What Is the Role of Service Providers in Virtual Reality?
At the INTX show in Boston, you couldn’t get very far on the floor and not come across a group of people with virtual reality headsets on their heads enjoying the experience the technology offers. The question now is whether VR is a huge content delivery opportunity, and if it is, what role do service providers play in this rising industry?
Survey Reveals Insights into the Role of Service Providers in the VR Industry
It is still very much an emerging technology, but a session at INTX’s Imagine Park tried to disclose some new insights into the issue recently. Jefferson Wang of IBB Consulting went through some of the results from a number of research recently published in the VR market well outside of gaming. A survey that included well over 1000 US online consumers and expressed interest in VR was carried out.
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Many of the respondents, which constituted about 54 percent of the whole survey population, said they believe VR is more than just a hyped thing and is here to stay longer than people think it will. However, only about 31 percent of people who have any interest in VR have actually gone ahead to try it out. More than 77 percent indicate their willingness to spend money on VR gear, and 18 percent said they can’t pay anything above $250 to try it out.
The survey also revealed that movies and TV through virtual reality accounted for almost half of the interest in almost all age groups. No other content category attracted a higher level of widespread appeal, Wang reports.
According to the numbers, the content distribution market is ripe for the taking, as the numbers indicate a majority planning to access VR. Around 55 percent plan to access VR across Internet video providers, another 41 percent plan to access it via gaming platforms, 29 percent via wireless providers, 28 percent via app stores, 26 percent via cable or satellite providers, and lastly 17 percent via social networks.
“VR is on the radar of almost every mobile, cable and media client we work with and the most frequent question we get is whether this makes sense for their business right now,” Wang observes. “Initially, IBB predicts that the VR market winners will be companies that can break down the barriers to entry with an end-to-end play.
IBB Consulting has identified what it believes to be an immediate opportunity to bridge the gap of the VR experience between the “not interested” camp and the ones that are eager to do so. The firm is pushing for an ecosystem that will leverage a retail presence and be advantageous, as they can start to reduce the complexities of getting consumers started through demos in stores, physical and online distribution, sales staff, and post-sale support.
Other presenters at the INTX ceremony showcased their gear and applications during the VR session.