Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, VR technology has experienced a notable uptick in users as more companies and individuals begin to utilize the technology than ever before. However, in the last decade, it hasn’t quite taken off, as well as experts initially predicted it would.
At Crypto Rebel, we’ve been using virtual reality tech to host our signature VR + Online Immersive Pitch Showcase events for over eight months now, and while it’s proven to be significantly better at providing a more intimate setting for business than Zoom or other video conferencing platforms, it’s still a long way from being perfect.
Here are three hurdles we’ve discovered while using the tech that we believe are currently holding it back from achieving wider adoption.
The concept of virtual reality has been around for a while, but it never really became as popular as inventions like email or instant messaging apps.
Having a PC or a mobile phone is a household staple today, but unlike an email, VR can’t be broadcast to those devices worldwide, making its outreach to potential adopters difficult.
A VR headset has to be tried on in person to get a real idea of what the experience is like, forcing the industry to rely on early adopters and then word of mouth to get other people into it. Besides, the way that we view VR content is also not ideal. Headsets are clunky and difficult to take along with you to show your friends in a public setting. In addition to this, there isn’t any pre-existing tech like it that could help make the transition towards VR easier for new users.
Not Enough VR Content
We’ve now come to the chicken or the egg scenario. One major issue that VR faces is the lack of quality content, which ties back overall awareness. Because of the general lack of awareness, companies are focusing more on traditional mediums than on VR. This means fewer people are interested in it, which means fewer companies are encouraged to create engaging, creative content around it.
For those companies that are creating content in VR, a significant chunk of it just is not compelling enough to convince people to drop consoles and move across.
There are countless demos, games, and videos available right now where you put on a headset and simply look around. You’re stuck in place at the center of a 360-degree space and are limited to looking around and maybe using joysticks to interact with the world.
We have some great examples where this isn’t the case, like The Void in Santa Monica, California. However, they are the exception to the rule.
It Doesn’t ‘Just Work’
This is the main hurdle that we have experienced first hand. Many times, especially for new users, accessing VR platforms and trying on VR technology is anything but a smooth sail.
More established mediums in virtual meetups like Skype are pretty straightforward today, and accessing it is pretty simple for most people, regardless of whether it is their first time. However, VR technology still has a long way to go before reaching this level.
That being said, there has been A LOT of progress in this area, and sometimes using new tech requires some degree of specialist knowledge and a willingness to get past the initial learning phase. However, until it becomes simple enough that your grandparent can use it without any issues, VR will likely remain a niche industry for gamers and tech enthusiasts.