Why is the idea of ​​VR is getting closer to failure

At the junction of 2015 and 2016 all global IT-community rubbing their hands in anticipation of the VR and AR boom, because the market should have been about to enroll three large fish: HTC Vive, Sony PS VR and Oculus Rift. And this is the permanent development of Microsoft Hololens and a new generation of Google Glass. Then the virtual future seemed so bright that in today’s rare mention of it was hard to believe.

Well, let’s try to understand why it happened, that the artificial reality was closer to history than to the revolution.

For too long, the implementation

There is an economic theory that an innovative product should reach peak sales of at least 36 months after the announcement. And regarding the gadgets that means not just the start of sales, and sometimes even the release of a second, modified, taking into account customer feedback, version.

And now take a look at our products:

  • Rift was announced in 2012, went to the user’s market in March 2016;
  • PlayStation VR was first mentioned in 2014, and the development by that time was already 3 years. Release of the first production batch — October 2016;
  • HTC in this respect was a little more successful — since its release in March 2015 before the implementation took only 13 months.

To date, 2 of 3 “revolutionaries” have expended a specified 3-year-old life. HTC Vive — not yet, but the Taiwanese do not even think to fight the daunting price of $ 800 (in Russia even more — 70 thousand rubles). Time passes, the interest falls.

And even if you omit this theory, just enough to look at the media market to understand — 3D and virtual reality in 2017 not especially interesting to a wide audience, and should begin to gain market share from virtually zero. The ideal time of release was in the days of the announcement of these gadgets, but now it is just an expensive fun for a small number of geeks.

Weak activity Media

Yes, the Microsoft is still actively developing a variety of products in the ecosystem Hololens, Sony is trying not to forget the release of games for the PlayStation VR, but let’s face it — this too little to keep the interest in the products. Nothing new comes out, nothing to write about. VR You see commercials on TV, on the Internet, on billboards? It seems that now even small spaces in shopping centers, which replaced the 5D cinema, doing perhaps more advertising VR-devices than all media combined. And until you can see why the trend may change.

The gap between expectation and reality

3D-movies, in spite of the decline in interest, is still capable of surprising realism. You see “Assassin’s Creed” or new “Guardians of the Galaxy”, admire the graphics and effects. And then come home, put on a VR helmet, wanting to immerse themselves in such a realistic world, but only before you schedule many years ago, and limited opportunities. No, of course there are exceptions, but as long as the performance of iron and enthusiastic creators clearly not enough to give the term “virtual reality” laid down by the original meaning. Roughly speaking, the VR — a modernized game with a kaleidoscope, “The Matrix” effect of the existing devices are not capable of producing.

High price

One of the main arguments VR fans — technology does not develop because of the high cost of the devices. Of course, this is not the only problem, but if the cost of the devices was 5–10 times lower than they would have entered the rank of universal gifts and unnecessary purchases, which automatically reduced the requirements and would have raised the demand. So far, the most affordable option PlayStation VR will require you to the presence of the console, Oculus Rift will make you sit still in one place, and for the HTC Vive price you can fly to Paris to visit Disneyland, also at the Moulin Rouge will be. And that’s exactly leave you with a lot more experience.

Calm from Apple

Control shot in the VR head in fact, Apple has produced — perhaps the main engine of not cheap technologies. Tim Kuk has repeatedly stated that the virtual, or rather, augmented reality — a very interesting technology, and Apple are working seriously on its implementation. In fact, while it was expressed only in the purchase of the German company Metaio (software developer AR) several interesting patents and countless rumors, based on the opportunities inherent in the new iPhone, Apple Watch and EarPods.

That is, or Apple wants to bring the technology of augmented reality to perfection, or waiting while competitors throw the white flag, disillusioned with the prospects. In any case, the lack of such is now a major player among the manufacturers of “virtual” devices definitely deprives the whole market a significant demand for the technology. This is especially true of the target audience for whom the game console — not mandatory home accessories, and 70 thousand rubles — not such big money for “work of art”. That is precisely the one that is able to ensure a happy future for the technology.