[Link] Not being there: on prophylactic media and remoteness

In promising to eliminate distance, virtuality also promised to erase the difference between presence and absence. We would always be there, wherever “there” happened to be. That seemed plausible when our virtual selves were engaged in the traditional pursuits of media — news and entertainment, play and performance, information production and information gathering — but it was revealed to be an illusion as soon as social media became our means of living. Being remote is a drag. The state of absence, a physical state but also a psychic one, is a state of loneliness and frustration, angst and ennui.

Also:

The architecture of Zoom is the architecture of the panopticon.

And, then, kind of a sudden turn at the end of the piece.

Original source: Not being there: on prophylactic media and remoteness

~9m/yr. VR unit shipments in context


Simon Sharwood pulls together some shipment numbers to put VR headset shipments in context.

The tl;dr on annual shipments: 9.2m VR headsets, vs. 135.6m wearbles, vs. ~1.5bn smartphones.

Details

VR headsets have a runrate of, like, 9.2m units:

Virtual reality headsets are moving at a rate of 2.3 million a quarter

But, fast growing:

IDC says shipments are up 77.4 per cent year over year.

Meanwhile, wearables are at something like “33.9 million shipments a month,” like a runrate of 135.6m units.

Meanwhile, taking from this year’s Internet Trends report (sourced from Morgan Stanley), smart phone shipments are under 1.5bn, though slowing in growth:


And then smartphone shipments from IDC (probably where Morgan got those numbers):

For the full year [of 2016], the worldwide smartphone market saw a total of 1.47 billion units shipped, marking the highest year of shipments on record, yet up only 2.3% from the 1.44 billion units shipped in 2015.

Source: Virtual reality headsets even less popular than wearable devices