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Virtual reality needs to simplify to be successful

Virtual Reality Needs to Simplify

Interesting summary from a study done by the BBC that followed eight teenagers and eight adults using Virtual Reality over 3 months.

As is often the case with new technology (and potential new revenue streams), we get a lot of hype and big stats thrown around in the early days and consequently see a lot of pretty dismal attempts at building new services for that technology.

This is normally because of the catch-22 situation with new media channels in that most don’t want to risk big investments early on in case it doesn’t take off, but the requirement remains to have SOMETHING to demonstrate its capabilities and try to generate usage and demand to make investments worthwhile.

As developers explore the new possibilities, you tend to find that early services and applications lack context, reasoning and great customer experiences. They tend to feel more like they have been built just to showcase what the tech can do – regardless of whether it’s useful to anyone or not.

It’s not until we can obtain and analyse consumer interaction, choice and behaviours that we start to see genuine reasons WHY to build something and new ideas start to have consumer context!

I have always believed that the key to successful adoption of any new <media-based> technology is designing and developing ideas and services that are driven by consumer context and behaviours, not tech or business objectives, which more often than not, is the reality.

Not surprising then to see that this BBC study echoed similar findings summarising that really, only “certain kinds” of VR experiences had the potential to add value to people’s media habits. It cited things like walking in someone else’s shoes for better understanding, experiencing something you normally wouldn’t or couldn’t and learning more effectively.

More relevant I think, it cautioned that there was still a need for higher quality content that was ‘worth the effort’ to the potential audience – especially as VR has the added adoption barrier of requiring separate hardware.

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