedive started from $213 and ended at $135. Nevertheless, both companies’ shares are slightly in the green on a year-to-date basis.

Two other financial service companies, but primarily focusing on online endeavors, have marked substantially more impressive YTD results.

PayPal’s stocks (PYPL) started 2020 at $110 and have increased by 94% since then, despite the mid-March slump to $85. Jack Dorsey’s Square’s yearly gains have even seen triple-digit percentages. The 55% dump in March was only a brief obstacle in SQ’s way towards a 178% surge since January 2020.

Interestingly, both firms have embarked on cryptocurrency-related activities in recent months. Square purchased $50 million worth of Bitcoin, while PayPal announced that it will enable its US-based customers to buy, sell, and store several digital assets.

What About Bitcoin And Ethereum?

The cryptocurrency market was not exempt from the mid-March madness. Some alternative coins lost up to 80% of value in hours. The two most well-known representatives, namely Bitcoin and Ethereum, dipped to $3,700 and below $100, respectively.

Percentage-wise, those developments equaled about 50% of losses. However, the rest of the year has been significantly more positive for both. Bitcoin, regarded by some as a safe haven tool with similarities to gold, has overcome its massive slump.

Whether it’s the growing interest from institutional investors, the third halving, or giant companies buying BTC for its store of value characteristics, Bitcoin has surged by more than 80% YTD. Just a few days ago, the primary cryptocurrency charted a new yearly high of over $13,000.

Ethereum, on the other hand, has been widely utilized this year in the ongoing decentralized finance trend. Its blockchain operates as the underlying technology behind most DeFi projects.

This increased utilization led to some unfavorable consequences such as slow transactions and high fees and highlighted a few of the network’s weak points. Price-wise, though, none of that matter as ETH has been on a roll during most of the year, especially since the summer.

As a result, the second-largest cryptocurrency has become the best-performing asset from the ones mentioned above, with an increase of over 200%.

What Could All Of This Mean?

The world is undoubtedly going through changes, primarily prompted by the COVID-19 reality. Social distancing and people working from home have driven society into becoming even more digitally-focused.

The financial world won’t be left behind. People seek more online ventures, and digitally transferred funds will eventually become the new normal.

As such, the decline of traditional financial institutions like banks, and the rise of innovative technologies, including cryptocurrencies, could be just the start of the mass transition to the online world.


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These Are Ripple’s Relocation Options if it Moves Out of the United States



Ripple has expressed dissatisfaction over the regulatory uncertainty surrounding cryptocurrencies in the United States. Apart from this, the San Francisco-based firm has also decided to act. By moving out of its home turf. But where will Ripple move next? Here are the relocation options.

Ripple’s Asia Options: Japan, Singapore & the United Arab Emirates

When Ripple’s co-founder and Executive Chairman Chris Larsen threatened to move out of the United States over the federal government’s anachronistic attitude towards cryptocurrency regulation, the message was clear.

During a virtual interview with Fortune at the LA Blockchain Summit, Larsen dropped the ‘relocation bomb.’ The Ripple co-founder also added that the US is far behind in the cryptocurrency regulation game compared to its counterparts. To the point that it actually risks losing its financial innovation edge to China (in particular).

Continuing his commentary, Larsen said that the U.K. and Singapore are the most probable destinations for the company to relocate if it moves base out of the country.

However, yesterday, in an interview with Bloomberg, Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse added Japan and the United Arab Emirates too to the list of Asia options. Elucidating the reason for extending the list, he said:

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The common denominator between all of them is that their governments have created a clarity about how they would regulate different digital assets, different cryptocurrencies.

He reiterated Chirs Larsen’s stance about the United States’ uncertain regulatory roadmap. He also referred specifically to the conundrum of categorizing cryptocurrencies into a commodity, a currency, a property, or security.

Moving out of the US is more of a compulsion than a desire, Mr. Garlinghouse explained. Ripple would have continued to operate from their home turf if the cryptocurrency regulation scenario was not colloidal.

Ripple is definitely a proud US company and we’d like to stay in the US if that was possible, but we also need regulatory clarity in order for us to invest and grow the business.

Love For London And The United Kingdom

Apart from Asia, Ripple is also strongly considering the UK as an option. This became clear when in an interview with CNBC, the CEO applauded the clarity regarding XRP’s regulatory status in the country.

“What you see in the U.K. is a clear taxonomy, and the U.K.’s FCA took a leadership role in characterizing how we should think about these different assets and their use cases,” Garlinghouse said.

The outcome of that was clarity that XRP is not a security and is used as a currency. With that clarity, it would be advantageous for Ripple to operate in the U.K.”

This is clearly where the US is failing, Mr. Garlinghouse remarked. Although the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is clear on Bitcoin and Ethereum not being securities, when it comes to XRP, the authority has mostly stayed mum, which in turn has left the cryptocurrency’s status ‘shrouded in uncertainty.’

The clarification regarding XRP’s ‘security status’ is crucial for Ripple. Even though the company claims total disassociation from the XRP ledger and the token, it still owns 55 billion of the total 100 billion XRP supply.

Apart from the United Kingdom and the aforementioned countries in the Asian continent, Ripple has also shown interest in Switzerland for setting up its headquarters.

Ripple (XRP) price climbed up higher but not necessarily in response to Ripple’s decision to leave the US. The rally can be mostly attributed to bitcoin rushing for the stars with its explosive break past the $13,000 mark.

Will the cryptocurrency-based fintech firm be able to operate with total and unequivocal regulatory clarity in the above countries? It still remains to be seen.


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ETH Cools Off After 13% Weekly Gains, What’s Next? (Ethereum Price Analysis)



ETH/USD – Bulls Retest Bearish .618 Fib Resistance

Key Support Levels: $410, $400, $387.
Key Resistance Levels: $416, $421, $439.

Ethereum saw a strong 13% price surge this past week as it reached as high as $421 (1.414 Fib Extension). More specifically, the buyers could not close a daily candle above the resistance at the bearish .618 Fib Retracement at $416.

After heading back into $400 yesterday, the bulls have rebounded and are now retesting the aforementioned level.

ETH/USD Daily Chart. Source: TradingView

ETH-USD Short Term Price Prediction

Looking ahead, once the buyers break $416, the first level of resistance lies at $421.50 (1.414 Fib Extension). This is followed by resistance at $434, $439 (August 2018 Highs), and $445 (bearish .786 Fib). $450, added resistance lies at $462 and $475.

On the other side, the first level of support lies at $410. Beneath this, support is found at $400, $387 (.382 Fib), and $377 (.5 Fib).

The RSI is approaching overbought conditions but still has room to push higher before becoming truly overbought.

ETH/BTC – Bulls Testing 100-days EMA Resistance

Key Support Levels: 0.0311 BTC, 0.0305 BTC, 0.03 BTC.
Key Resistance Levels: 0.0327 BTC, 0.0337 BTC, 0.0341 BTC.

Against Bitcoin, Ethereum struggled this week as it dropped as low as 0.0305 BTC. It has since bounced higher to climb back above 0.031 BTC to trade at the current 0.0318 BTC level. It is now testing resistance at a 100-days EMA and must overcome this to head back toward the October highs at 0.0337 BTC.

ETH/BTC Daily Chart. Source: TradingView

ETH-BTC Short Term Price Prediction

Looking ahead, if the bulls can break the 100-days EMA, the first level of resistance lies at 0.0327 BTC (bearish .236 Fib Retracement). This is followed by resistance at 0.0337 BTC (March 2019 Support – now resistance), 0.0341 BTC (bearish .382 Fib), and 0.035 BTC.

On the other side, the first level of support lies at 0.0311 BTC (.618 Fib). Beneath this, support lies at 0.0305 BTC, 0.03 BTC, and 0.0295 BTC (200-days EMA).

The Stochastic RSI recently rebounded, which put an end to the downward pressure. For a bullish recovery above the 100-days EMA, the RSI must pass the mid-line to indicate bullish momentum within the market.


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Disclaimer: Information found on CryptoPotato is those of writers quoted. It does not represent the opinions of CryptoPotato on whether to buy, sell, or hold any investments. You are advised to conduct your own research before making any investment decisions. Use provided information at your own risk. See Disclaimer for more information.

Cryptocurrency charts by TradingView.


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