#44: Simon Solotko on Kickstarter marketing insights, crossing the marketing chasm from innovators & early adopters to the early majority, & the future of blending AR with VR in public spaces

Simon Solotko is a marketer and product manager who has been involved in a number of various VR-related Kickstarters including the Virtuix Omni & Sixense STEM. He first got into immersive gaming through his work at AMD, and eventually connected with Sixense Entertainment through the Razer Hydra and eventually got onto their board of directors.

Simon-SolotkoHe sees that in the long-term, the applications that solve real problems for consumers are going to blend augmented reality and virtual reality. He started All Future Parties to incubate and accelerate VR/AR projects, but also create his augmented reality project that involves broadcasting social data on wearable screens.

Simon talks about the changing market and audience for Virtual Reality as it moves from the innovators and early adopters and starts to cross the chasm into the early majority. He observes that VR is so exciting for people, and they’re really curious to try it out. But everyone who tries it, isn’t going to immediately go buy a VR HMD. He predicts that it’ll be seeded through gaming and education, and slowly expand into solving other problems from there.

Finally, he talks about future integrations of social data with AR and it’s finer-grained control over the identity that you’re broadcasting to others, as well as the future of using augmented and virtual reality technology in public spaces and the social awkwardness barrier that is there.

Reddit discussion here.


  • 0:00 – Intro. Runs All Future Parties. Helps out with Kickstarter campaigns. On board for Sixense. Helped the Virtuix Omni Kickstarter. Works on parties with similar DNA. Worked on computer vision and AR that recognizes visual markers so that people can have wearable screens to broadcast social data. Announced a VR project of Presence at SVVRCon.
  • 1:49 – What is Presence? Connecting technology to motion to your mind. Help you feel more in the moment. Cut teeth on motion control, and working on peripheral problems
  • 2:33 – How did you get involved with Sixense and VR? Worked with AMD. Developed processors in AMD line. Got interested in immersive gaming experiences. Use AMD booth to create a holodeck presentation at E3. Got interested in immersion, and control interfaces. Sought out Sixense team when found the Razer Hydra
  • 4:05 – How did Oculus Rift change what you were doing? Working on MakeVR and STEM controllers for years. When the Rift came to Kickstarter, things got hot and fire started. People got a lot more interested in Sixense technology and Razer Hydra sold like mad. Got into crowdsourcing, and came to incubate VR companies.
  • 5:40 – What is the value proposition and marketing messaging that is resonating with VR audience? Moving from innovators & early adopters to everyone. Can make a product play if you’re contributing to VR. There will be more of a fusion of AR and the cloud in the future. Gaming matters. Immersive content and great visual experiences. Solving real problems with VR has a lot of potential. How does it get broader and how will larger audience respond.
  • 7:30 – Cross the chasm from innovators and early adopters and into the early majority? You can try out VR from people who own a VR HMD. People are excited about trying it. Trying an experience is different than owning an experience. See it, and then make a decision. Lots of people will try, but not everyone will buy it. Gaming has been a leader in new immersive experiences.
  • 9:14 – All Future Parties – VR gives you the most sense of presence. How will you blend in AR? It’s a set of ideas. Delivering useful stuff to consumers means crossing a lot of boundaries from AR, VR to mobile. Forcing the breakdown, mobile devices will be great VR screens, but also have a camera that can provide an AR experience. Everything will have a camera and VR will be mixed with AR.
  • 11:17 – Social networking tying in social data? Foundational ideas is that we’ll have wearable devices and screens that we can use for social signaling, which is more secure than facial recognition because it’s a personal mapping. With All Future Parties, people can choose to broadcast a certain amount of information allocated by the cloud. Do the recognition at up to 20ft
  • 13:12 – VR potential is limitless. Walk around all day in VR where you see a video stream that you can overlay with AR, but that’s socially awkward. Starts with games and educational experiences. Eventually are going to be able to augment at any moment.
  • 14:10 – Causal AR/VR use in public spaces. It’s a little freaky. A mobile phone provides distance, but worn displays encompass your entire field of view. Mobile phones and AR isn’t as invasive as VR. People constantly looking at their phones, and it’s going to get worse. There’s sensory distance, and it’s a big step to go from there to putting it on our face and it’s going to start with gaming.

Theme music: “Fatality” by Tigoolio