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April 7, 2017

Is Virtual Reality a Fad or the Future?

Mark Metry, Founder of VU Dream
Recently, I was working with a client, talking about the future of Virtual reality.
 
He asked me:
“Mark, is VR just some gimmick or will it actually help me in my business?”
 
I’ve talked about this plenty of times before.
Is VR a Fad or the Future?
Generally speaking, people in the VR industry say no, it’s not a fad.
 
People not involved in the industry have little no knowledge of virtual reality’s potential. At the end of the day, no one really knows what will happen to VR.
 
We can only speculate and use data to forecast the future.

Data & Statistics

Willingness to buy a VR Headset
VR Software and Hardware Size
Global AR and VR Shipment Forecasts

Opinions & Speculations

I personally think generally speaking, inventions, devices, etc withstand the test of time usually when they prove to be useful for a wide variety of people.
 
Virtual Reality is the ultimate tool for humanity. Nobody knows the full potential of VR down the road. Oculus Executive Jason Rubin says that VR is the last computing platform.
 
“There have been various computing platforms that have come over time and all of them have opened up opportunities that the previous computing platform did not. Mobile, certainly with GPS, being in your pocket and everything else that would be an example. The thing about VR is that if it really works it is a virtual reality. So anything we can imagine we can simulate in VR. We can simulate anything and because of that, it is unbounded by opportunity.” 
– Rubin
 
Rubin’s points are very precise and accurate of the future to come. Companies are investing billions of dollars in creating an industry right now in 2017. Here are some statistics from 2016.
  • There are currently 685 VR start-ups
  • The number of active VR users is forecast to reach 171 million by 2018
  • 500 million VR headsets could be sold by 2025
  • Projected that 65% of VR Content will be Non-Gaming
  • VR will be a $30 billion market by 2020,
  • 75% of the World’s Top Brands have built a VR experience
Jason Rubin Interview

Jess Mulligan

Gamer, Writer, Incessant Reader

 
In gaming, these things tend to go in 2 or 3 cycles over 2 or 3 decades to achieve success, especially when new hardware is involved.
 
The current VR hype cycle reminds me of consoles and online gaming: the concept went through 2 hype periods in the late 1980s/early 1990s and then again in the early 2000s, with predictions of 10s of millions of online console players by 2000. As always, it took years for the hardware to catch up with the hype; it wasn’t until the early 2010s that we started to see a mass market of console online gamers. That’s because the console makers finally bought in to the concept and started spending the huge wads of cash necessary to make it happen.
 
This is the 3rd time I’ve seen the “VR revolution” being hyped. There is a difference this time, however: The cost of entry is now over $1B USD, thanks to Facebook’s purchase of Oculus. Now there is real money on the table and, when you start spending big, there is a real motive to make sure you succeed big.
 
The jury is still out on whether there is a mass market here; no one has proved that 10s of millions of gamers actually want this yet. But I wouldn’t bet against it, simply because the stakes are so high this time around.
Playstation VR Gaming

Anshumali Lnu

Works at Activetainment

 
The VR technology will not only survive, it’s going to boom in the next few years. A lot of time and money is being invested into making is suitable for everyone’s use. Technology companies are pouring in to be a market leader in bringing out a cheap and viable solution.
 
Talking from the customer point of view, I have some issues with the current technology.
 
Firstly it does not suit everyone. Some people (like me) feel dizzy as soon as put the VR glasses. Technology is improving and I hope soon they will have glasses suitable for me.
 
Secondly, the cost of the current devices is very high which restricts its sale. But the good news is that the prices are expected to go down with time.
 
Third, VR glasses are changing and they are becoming more and more practical to use. For example, in the earlier glasses, water vapors from sweat would condense on the glasses and cause uneasiness. Newer glasses have proper air ventilation. Many such practical problems are tried to be tackled on newer releases of the glasses.
 
VR Technology has great potential and is just waiting for the market to provide a viable option so that it can reach everyday use. Imagine Skyping your family members with VR Glasses on and talking to their Avatar. Riding on a VR sports bike and taking a tour of the city of your choice. Or instead of going out for a walk in a bad weather, you can choose to stand on treadmill and going out for a hike with full immersive experience, Or going to a concert from the comfort of your sofa, Or instead of whatsapping your friend, sitting with them in a virtual reality and having a hearty chat with a drink.
Is VR really a Fad?

Brett Potomac

VR Consumer
 
Something few people understand about Virtual Reality is the amount of sheer space needed to have a headset. When you have it on, you are naturally going to spin around and wave your arms at stuff. It is extremely easy to sidestep a little too much and smack your hands or toes on a wall / desk. This is especially a problem with VR Touch (VR with hand controllers). I am lucky because we have a perfect space for the headset in our house, so this has never really been a problem for me.
 
Another problem that is widely scoffed at is nausea and eye strain that results from wearing the headset for too long. Seriously, after about 20 minutes, you can definitely feel your eyes starting to hurt. This is a shame, but also kind of a blessing in disguise depending on how you look at it. The eye-strain won’t let users get absorbed into a virtual world causing them to forget about actual reality.
 
Also, the last major inconvenience I see with Virtual Reality at the moment is the hardware required to run it. If your desktop isn’t absolutely up to date with the best and most current hardware— don’t buy a VR headset. You won’t be able to run it. The setup process of VR requires you to have the best of the best hardware and won’t allow you to play any games until these requirements are met. This is a humongous deterrent for Virtual Reality.
 
With all this being said!— Virtual Reality with Touch is an absolutely incredible piece of ingenuity and technology. It truly immerses you in a seemingly realistic world and puts you right in the action. It is incredible, I won’t deny it. Currently, there are a plethora of games coming out for it, which is great. I don’t see myself forgetting about my headset any time soon.
 
So- in my personal educated opinion, I don’t think Virtual Reality will go out of style anytime soon. The Kinect was awful and didn’t work most of the time. Virtual Reality absolutely works and is without a doubt among the coolest gaming experiences I have ever had and continue to have.
 
If you look online, VR is actually being used by some businesses for training purposes. For instance, it lets people practice dangerous or high-risk jobs without worrying about real life consequences (for instance: a doctor practicing a brain surgery). It is also an attraction at several museums I have been to, which is nice for people that have never had the experience of using one.
 
VR hasn’t really gotten old, and I don’t think it will. It definitely does not take the place of regular gaming, however, as it is difficult to see where you hands are placed on the keyboard. Also, nausea prevents this as well. But, I do show it to basically anyone of my friends that come over to my house. It is far better with company.
 
Sorry for the long answer, it is probably more than you could have ever wanted.
 
But, in conclusion:
 
For those of us with a VR headset- it is definitely not a trend. I won’t be giving away my headset probably ever as it actually works. It not only works, but it works incredibly well. For those without a headset, aka, most of the world, they will and probably have already lost interest in it because it does directly not impact their lives. They will still see it and enjoy it at museums and whatnot, but they probably won’t be as interested as people that own it like myself.
VR picture Subway

Ryan Borker

Founder of Shortlist; former Corp Dev at LinkedIn and Consultant at BCG
 
VR has a ton of issues preventing it from being the ‘new tech’. Remember how in 2015 people were like “VR is going to be huge” and then predicted last year (2016) VR was ‘really going to take off’ and be a consumer product.
 
How many people do you know that have an Oculus?
 
Now how many people do you know that have an Alexa?
 
Simply, this illustrates how people conflate tech trends. In most instances, virtual reality isn’t very useful. It’s a decent training tool in some environments. It’s a fun technology. It’s not particularly ‘useful’ for many businesses.
 
I would say ‘Augmented Reality’ is really the next big thing in tech, but when you consider cars, televisions, radios, etc. The current version of AR ‘technology’ doesn’t really deserve it’s own name. It’s simply ‘technology’, which has always augmented reality.
 
But the current version of combining sensors, data, and machine learning with pervasive connectivity and new display technologies (call it AR / IoT / etc.) has a lot more legs than pure VR.
 
I suspect there are plenty of people who in 2017 will found great companies today we’ll be talking about in this space in 2019–2020.
VR Fun friends

Conclusion

Check back on this page frequently for updates and additions.

We’ve seen a tremendous amount of disruptive change coming from the Virtual Reality Industry. It is surely certain that this kind of content will accelerate based on trends in the future.

You most likely have some other VR ideas that can change the world! Share them with us on social media!

Thank you for Reading

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