WHY VIRTUAL REALITY may not become ENTERTAINMENT’S REALITY


vrhandrawn

The tech and media sectors readily anticipate the next big thing! Willing to embrace it.

These sectors are obvious fans of innovation, which in part, helps to keep them thriving.

In 2016, there has been a lot of buzz about media trends such as Virtual Reality (VR) which was liberally highlighted at the 2016 Mobile World Congress (MWC), by multiple tech players including: Facebook, HTC, LG, Samsung, and more. These companies had consumer models of their VR headsets on show at the Congress. The buzz generated at the Congress has rapidly spread through many media and technology circles and consumer groups especially with gamers (video and professional).

In an earlier arttcle, I explained the 3 key spheres of influence in media’s creation and consumption and their various needs.

For those who haven’t got the time or patience to read the post (it’s worth reading!), the 3 spheres (a.k.a. categories) are content creators, providers and consumers.

Amidst a variety of demands and needs, all 3 categories share one common need – MONEY – which comes in various forms for the 3 categories: royalties, revenue, or price.

Obviously for the first two categories, their desire for money is onwards and upwards.

Whilst for the latter category of consumers their desire for money is backwards and downwards!

There is also the fourth (perhaps silent?) category of INVESTORS.

Understandably, for investors their desire for money is the same as creators and providers.

For a media venture or new technology to achieve real success, it ideally has to satisfy the needs (not just money) of all the three key categories – creators, providers and consumers.

Typically creating a ‘happy balance’ that satisfies the money needs of all three categories seems like a big feat. So, when you throw in the fourth category of investors, it could easily become a herculean task! Tumbling share prices of cable giants is clear evidence of this (see previous post).

So, why is Virtual Reality seen as the ‘next big thing’ in media and entertainment?

Mainly because Virtual Reality is currently seen as the answer to creating a ‘happy balance’ – in other words, a perfectly positioned four legged stool for all participating categories – content creator, provider, consumer and investor.

As observed in an article by MoneyWeek, “virtual reality is on the verge of going mainstream”, “critics love them”, “developers are already producing a flood of games for each system,” and by 2020, the size of virtual reality’s headset market is estimated to achieve $2.8bn to $30bn.

In a convincing discussion that I had with a friend who is a media expert with 20 years industry experience, he informed me of how he and the rest of the industry are witnessing an increasing consumer thirst for immersive media and visceral technologies.

This is all good news for Virtual Reality – surely.

Yes. But.. Not quite yet…

My hesitation (not doubt – just hesitation) to conclude that Virtual Reality is a done deal – comes down to one key category of influence – CONSUMERS.

All the excitement amongst content creators, providers and even investors MUST BE carried into AND SUSTAINED within consumer circles.

These are not necessarily the consumers groups that attend the MWC or other technology show events. But the everyday consumers that need entertainment in the comfort of their homes, or during their daily commute.

Yes, the adept and not so adept (a.k.a. casual) gamers, movie watchers, etc.

For Virtual Reality to become the entertaining reality of these critical groups of consumers, it should solve their needs for:

  • convenience (e.g. comfort, stylish)

cheap prices

Do present day ‘goggle like’ VR headsets priced around $399 for top of the range headsets, fulfil both criteria? Time will tell.

As a media sector enthusiast, I heartily appreciate the efforts of everyone who are making this breakthrough technology that is Virtual Reality happen.

And like a typical media participant caught up in my own Oliver Twist moment (see previous post)

I want MORE! Or maybe less…

More innovation leading to less… smaller headsets and smaller prices

These two factors could transform Virtual Reality, into the entertaining reality of the mass consumers.

See how students at Stanford University are innovating with VR. #sharedsentiments

 


Article adapted from original LinkedIn post by Linda Unugboke

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/why-virtual-reality-may-become-entertainments-linda-unugboke

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