My trip to Shenzhen provided the perfect opportunity to catch up with the latest developments on our VPai 360-degree camera platform. While I can’t reveal the details yet, I’m excited by the progress that the team is making on both the hardware and the software fronts. Expect some interesting announcements in the coming months.
The work we are doing with VPai reminds me very much of the early days of the Mini-ITX over a decade ago. Rather than building end-market products, we are creating a tightly-integrated platform that our customers can use to bring their own devices to market quickly and at low cost. The big difference this time is that software plays a much greater role, and we have been making extensive investments to improve the performance and usability of the VPai app and add more features to it.
Indeed, even though we are continuing to develop new motherboards and systems for different applications, we now employ more software engineers than hardware engineers and expect this trend to continue in the future. As Mark Andreessen noted a few years ago, software is eating the world – though of course it’s important to remember that great hardware is also required to take advantage of it.
I’m looking forward to seeing the new applications and usage scenarios that will inevitably emerge as this new generation of affordable 360° cameras proliferates on the market. While it’s possible to predict what these might be in broad brush strokes, it won’t be until the rubber really starts to hit the road that we will find out exactly what they will be.