The Physical Limitations Hindering VR From Getting Wildly Popular
With all the great news about VR it seems like we’re coming into the golden age we’ve long awaited. An age where we’ll go to school, work, and play with our friends all from the comforts of our home. Oh wait, that was 2020 and it sucked. While there are a slew of great looking VR games coming out, virtual reality use is not as widespread as VR gaming developers dreamed.
Nearly 1 in 5 Americans have tried Virtual Reality. And most of them reported that they liked the experience too. So why aren’t more people playing? True, a lot of VR is being used for commercial purposes, like virtual tours of properties and vacation sales. There are two major factors that play into VR’s barrier of useability for the average gamer.
Number one, and we’re about to blow your minds away, but being blindfolded is pretty inconvenient. The barrier of entry to play a VR game is magnitudes higher than just sitting down on your couch and turning on your TV. A TV which you might accidentally punch, injuring yourself in the process if you’re wearing a VR headset.
And two: people just don’t love it when their fun time makes them puke. And over half of VR users report that the technology has made them queasy at least occasionally.
VR is becoming more common in the workplace, with new training techniques and immersive meetings becoming ever more prevalent in some fields. This is all well and good, but statistically, these folks are not going home and putting in a couple hours of gaming time on the Oculus at night. You literally have to pay people to use VR regularly.
“The latest virtual reality statistics show that the global market size of AR and VR is forecast to hit $296.9 billion in 2024 (Statista, 2021). This is nearly ten times the $30.7 billion market size registered as recently as 2021.” So says marketing site Oblero. This seems great right? But there’s a little key phrase in there: ‘AR’, which stands for augmented reality. This much more accessible cousin to VR includes mega popular games like Pokemon Go! (and this less popular clone made by the Christian church.) There’s a good chance AR will become a part of everyday life and VR will be relegated to a blip in history.
The market for VR is still growing, but the technology still has a long way to go in terms of lowering its barrier of entry and improving enough to not make most people occasionally want to chuck their lunch up all over the living room rug.