23 Current Business Issues

“Sometimes when you innovate, you make mistakes. It is best to admit them quickly, and get on with improving your other innovations.”  -Steve Jobs 

 

With the rapid rise of technology, physical, moral and financial issues are sure to arise. The constant Space Race that is the Tech business can either result in a company making it big or making it broke. Successful people in the tech business are some of the wealthiest in our society. Especially those in the business of Internet and video games. The next frontier for these tech gurus to strike gold is augmented reality. For augmented reality especially, there are many business issues that must be overcome for it to become a successful platform. Video games and the internet have progressed through business issues and have stood the test of time, making them highly reliable and usable. They have overcome many business issues, but they inevitably still face some.

Internet 

One of the many issues that the internet faces is regulation. There are a couple of agencies that “control” in internet. The overall governance at the moment is from a nonprofit in the United States that at one point was contracted by the federal government, but is now completely separate. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is the non-profit’s name and answers to a board of international stakeholders and many committees (Chang). This raises many debates and some argue that we have “given away the internet”. However as Ingrid Burrington (an expert on the infrastructure of the internet) puts it best: “[we are] under the impression that we owned the Internet to begin with, and we never really did. ” However, many countries around the world don’t have as many people fighting back against this because of their strict access laws. For example, in China you can be arrested for blogging or emailing about something that is going against the government. In the Middle East the federal government is creating an entire network in hopes to prevent attacks against its government. In the region of Turkestan, the governments are the only internet provider.

Another agency, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), also manages the internet. One current issue the FCC is creating is the proposed plan to end net neutrality. Internetsociety.org describes net neutrality as “… a complex and controversial topic and is an important part of a free and open Internet. Enabling access, choice, and transparency of Internet offerings empowers users to benefit from full access to services, applications, and content available on the Internet.” This is what the aim of the new FCC plan is set to demolish. The current laws, set by the federal government, prohibit ISPs or Internet Service Providers, from slowing down or blocking content that might hurt their business. For more information on this current business issue, see this article in the New York Times.

Graphical web browsers historically have not created problems for internet users but as more browsers come about, the more options consumers have to use. Which is great for competition, but can serve many tech glitch problems as new browsers introduce new ideas and old browsers try to keep up. For example, Firefox was the first competitor of Internet Explorer (IE), IE once had a monopoly believe it or not (Pavik, 149)! Now IE has less than 56% of the browser market and Google Chrome has 16%.

Broadband telecommunications costs can be high, which limits the use of something most consider a necessity to the ones who can afford it. The prices in the US are almost double compared to the prices in London, Seoul, Bucharest, and Romania. In cities like Hong Kong, Seoul, Tokyo and Paris, connection speeds are nearly eight times faster than that in the US, and still half the price (Yi).

The internet sees many different distribution dynamics across its megabits. One huge problem created by distribution networks is the illegal music “business”. This creates piracy problems not only for the artists who payed lots of money to produce their work, but also for lawmakers to prosecute those who illegally download music. These networks that share illegal music are impossible to censor or shut down.

The internet of things is the network which houses the information obtained by the tools you use by wireless devices. The fitness watch that links to your phone stores the info from your workouts and daily activities and send them to your app on your cell phone. The Roomba cleaning your floors right now stores the information of your floor layout so it doesn’t bump into your furniture or walls. This information has always had the potential to be sold or distributed and has had many scares of (inset story about scares)

Video Games 

When you think of current business issues of video games, it’s hard to find any. It seems like everyone plays video games and it is one of the biggest industries in the world today. In the US alone the video game market is $18.4 billion in 2017. One study showed that an estimated 72% of American households play video games. Globally the video game market is worth $78.61 Billion in 2017 (Fuller). When you see those statistics it’s hard to believe that there are any issues in the video game business at all. However, when you start to dig deeper, you start to find the issues behind the scenes which could have a big impact on the video game industry.

One issue that directly connects to the video game industry are the issues between video game publishers and console manufactures. One of the things that are disputed are royalty percentages and revenue shares profit split of digitally downloaded content (Greenspan). Another current business issue is the diversity issue with video games. Now, when I say “diversity problem” it has nothing to do with the games themselves. In the games themselves there is a very diverse group of characters, but behind the scenes is a very white male dominated industry. A solution to this problem is having more women and minorities taking more computer science classes because one of the factors is that there isn’t enough candidates coming in and applying for jobs (Ramanan).

Another video game business issue isn’t directly involved with the industry and that is the negative effects video games have on teenagers. There are five major ways that video games could affect teenagers; 1. They increase aggressive behavior 2. It creates social isolation 3. They teach wrong values 4. They cause poor academic performance and 5. They cause adverse health effects (Arshi). These negative effects could hurt the video game industry by influencing parents not to buy games or consoles anymore. This could really hurt the business because a good number of the video game market are teens and pre-teens who need their parents to buy games for them. Video games players need to take personal responsibility when it comes to their playing time because ultimately it could hurt the video game business. However, video games also can have a negative effect on adults. According to Dr. Brian A. Primack, A professor of medicine and pediatrics at the university of Pittsburg school of medicine, the average age of video game enthusiasts is actually 35. One study suggests that there is a correlation between regular gaming and internet use, and increased risk of depression, higher body mass index (BMI), and other negative physical and mental health issues (O’Callaghan). Studies like these could really make people have second thoughts about video games and the video game could take a big hit.

Augmented Reality 

Augmented reality and virtual reality are terms people commonly mix up and use interchangeably, however they are not the same. Virtual reality is when there is a scenario where software fully submerges you into a virtual experience, and augmented reality is when virtual scenarios are intertwined with your current living environment (Merel). Augmented reality is a newer form of interactive media, and because it is so new it currently faces several business issues.

One of the largest obstacles in the realm of augmented reality is the fact that it has not been utilized by the general public on the same scale as the internet and video games. This meaning that one of the biggest business problems is obtaining the material to experience augmented reality in an easily accessible way because there is yet to be a “hero device”. A hero device is a high quality reliable device that is manufactured by a large and trusted company. The current problems with releasing successful augmented reality devices are having an all-day battery life, being able to connect to the internet or use data effectively and efficiently, and a comprehensive system for applications (Merel). If so many have not experienced augmented reality, this is clearly an issue. Looking closer is where we find the specifics that explain why augmented reality isn’t very accessible.

At the moment augmented reality glasses are not even fully available to the public. They are still being tested and are only available for beta tests for very few people. If something is even available to the public, this means that there are problems with either its functions, or it is too expensive to produce, with either way contains a problem.

However augmented reality glassed are not the only people can experience augmented reality. One very popular platform for augmented reality if Pokémon Go. This is a game on your phone that takes the world around you with all of the user of the games so you can see yourself as a Pokémon exactly where you are, as well as the other users. This was very popular when it came out. However one major problem with this is it caused many accidents and robberies, which brought a bad attention to it (Borland). This was a form of augmented reality that was free and easily accessible to anyone who had a smartphone. Regardless of this it was impossible to ignore the negative effects it had on people.

Successful versions of augmented reality include Pokémon Go which made over $950 Million in 2016 alone (Takahashi). Other successful versions include snapchat filters that not only cover your face now but includes virtual objects into reality. But these two examples are just the most successful two that most people had encountered. Augmented reality also had many failures and has been trying to get its feet off the ground since the 1960’s (Nelson). Now new companies are trying to take claim to the idea of augmented reality. The problem with AR is its interesting and cool for a couple weeks and then most people become bored. The only approach that would somehow make it work for a long term financial standpoint is if they truly combined AR with everyday life through social media or other aspects. The Google glass idea conformed with the combining of social media and AR. There was a hype for it and it soon died. Now there is a brand called magic leap and has received over one billion dollars of funding through major companies like Alibaba and Google (Merel)). But yet again this is a game that includes bulky hardware. Style is especially important to the consumer its going to be worn in everyday life.

Conclusion 

All businesses have interactive media issues that they face. The industries of video games and the internet have progressed through business issues and have stood the test of time, making them highly reliable and usable. The internet and video games have been around for a long enough time to overcome several business issues, augmented reality has not had this much time to troubleshoot, but  technological innovations are created every day in order for it to become a successful platform. A lot of the issues with interactive media are progressively getting better, with laws that prohibit use of augmented reality during activities that require precise concentration, like driving while playing Pokémon Go. However, the issues regarding governance of the internet or the mental dysfunction that video games can cause will only continue to encounter turmoil as these problems move towards a solution.

Works Cited 

Arshi. “5 Positive And Negative Effects Of Video Games On Teenagers.” MomJunction,  21 March 2017, http://www.momjunction.com/articles/effects-of-video-games-on-teenagers_00352668/#gref.

Borland, Sophie. “Don’t Pokemon Go and Drive! More than 110,000 Road Accidents in the US Were Caused by the Game in Just 10 Days.” Daily Mail Online, Associated Newspapers, 16 September 2016, http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-3793050/Don-t-Pokemon-drive-110-000-road-accidents-caused-game-just-10-days.html.

Buell, Mark. “Policy Brief: Network Neutrality.” Internet Society , 31 May 2017, http://www.internetsociety.org/blog/2017/05/what-net-neutrality-is-and-isnt/.

Chang, Lulu. “The U.S. Government No Longer Controls the Internet.” Digitaltrends.com, 2 Oct. 2016, http://www.digitaltrends.com/web/icann-government-contract-expires/.

Fuller, Steve. “Topic: Video Gaming Industry.” http://www.statista.com/topics/868/video-games/.

Great Courses. The Internet of Things. Great Courses, 2016.

Greenspan, David. “Mastering the Game.” World Intellectual Property Organization, http://www.wipo.int/edocs/pubdocs/en/copyright/959/wipo_pub_959.pdf.

Haerens, Margaret, et al. Internet Censorship. Detroit, MI, Greenhaven Press, 2014.

Hand, Randall. “Magic Leap.” Magicleap.com, Crunchbase, http://www.crunchbase.com/organization/magic-leap.

Hanson, Matt. “What Is Augmented Reality.” Tech Radar, 20 September 2017.

Internet Issues and Trends : Selected Analyses. New York, Nova Science, 2014.

Kang, Cecilia. “F.C.C. Announces Plan to Repeal Net Neutrality.” The New York Times, 21 November 2017, http://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/21/technology/fcc-net-neutrality.html.

Merel, Tim. “The Reality of VR/AR Growth.” TechCrunch, 11 January 2017, http://techcrunch.com/2017/01/11/the-reality-of-vrar-growth/.

Nelson, Fritz. “The Timeline Of Augmented Reality – The Past, Present, And Future Of VR And AR: The Pioneers Speak.” Tom’s Hardware, 30 April 2014, http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/ar-vr-technology-discussion,review-32940.html.

O’Callaghan, Tiffany. “Playing too many video games may be bad for you too, grown ups.” Time, 18 August 2009, http://healthland.time.com/2009/08/18/playing-too-many-video-games-is-bad-for-you-too-grown-ups/.

Ramanan, Chella. “The video game industry has a diversity problem – but it can be fixed.” The Guardian, 15 March 2017.

Takahashi, Dean. “Pokémon Go Generated Revenues of $950 Million in 2016.” Venture Beat,  17 January 2017, http://venturebeat.com/2017/01/17/pokemon-go-generated-revenues-of-950-million-in-2016/.

Yi, Hannah. “This Is How Internet Speed and Price in the U.S. Compares to the Rest of the World.” Pbs.org, 26 Apr. 2016, http://www.pbs.org/newshour/world/internet-u-s-compare-globally-hint-slower- expensive.

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Introduction to Media Studies by cathieleblanc is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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