Executives Voice Out Their Thoughts on Virtual Reality Challenges
By 2020, the virtual reality and augmented reality market revenue is estimated to be $120 billion, says Digi-Capital. However, they are still very pristine. A few executives at the DigidayVR conference in New York were asked what they perceived were the biggest virtual reality challenges they have ever encountered. A good number of them named ignorance, cost, and complication.
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Biggest Virtual Reality Challenges
Ignorance Isn’t Bliss
The executives believe that people being unaware of what the VR world really is has always been one of the virtual reality challenges they continue to face.
“One of the biggest challenges is awareness. When you walk into a coffee shop and ask people there if they know VR, probably 20 percent don’t have a good answer, let alone know how VR works. We should definitely work as an industry to educate people on VR. For example, publishers should at least introduce 360-degree videos to get their readers familiar with VR experiences that are totally different from traditional 2D films. Then they can introduce full VR experiences by developing a mobile app,” stated Kelly Andresen, vice president and head of branded content Gannett.
“For brands and publishers that want to get into VR, cost and time is a big hurdle. It’s hard to find producers who have professional experiences in VR, and it costs hundreds of thousands of dollars to get started. I’ve never heard a piece of VR content that cost less than $150,000,” Gannett continued.
Dave Meeker, vice president of innovation at Isobar, shared another one of the hardest virtual challenges to date. He declared, “The biggest challenge is having consumers adopt the VR hardware without the content being there first, while agencies and brands are afraid to produce the content until enough consumers have adopted the hardware. It’s a chicken-and-egg situation.”
“From a creative perspective, it’s expensive, complicated, and risky to produce professional VR experiences. You need frame rates that are high enough, but you should be aware not to cause viewers headache. Cost is a challenge as well. Shooting a 360-degree video is very affordable, but a computer-generated VR activation that is combined with gaming elements needs serious investment. Because it involves the complexity of both making video games and shooting films,” Meeker added.
Meeker shared that besides the more known virtual reality challenges, a company’s financial capability is something that has to be taken into consideration too. He said, “Agencies have lots of good ideas, but it could cost lots of time and millions of dollars to execute those ideas. So should I create good stuff knowing that not everyone is able to use it? If I’m the CFO of a company, the answer is no. If I’m the chief experience officer of a company, the answer is yes.”
Clear and Precise Intentions
“Consumer awareness is less of a concern in my opinion because big tech companies like Facebook, Google, and Microsoft are all pushing VR. VR is a scattered market. So many organizations are jumping into it because everyone is doing it. To create really compelling VR content, you need to figure out what VR experience you want to deliver and how you are going to deliver it because there are six different types of headsets in the market,” says Julian Reyes, Fusion’s lead VR producer .
Lack of Adequate Trials
“The biggest challenge for VR as a consumer medium is getting people to try it with a headset. Of course, there are some VR-light experiences that people can easily have on desktop and mobile, like 360-degree videos, which can be created with an array of GoPro Hero cameras,” stated Todd Krieger, director of emerging technology, Deep Focus.
Contrary to what people think, although virtual reality has indeed become a booming industry, there are still virtual reality challenges that need to be overcome. Nevertheless, we can trust that these companies and everyone involved in the VR business will never give up until they find solutions to these problems.