Location-based VR, coming soon to a cinema near you
Leen Segers

Well I must admit, I had a completely different thought about that “location-based VR” might be.

Although any form of revenue is worth while, this concept misses the mark. Setting up shop in high trafficked areas or co-located with industries that one would assume would share some interest in VR’s success seems like and old school approach to a new concept. It’s outbound marketing in an increasingly inbound world.

I get it though. Arcades helped spawn console gaming, so why wouldn’t it work for VR? After all, if you break this concept down that’s what it amounts to.

Here’s why. Like mobile phones, VR can’t be likened to just one industry. Mobile phones didn’t take off because of pay phones or public call offices (PCOs). Likewise, console gaming probably didn’t really spawn from arcades — they were merely novelty.

Great, erect some VR popups and do some outbound marketing (it’s still worthy marketing technique, albeit aging), but it will just be a blip on the radar.

I’m not sure what the best approach would be, but I think we need to think beyond old techniques. The perfect solution (if one exists) will have more to do with form-factor than exposure. There’s no way in hell we’ll see mass adoption of VR in its current form. People aren’t going to fork out $1,600+ to get into an HMD. PSVR will help, but it won’t be the home run creators are waiting for. It will need to offer more than just hardware. I’m not talking about content, rather a function.

Phones connected people and moved data, in real time (or near-real time). They brought the Internet to our palms. TVs put faces to voices and allowed for viewers to better understand other’s emotions (fiction and non-fiction). Where does VR fit in this progression and thus win the status of “mass adoption?”

We need to figure out what Virtual Reality can provide to people beyond hardware and then shape the hardware to do that well.

Thanks for the post!

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