Despite VR struggling to survive in the 80s, Google believed it could be a part of reviving the technology. With a number of industries and games providing support for the device, there was an opportunity for VR to make a strong comeback. What happened?
I picked up a VR headset when the Pixel came out. I was one who used the work around to get it working on my Nexus 6P. At the time I saw the potential for such a device. With media and games, the user felt like they were right there apart of the action. Literally from your living room you could explore a museum, cave, or foreign country. The appeal was very promising.
Unfortunately the technology could not overcome a few setbacks. One setback was trying to handle the motion sickness people felt. Despite how cool things looked, after 10 minutes the headset had to come off. And it didn’t help when the device itself got hot from trying to process all of the VR content. As the device got hot, the performance of the device dropped with the temperature of your face rising. All that led to an uncomfortable feeling. This led for less people wanting to experience VR beyond curiosity.
People like to get together, have a few drinks, and enjoy games. This could be a great device that would have fit into that mode. Unfortunately viewers could not share in what the wearer was experiencing. So outside of laughing at the person spinning around in circles, there was no way to truly share in the experience. Had there been a way that the display could be mirrored to a display (TV), the audience could share in the experience providing for a more social way to enjoy VR.
Apple wouldn’t play
As much as we Android fans hate to admit it, where Apple goes the industry follows. Though Apple is not the first, their stamp of approval carries a lot of weight. Google Wallet did not get fully embraced until Apple Pay came onto the scene. Now everywhere I go and use Android Pay, people ask if I used Apple Pay. So when Apple chose to focus more on ARkit versus VR, people were left questioning if VR was truly the future.
With Virtual Reality the user can not see around them, putting them in a situation to run into walls and furniture. But with Augmented Reality, the wearer transform the world around them so to bring the item to their setting. AR is opening the door for retailers to provide shoppers a way to see what they are buying in real space, despite the item physically not being there. Apple saw the future being AR, and it looks as if they gambled right (yet again).
I think VR will stick around as a niche device. There are useful utilities for the technology. I personally enjoyed using it at the Super Bowl Experience in Atlanta. But outside of it having a small niche of fans, the tech is going to fizzle out. Google isn’t pushing it as much anymore, as well as the other VR companies out there. But I am curious how many of you out there are still using your VR headsets.