What Can We Learn From WordPress To Boost the VR Content Market?
Content Management Systems today look nothing like they did several years ago. They have completely changed the world of websites, and because of them creating online content is no longer a magic power exclusive to developers.
We are about to experience the same changes for more immersive technologies such as VR, AR, and MR.
The ingredients are all there for the new market to surge, but it lacks structure: there are game engines like Unity and Unreal, dozens of platforms for VR/AR creation without programming skills like BrioVR, and platforms for quick and easy VR management like Varwin. What doesn’t exist (yet) is one clear approach that allows anyone to create VR/AR content. This is exactly what Content Management Systems have enabled with the growth of WordPress.
WordPress’s mission statement seems clear today, but back in 2003 it sounded wild:
“WordPress provides the opportunity for anyone to create and share, from handcrafted personal anecdotes to world-changing movements. People with a limited tech experience can use it “out of the box”, and more tech-savvy folks can customize it in remarkable ways.”
This is essentially the same mission as VR/AR today.
The opportunity for absolutely anyone, from a geeky developer to an old farmer, to create VR/AR projects using the same platform sounds a bit crazy.
How Can We Apply the Concept Of CMS To VR/AR Content Creation?
The VR/AR/MR market is evolving quickly.
While most people don’t ever think about the differences between these technologies, experts have already united these abbreviations with the term XR (Extended Reality).
Some experts predict that soon we’ll get rid of these abbreviations and will just have one Reality, which will augment, mix, and show the virtual world in a novel and seamless way. Once we have that, welcome to the era of Reality Management Systems, where anyone will be able to create their worlds, games, and professional projects using 3D templates and virtual scenes.
Today’s VR content market is in the same place that the website market was years ago: when only developers could produce decent sites with great design and structure while common users could barely create a simple landing page with clunky design.
There are some VR CMS tools on the market today. At this point, most of them allow managing 360 videos and using 3D objects. They give some flexibility, but not enough freedom to create complex scenarios and interactive stories. Most of the VR CMS or drag-n-drop tools today are just like landing page tools from years ago: they give a taste of how the future could look, allowing you to dip your toe into the innovation pool but preventing you from diving deeper.
Unlike VR CMS tools, Reality Management Systems will allow creating projects with complex logics in both VR and AR, or whatever these will be called in a few years.
How Can We Repeat the CMS Success Story With RMS Tools?
So what do we have to do to boost the market further and make RMS as revolutionary and game-changing for XR as CMS was years ago for websites? Let’s look for the secret sauce in the CMS ecosystem and how its ingredients caused the market to change.
A typical Сontent Management System has two components: the front-end user interface (a content management application that allows users to add, modify, or remove content even without the help of a webmaster) and a content delivery application that compiles that information and updates the website.
The same strategy can easily work with RMS: one side is for non-programmers, another one does the magic and brings these creations to life.
The most popular content management system today is WordPress. It is used by more than 30% of all websites on the Internet. In layman’s terms, WordPress is a website playground where everyone can create anything from a simple sandcastle (landing page) to a huge megacity (complex websites).
The main features of WordPress include plugin architecture and a template system. The closest tool to WordPress in the XR world is the Varwin platform. Just like in WordPress, it has an interface-like template system, where users can manage content without writing a single line of code — only instead of web themes Varwin houses VR scenes and objects. Plugin architecture in WordPress enables extended features and functionality for websites. Instead of this, Varwin has a plugin for Unity, which allows for adding new logics, interactivity, scenes, and objects that can be used in the future. This part usually requires some code as it creates the basis for non-coding users.
The WordPress plugin architecture also enables users and developers to share their own plugins with the rest of the community, thus expanding the functionality of WordPress. The Varwin VR platform also grows and expands its functionality thanks to the community: developers can contribute and reuse objects, logics, and scenes. This makes VR creation a much easier and quicker process.
The Power Of Community
WordPress has pushed forward thanks to a huge community of contributors that made it the most popular solution for website creation.
Just like websites, the VR world needs its developers and community to push the ecosystem forward and make it open for everyone.
The story of WordPress tells us how open source communities collaborate to make something huge and complex and then make it work smoothly. The WordPress project is driven by a community of dedicated developers, users, and supporters.
When WordPress developers started the project, they hardly expected that they were about to start a journey that would eventually help millions of users around the globe, create thousands of jobs, and boost a whole industry of developers, designers, writers, bloggers, and web publishers.
“We believe great software should work with minimum set up, so you can focus on sharing your story, product, or services freely” — says the WordPress mission statement. This statement is more than applicable to the XR ecosystem. Once we have an engaged community and a good user interface for VR platforms, everything else will work automatically. Sharing stories in VR and AR just like you share your Instagram stories, creating VR business projects in minutes — this all is just around the corner. Reality Management Systems are already here to boost the XR market. Now is your chance to become part of this revolution.
This article was originally posted on Hackernoon: https://hackernoon.com/wordpress-lessons-applicable-for-vr-sz1k541kk