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What’s Next For VR?

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Once the promised Shangri-La for the future of gaming, VR’s opening salvo into the market wound up being less of a revolution than it was hyped up to be. However, the new medium has persevered nonetheless, and there are some signs that the future of VR might at least approach something resembling what we were once promised.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the most notable developments in the VR space, and what they could be leading to.

Less Complex Setups

One of the biggest problems that VR faced at its launch was the sheer amount of tech setup needed in order to make it work properly. The HTC Vive, one of the most promising early systems, required a bulky headset, a set of heavy wires directly connected to a user’s computer, two handhelds, wand-like controllers, a pair of tall sensor towers, and a completely open space that the two sensor towers could “box off.” It practically required its own room in order to be functional, and very few people have the time, money, or perseverance to dedicate so much to a game console – even one in VR.

In the near future though, many companies are looking to cut this amount of required setup and equipment down significantly. Most commonly, this effort is taking the form of headset-only VR – headsets (or helmets, in some cases) that have all of the required tech for VR games packaged in, eliminating the need for thick cables or boundary poles. Of course, some games will still require controllers, and you’ll still need a somewhat open space if you don’t want to injure yourself while playing, but for the most part, things look to be much simpler. For now, the technology is still largely in development, but it’s definitely on the way, and early examples are promising.

Virtual Worlds

One of the strongest titles for the VR platform has been one that’s rather simple at first glance, but deceptively complex when looked into further. VRChat released a little while after the initial VR launch boom, has a simple concept: let players interact and talk with each other in a virtual world, using avatars of their choosing.

The complexity comes in in the form of player-created content, which makes up the majority of what’s playable in VRChat. The vast majority of the game’s worlds are created by the players themselves, and player avatars, too, are original creations. The infinite possibilities of creation in the VRChat space has led to its easily having one of the most dedicated fanbases of any VR title. Even celebrities have joined in on the fun, with some of the cast of the ever-popular Mythbusters show having gone as far as to host a live contest in VR!

With that in mind though, it seems like a no-brainer that others would try to emulate the VRChat formula. So far attempts like AltSpaceVR hasn’t been quite as impressive, but there are still endless possibilities to consider. The casino space is one that could make a great deal of sense here. Right now, digital casinos from developers in New Zealand and the UK make up much for the market and are best known for providing intriguing welcome bonuses and hosting a wide variety of games. But they are also almost subtly innovative platforms, consistently embracing new tech and making games more immersive. There’s a clear path to the next iteration of these online casinos being an open, social virtual casino in VR. Meanwhile, there’s also the pop culture side of things to consider. There are countless worlds and settings people would love to simply hang out and socialize in: VR Hogwarts, VR Pandora… Any of these could make for incredible social spaces.

Support From The Big Three

In addition to more convenient equipment and more opportunities for social worlds, VR may benefit most from support from the “Big Three” of gaming: Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft. These three companies can often determine together which concepts live and which concepts die. It’s a point in VR’s favor, then, that each of them has thrown its hat into the ring in order to push VR forward – even if these early forays have been somewhat timid.

Sony has had its own headset, PSVR, for a while now, and still has plenty of studios dedicating their time and development efforts toward new titles for it. Microsoft, always looking to the future, has implemented support for numerous VR headsets into its current and upcoming consoles. Even Nintendo, usually slow to new developments in the market, has its own oddball take on VR in the form of its cardboard Labo VR Kit. Altogether there’s at least some promise that these ever-influential companies will wind up having a big say in VR’s future.

Whether or not any of these developments can ultimately propel VR to the level so many of us expected or wanted to see it at is an open question though. There’s clearly a wonderful version of VR’s future, though a lot of things still have to go right for it to come to fruition.

Cannabis

Oppenheimer & Co. To Host 19th Annual Consumer Growth and E-Commerce Conference

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Oppenheimer & Co. Inc. (“Oppenheimer”) – a leading investment bank, wealth manager, and a subsidiary of Oppenheimer Holdings (NYSE: OPY) – will host its 19th Annual Consumer Growth and E-Commerce Conference on June 18-19 in Boston, MA. This year’s event features companies from prominent consumer brands such as Autozone, Domino’s Pizza, Express, Home Depot, Lowe’s, Six Flags Theme Parks, Tiffany & Company, Ulta, Walmart, Weight Watchers, and Yum Brands.

Of particular note, Oppenheimer is pleased to host nine of the market-leading companies involved with emerging trends in the Cannabis space this year. The event will also feature seven panel discussions, moderated by Oppenheimer Consumer Research Analysts, addressing emerging and disruptive trends in the consumer marketplace as follows:

  • Evolving Role of Technology in the Consumer Sector with Cooler Screens and Lindsay Goldberg LLC, moderated by Brian Nagel
  • A Discussion with Emerging Restaurant Brands with Aurify and B. Good, moderated by Brian Bittner
  • A Discussion on the Evolving US Food & Beverage Landscape with Lifeway, New Age Beverage, and United Natural Foods, moderated by Rupesh Parikh
  • Next Gen Brands Re-Shaping Landscape for Women’s Fashion with CARAA and Rothy’s, moderated by Brian Nagel
  • Exciting New Brands Shaking Up Home Products Space with Burkelman, LoveSac and Resident/Nectar, moderated by Brian Nagel
  • A Discussion on the Emerging CBD Landscape with Curaleaf and CV Sciences, moderated by Rupesh Parikh
  • Leveraging the Power of Digital to Connect with Consumers with Eight and FlexShopper, moderated by Brian Nagel

The conference features Oppenheimer’s Consumer Senior Research Analysts:

  • Brian Bittner, Managing Director Senior Analyst covering Restaurants
  • Brian Nagel, Managing Director and Senior Analyst covering Retail and E-Commerce
  • Rupesh Parikh, Managing Director and Senior Analyst covering Food, Grocery and Consumer Products
  • Ian Zaffino, Managing Director and Senior Analyst covering event-driven Special Situations

“Long-established business models are being upended by disruptive brands and technology, affecting consumer preferences and buying behaviors throughout the consumer industry. This year’s event aims to showcase the mix of market-leading and emerging companies driving and navigating these changes,” said Erica L. Moffett, Managing Director and Associate Director of Research at Oppenheimer. “From effortless payment methods to accelerated delivery times and customized products, consumers want a seamless experience. In order to succeed, companies must stay current on the evolving consumer and we are pleased to host a conference to explore this new landscape.”

Oppenheimer’s next conference will be the Montauk Emerging Life Sciences Summit, which will be held on June 26-28in Montauk, NY. The 22nd Annual Technology, Internet & Communications Conference will follow on August 6-7 in Boston, MA, followed by the Midwest Corporate Access Day in Chicago on August 15.

Oppenheimer & Co. Inc.
Oppenheimer & Co. Inc. (Oppenheimer), a principal subsidiary of Oppenheimer Holdings Inc. (OPY on the New York Stock Exchange), and its affiliates provide a full range of wealth management, securities brokerage and investment banking services to high-net-worth individuals, families, corporate executives, local governments, businesses and institutions.

SOURCE Oppenheimer & Co. Inc.

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Cannabis

iCAN: Israel-Cannabis CEO and Founder Saul Kaye to Participate at the World Cannabis Congress in Saint John, New Brunswick

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iCAN: Israel Cannabis Founder and CEO Saul Kaye will participate at the World Cannabis Conference being held in Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada from June 16-18, 2019.

Kaye, a leader in the global cannabis ecosystem will moderate a session entitled, “Innovative Methodologies and Emerging Topics in Global Cannabis Research.”  Panelists are Dr. Suzanne Sisley MD President and Principal Investigator, Scottsdale Research Institute and, Dr. Jerry King, R&D Consultant, CFS.  The session will take place at the Saint John Trade & Convention Centre on June 18.

The World Cannabis Congress (WCC) is an exclusive, invite-only event for international cannabis leaders, influencers and trend setters. The event will have hundreds of attendees from around the world from business, government and medicine.

In addition to his leadership of iCAN: Israel Cannabis, Kaye is an industry advisor to the Medical Cannabis Caucus of the Israeli Parliament, as well as an advisor to the Ministries of Economy and Health in Israel. He is a licensed pharmacist and a successful entrepreneur with both retail and e-commerce experience. Saul has founded multiple companies spanning six countries across the US, EuropeIsrael and Australia.

Canada has truly been a global trailblazer in the cannabis industry.  Canadian cannabis companies and its stock market are influential and forward looking and we in Israel, the R&D capital of cannabis, collaborate with our Canadian friends on many different levels.  I look forward to participating at the WCC as the medicine and business of cannabis develops at breathtaking speed both in Israel and beyond,” said Kaye.

 

SOURCE iCAN: Israel Cannabis

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Cannabis

Loyalist College to launch Canada’s first Technology Access Centre for natural products and cannabis

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Loyalist College is the recipient of a $1,750,000 Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) College and Community Innovation (CCI) Program grant over five years to launch Canada’s first Technology Access Centre (TAC) for natural products and cannabis. In addition, Loyalist received $1Mthrough the Canada Foundation for Innovation’s (CFI) College-Industry Innovation Fund (CIIF) to add specialized equipment to the TAC.

Loyalist was one of 90 recipients at colleges, cégeps and polytechnics across the country to receive part of the $73M in funding, announced today by the Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Sport, at Georgian College in Barrie, Ontario. Through the CCI Program and the CIIF, this investment will help post-secondary institutions partner directly with local employers to facilitate commercialization and transform the results of research and development into new technologies to help businesses expand and grow.

The rapid growth of Canada’s cannabis, hops and natural products sectors positions Loyalist’s Applied Research Centre for Natural Products and Medical Cannabis (ARC) as a national innovation hub for small- to medium-sized enterprises. As a TAC, Loyalist will build on the ARC’s 15 years of natural product extraction expertise and analysis-based applied research. In transitioning to a TAC, Loyalist’s ARC will significantly increase the College’s capacity to lead applied research of commercially relevant natural products and cannabis, and to support innovation by enhancing industries’ access to sector-relevant expertise and technology.

The TAC initiative will cultivate an environment for College-industry partnerships to thrive while providing students with unparalleled opportunities for work-integrated learning; investigating extraction, isolation, and formulation; and product development. In partnership with the Quinte Economic Development Commission (QEDC), Loyalist will support the Bay of Quinte’s burgeoning natural products and cannabis sectors to generate regional socioeconomic benefits, and to provide opportunities for a new generation of innovators. Loyalist will also offer companies across Canada a supportive, community-oriented platform from which to enhance their productivity, expand their reach and augment their competitiveness in the global market.

Quotes

“We are very grateful for NSERC’s continued support and proud to be Canada’s first TAC for natural products and cannabis. Loyalist currently has more than 25 companies interested in applied research, and as our ARC transitions into a TAC, we will be able to meet their requirements while significantly extending our network to help more companies to innovate. Our Biosciences and Cannabis Applied Science students will have the advantage of being involved in ground-breaking research that propels Canada forward as the world leader in cannabis and natural product developments.” – Dr. Ann Marie Vaughan, Loyalist College President & CEO

“It’s great to see this NSERC and CFI funding come through for Loyalist College’s launch of Canada’s first TAC for research in natural products and cannabis. Being able to conduct research in a state-of-the-art facility means that students working in the College’s ARC will be able to build up their expertise in product analysis; which can then be applied directly to commercial development. This is just the beginning of seeing a new series of natural products being designed, assessed, made and delivered from our region.” – Neil R. Ellis, Member of Parliament for Bay of Quinte

“I am so proud to see the innovation that is driving research and economic development in our rural community through Loyalist College’s ARC. Innovation is key to Rural Sustainability and this investment will ensure that we are training the next generation in the latest technological advances. I congratulate them on their NSERC and CFI grant, and wish them all the best of success.” – Mike Bossio, Member of Parliament for Hastings—Lennox and Addington

“The Quinte Economic Development Commission is proud to be a supporting partner with Loyalist College on this important initiative that is aligned with economic development opportunities and priorities in the region. The TAC will support industry research and innovation for companies in key industry sectors as well as helping students develop in-demand skills and experience. Congratulations to the team at Loyalist on launching this important project.” – Chris King, Chief Executive Officer, Quinte Economic Development Commission

 

SOURCE Loyalist College

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