Call it early fatigue, the trough of disillusionment , or simple lack of outreach and understanding, but virtual reality (VR) is facing some key challenges on its road to mass adoption.
At the recent Virtual Reality Los Angeles (VRLA) conference and expo many companies were on hand to demonstrate the latest developments in consumer and enterprise VR and augmented reality (AR), but experts also agreed that VR and AR have some very key hurdles to overcome for businesses and consumers to get fully on board with the technology.
During a VRLA keynote presentation, John Riccitiello, CEO of Unity, told the audience that VR is entering a “gap of disappointment,” but it won't last very long. Unity makes the graphics engine of the same name that is behind many VR and AR applications out today. “One of the challenges w'e're facing right now is there's so much enthusiasm that people are forecasting crazy stuff,” Riccitiello said. However, he added mass adoption of VR is an inevitability if some basic conditions are met – which he believes will happen sometime in the next two years.
1.) VR Needs to Be Cheaper
VR right now comes at too high of a price point for many.
A lot of big investors like Google and Facebook have pumped billions into the VR market, allowing for some very powerful hardware like the Oculus Rift to hit the market in the last year. The issue, according to Riccitiello, is that consumers weren't quite ready for it all.
“Price and content are absolutely critical for understanding whether our industry is going to get to maturity,” Riccitiello said. “ When you're spending $1500-2000 for a new tower PC as well as all the sensors and tethering for a head-mounted display [HMD], that's a lot of money! It's hard to come up with a product of any type, besides a car, that sells at volume at that price point.”
|Unity CEO John Riccitiello told an audience at VRLA 2017 that VR will make big strides toward mass adoption in the next two years. (image source: Design News)|
The good news is that is has given VR developers the chance to learn. For Riccitiello there are two promises that need to come for VR – that of the first 100 million users, and that of the next 100 million. But how do you get there? “ You need a comprehensive solution that includes CPU, GPU, HMD, that costs $1000 or less,” he said.
Take this from an enterprise perspective, where a design team may require several VR machines for its workflow and the price issue only compounds. Speaking to Design News at VRLA, Frank Soqui, general manager of the VR and Gaming Group at Intel, agreed. “From the enterprise perspective I would