Made in China, Virtual Reality…Oh My…
Virtual reality is one of those things that we have a mental image of it being immediately perfect or at least it’s supposed to offer an immersive experience that makes one feel as part of any given scene, instead of being a detached member of the audience. But one headset seems to not meet those expectations. In a clip played on LeEco’s device, the objects sometimes hop out of focus or suddenly they will vanish from view.
In the race to harvest fans for this engaging technology, hundreds of Chinese companies are launching prototypes that analysts say offer a hugely similar unsatisfying experience, which is honestly sad. The Chinese want to be the forerunners of technology and this is frankly a bad attempt. But people are still buying them left and right for the simple reason, that the price is too cheap for their own good. And you get what you pay for, obviously.
LeEco, is a company that operates a video streaming site located in Beijing, and selling the device for only twenty three American dollars. It is a headset designed to stream content from a smartphone which is similar to the Samsun version, using an app with virtual reality contents. Shenzhen, listed entertainment company Baofeng is marketing a similar product for just twenty seven American dollars. These have to be pure garbage, just by looking at the ticket price. People don’t want to spend thousands and thousands of dollars but many people would still have some comfort on dropping two or three hundred on a product that’s unique.
A search on Alibaba’s Taobao bazaar, shows that some vendors are selling for as cheap as nine American dollars although shipping to the states would probably still cost an arm and a leg. A Samsung gear, at the same time, has a price tag of $99.
Even unique models supporting a broader range of content are marketed at lower tickets. Shenzhen-based 3Glasses‘s gear costs around three hundred American dollars which seems to be a decent price tag, but the product is still absolute garbage, in terms of visual graphics, while Shanghai-based DeePoon is selling at $276. Both gadgets, developed for complicated desktop games, are made in hopes to rival Sony’s $399 Playstation headset, Facebook’s $600 Oculus Rift or HTC’s $799 Vive with that being said and what we have seen so far, they have a long ways to go before they are able to make a name and reputation for themselves.
The companies are unveiling a unique products first and worrying about quality later, which isn’t a bad concept, but that’s why you should release it in beta format in hopes of improving it instead of releasing it and hoping to make money right away.
They want to establish themselves in an evolving market with prototypes that could attract early customers, but their technologies are so far behind western companies, says Neo Zheng, senior market analyst at IDC China. “It is all about entering this market as fast as you can,” Zheng says. “But the experience they provide is limited.”