Privacy and the Future of Virtual Reality – Toastmasters Speech by Geoffmobile

Geoff from shares a 7 minute Toastmasters Speech on Privacy and the Future of Virtual Reality.

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Recorded at Best Run Toastmasters, Vancouver, BC, Canada.

This is Geoff’s Level 1 Pathways Speech in Toastmasters for the “Research Your Topic” project.

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Speech Notes by Geoff Peters:

Virtual reality

1. Growth of VR
Growing – 1.5 million more users tried VR in the last 3 months, and growing

Oculus Quest is Like the first iPhone. Easy VR, no wires, self contained, many apps (growing ecosystem)

iPhone / phones resulted in location based data being collected about everyone and people aren’t so concerned (Google Location History)
Can be used for good (Covid-19 tracking)

When I first tried VR (Emily Carr/ Chinese Nightclub), I realized the amazing feeling that I was transported to a different place.

During COVID, VR gives people a way to escape their home and go somewhere else, even without leaving their home. (Virtual presence in other places).

2. Video content in VR
A big use case for VR is watching immersive videos

Watching video in VR, I noticed a lot of small details that I wouldn’t have noticed otherwise

Attention is focused on content means No other distractions.
Experience of watching videos in a movie theatre using Big screen, high resolution.

Social VR using Bigscreen, watching movies with your friends in VR.

Got together with my brother in VR and we watched Blade Runner while sitting in a forest around a virtual campfire.

3. Privacy and Analytics in VR
Data is collected on where people look in VR, and heatmaps can be generated

Great for marketers to figure out how people are engaging with their media
Attention can be measured similar to other online interactions

Analytics can be used to optimize content to make it even more compelling

VR Browsers have “Incognito mode / Privacy Mode” but this only doesn’t leave traces on the device, but the network is still tracking the user’s activity.

Central control over the devices and monitoring allows for potential abuse by governments or authorities.

With VR, hackers could take control over devices, Malware, and Viruses are still a problem and could also infect headsets.

Imagine a scenario where the user’s intimate personal preferences and what they like to look at are captured and then that data is used to market more effectively to the user. The systems may know a user better than they know themselves.

Benefits of VR outweigh the potential issues, and it is up to everyone to be aware of the new technologies and how it may affect their privacy in the future.

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