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SME 2018: Mobeon's Mark Alamares Talks Challenges of Making Immersive Video Mainstream
Streaming Media Contributing Editor Tim Siglin interviews Mobeon CEO Mark Alamares at Streaming Media East 2018

Learn more about AR, MR, and VR streaming at Streaming Media's next event.

Read the complete transcript of this interview:

Tim Siglin: Welcome back to Streaming Media East 2018. I'm Tim Siglin, contributing editor with Streaming Media magazine and the founding executive director of the not-for-profit Help Me! Stream. I'm here today with Mark Alamares. Mark, tell us about your company.

Mark Alamares: I'm CEO of Mobeon, a leading-edge creative consultancy, both providing creative strategy as well as production services for interactive media and streaming services to handle both methods to help clients communicate with their customers whether it's internally for a corporation or for a brand to consumers. We help make and develop new ways for them to communicate in effective manners and new ways to make it much more compelling.

Tim Siglin: You’re involved in virtual reality, augmented reality. There's even something called MR. What's MR?

Mark Alamares: MR is mixed reality. I guess Microsoft has coined their own definition of mixed reality, and one thing is that they've released recently some mixed reality headsets which are currently more leaning towards virtual reality. But down the road I think there's going to be higher-end applications of what they have a vision for. But also mixed reality is being able to display gameplay and having a person in that virtual world where you're able to view it on a flat screen, whether it's a mobile device or an iPhone or an Android phone or an iPad or even a television screen where you get to see that person overlaid in that virtual world. So, again, that's something that has been emerging as well. And also, augmented reality is now in the headlines.

Tim Siglin: Apple CEO, Tim Cook, has said that he felt AR was going to take off faster than VR. What's your sense? Is AR moving further ahead?

Mark Alamares: The media darling originally was VR, but AR is grabbing a lot of headlines right now. There are a lot of companies realizing that there's a lot of practical usage for AR, especially for entertainment and even enterprise applications for companies. Overall, I think that the public in general is clamoring for something a little bit beyond standard media. Because what I'm seeing right now is clients are asking me a little bit more for interactivity, better audience engagement and I'm getting a lot of requests for that, especially for brands. It's actually growing substantially for us.

Tim Siglin: Interesting. If you think back even 10 years ago we had Second Life and Second Life started as sort of a SIMs model. But then, ultimately, had a whole lot of brands and a whole lot of branding around it. That, of course, was not a VR play but could've easily been a VR play with that model. Is that where you think we're going, or will it always be some form of mixed reality where you have traditional video as part of a 3D world or 3D space?

Mark Alamares: Well, I think it's going to be in succession because of certain steps that need to take place. Eventually, I believe that there will be full immersion in the future. There will be times when we will need to integrate, again, reality with a virtual world. But what I'm seeing right now on a basic level is brands want simple solutions that will help them, again, engage the audience. And there's a lot of things, especially in the competitive area, whether it's sports, eSports, even quiz shows, especially let's say HQ for example, which is a very simple application but it actually gets the audience to participate and compete, I think that's where we'll see a lot of growth. And, as you can see in eSports, there's a lot of attention being paid to that. But down the road I will foresee that reality will be digitized and integrated into a virtual world, whether it's going to be in an AR world, MR world or VR world it depends on what the client is trying to convey or have the user experience. And that will determine the level of immersion. So it'll vary.

Tim Siglin: I think it's sort of that with Ready Player One coming out this year there's that whole question of where do we get to fully immersive? And my sense, like yours, is it's going to take some time. AR and mixed reality will probably be on the forefront for the foreseeable future.

Mark Alamares: Yeah.

Tim Siglin: So, Mark, thank you for your time. We'll be right back.

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