Why the popularity of virtual reality is taking longer than expected

New technology is taking longer than expected to gain popularity in the market; we take a look at why that might be.

Virtual reality is something that was in the pipeline for years, with many waiting in anticipation for it to actually become a reality. It was always going to happen with developers talking for a number of years on how it could be integrated with current technology and how it could improve and enhance modern day life and experiences even including shopping. For all the hype that surrounded the prospect of virtual reality, it hasn’t been as popular as some people imagined. In fact, many actually feel it will take a number of years before VR becomes hugely popular.

One reason why virtual reality hasn’t really taken off yet is the cost. The headsets will set people back quite a bit and some only work with other devices such as a PlayStation 4s or a VR ready PC. This means that even more money will need to be spent in order to access a virtual reality experience.

Some headsets gave the users issues in general. Some were too heavy, some pulled on people’s hair, and some weren’t suitable for people wearing glasses. These issues put people off buying VR products. Another concern was motion sickness. Virtual reality displays refreshing was causing a latency effect. This for many people was enough to bring on symptoms of motion sickness. Users were left feeling uncomfortable and they didn’t enjoy the experience as they should have.

It wasn’t just the hardware holding virtual reality back though. The content was hit and miss too. Consumers want content that will use virtual reality to its full potential or as close to it as possible. People know that there are endless possibilities from gaming to watching movies. So before they spend a lot of money of virtual reality devices, they want to know that the content stacks up or what’s the point?

The popularity of virtual reality has so far just stuttered along. With both hardware and content being improved massively over recent times it is sure to grow faster than ever before. Experts are predicting that products such as Oculus Rift and HTC Vive will go a long way in establishing virtual reality in today’s market. Although others believe that even though VR will grow in popularity, it will take quite a few years for it to become mainstream.

There are many other businesses and industries that are preparing for the day when the VR craze does become a reality, although it’s still difficult to tell whether VR is worth the investment. However, online game development companies like Net Entertainment have already embraced the technology and one can expect that it is only a matter of time when other online casino operators will be offering some range of VR games to their players.

The Virtual Reality Industry Report of 2016 it showed that there is likely to be around 37 million VR headsets in use by the end of 2020; with hyper-growth possibly six to eight years away. In the five years following 2020, they did predict a rapid growth which could potentially see around 136 million virtual reality headsets in use by the end of 2025. If the hardware continues to improve and evolve and the content follows suit, there’s no reason why these figures can’t become a reality.

Further reading on virtual reality

Owen Gough, SmallBusiness UK

Owen Gough

Owen was a reporter for Bonhill Group plc writing across the Smallbusiness.co.uk and Growthbusiness.co.uk titles before moving on to be a Digital Technology reporter for the Express.co.uk.

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