When will mobile VR really land?

Hema-VR-2-300x225There is a noticeable growth of VR taking place. The big masses are getting more and more familiar with the possibilities of virtual reality. In The Netherlands, where I live, there are obvious signs of this. HEMA, a large Dutch discount retail chain, started selling a variant of the Google Cardboard for €15,-  (https://www.facebook.com/hema/videos/890408424342498/). This  brings the VR experience to the ordinary guy or girl that owns a smartphone.

Although VR is slowly getting to the masses, in my opinion the VR market still lacks content. There are some cool apps available in the App stores, but we’re still waiting for the awesome apps that cause mobile VR to break through. I’m hopefully waiting for the first social VR community like Instagram or Vine to pop up.

Some cool VR apps I found:

  1. VRSE – awesome virtual reality clips
    1. Android: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.shakingearthdigital.vrsecardboard
    2. IOS: https://itunes.apple.com/nl/app/vrse-virtual-reality/id959327054?mt=8
  2. Insidious VR – promotion campaign for the movie Insidious 3 in virtual reality
    1. Android: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.focus.insidiousCardboard&hl=nl
    2. IOS: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/insidious-vr/id989844820?mt=8

VRSE

So see growth of audience and we got some awesome apps, why is mobile VR not booming yet?

I think one of the reasons might be that VR app developers are still searching for the right way to do user interaction in VR. Are we going to use Bluetooth controllers? Will hand gestures become the way to interact? Clicking by focussing on objects or other ways of head tracking.

Another reason might be that it’s just not very practical and not yet socially accepted to put on VR glasses. This means that app developers must provide a real benefit in VR apps before users will overcome the obstacle of putting on glasses. Currently the immersive experience in apps like VRSE and Insidious VR are providing a good enough reason. But I’m very curious about how apps that have less focus on creating an immersive VR experience will pull their users into the virtual reality. Think of VR websites or apps like weather forecasting or an app providing information about traffic jams.. What benefit will VR create for these apps?

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