Is virtual reality on the verge of triumphing as the next entertainment experience to enchant a mass public? Global Web Index (GWI) says affordability, software performance, and content will decide the question – and that the best bet as competitors race to dominate virtual reality is to focus on delivering the experience to consumers on their smartphones.
Success, the report predicts, will mandate engineering a vivid, top-quality virtual reality experience on mobile devices, rather than on personal computers and gaming consoles. The takeaway for market research is that there’s a new opportunity, because developers of content, software and hardware alike, along with retailers, all will have a stake in staying closely on top of consumer sentiment about virtual reality as a whole.
Here are some of the insights GWI is offering on the opportunities and challenges that virtual reality presents:
- “For VR to make it to the mainstream, developers need to look at it from the perspective of the consumer.”
- That ultimately means targeting consumers on the devices they are already use, which makes the smartphone the strongest contender.
- At the moment, Google’s smartphone-focused “Daydream” headset “holds the most intrigue” in the race to “bring high-quality smartphone-enabled VR to the masses.”
- Although “the buzz surrounding VR and AR has been intensifying for some time…it’s difficult to ignore the hurdles that stand in the way of it achieving mainstream adoption.”
- “The biggest of all is a lack of quality, compelling content.”
- “Investment may have poured into the hardware supporting the tech, but the same cannot be said for the content across different genres.”
Based on past experiences in entertainment in the smartphone sphere, virtual reality’s potential does seem vast. We already know that smartphone users everywhere will flock to good content and smoothly-functioning technology when it reinforces consumers’ demonstrated delight in their phones. Smartphones are where entertainment consumption increasingly happens – Americans already are spending an average of more than two hours a day having media experiences on mobile apps. It’s only logical that virtual reality will succeed to the extent it can provide mobile experiences equal to or better than the ones mobile consumers already enjoy.
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