Marc Andreesen: Virtual Reality will be "a thousand times better" than Augmented Reality

marc andreessen

Marc Andreessen, a pillar of Silicon Valley, predicted that virtual reality will become “a thousand times bigger” than augmented reality.

Holiday season is over, but prediction season is in full swing, especially for the tech field. Both consumers and professionals are outlining their predictions for 2019’s technological landscape. That landscape is historically capricious, but Marc Andreessen, who’s had skin in the game for a very long time, holds a little more water when it comes to predicting what’s next.

It was on the a16z podcast, co-founded by Andreessen and Ben Horowitz, where Andreessen predicted VR’s outpacing of AR. I think AR has tons of potential applications, both at work and at home. [But] I think VR is going to be about 1,000 times bigger. In the Valley right now, this is a very contrarian view. The general theme that you hear is that AR will be bigger than VR…

"I just think that’s only true for people who live in a really interesting place in the real world. But only something like .1 percent and 1 percent of people on Earth live in a place where they wake up every morning and think, Wow, there are so many interesting things to see."

“So for everyone who doesn’t already live on a college campus or in Silicon Valley or in a major other city, the new environments we’re going to be able to create in VR will inherently be much more interesting. And there will be a lot more of them.”

Andreessen was the co-founder of the Mosaic web browser (later renamed Netscape) which launched him into commercial success in 1995. Currently, he is a venture capitalist who keeps his finger on the pulse of the tech world. When someone who understands the business says something totally opposite to what everyone else is thinking, you sit up and pay attention.

AR was adopted much more readily by producers and consumers, partly because it is more accessible (all it needs is a phone, and no bulky, expensive headset). VR is edging out of its experimental phase as costs lower and developers use VR to its fullest potential. Beat Saber, essentially VR Guitar Hero, is widely loved and praised.

Will 2019 be the year virtual reality hits its stride? Tell us in the comments below.

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Kasey Smith


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