The VR/AR and now SC (Spatial Computing) market has been a puzzle to many major tech and advertising companies. Despite the conviction that this is a profitable market, the major challenge is that there is no clear justification for the behavioral adjustment required for it to be adopted as a general-purpose interface. The number of devices sold so far does not impress, as only a small number of people, especially young people with disposable income, can be sold on anything. This is a tech that is being pushed onto people rather than being pulled.
However, history has proven that some things were pushed before they were pulled, such as buying things online. People were once skeptical about online shopping, and some still are, but it has become a norm in our daily lives with the necessary updates and regulation. The promise of VR is to unlock a world free of the constraints of physics, but whether it can replace actual physical reality is yet to be seen.
There have been efforts to create demand for VR outside gaming, but it is not as successful. However, there is a potential market for VR in remote working, where the ability to work from any rental where you can plop a keyboard and laptop without having to deal with bad desk height and non-adjustable chair/lack of monitors is huge. If VR can solve this, many people would buy into it.
The market for VR is still in development, and devices are getting refined as there is an anticipated growing demand for an alternative computer interface. Although the adoption of VR may be hard to predict, there is a long history of things being pushed hard and finally breaking through, becoming a near-universal norm.
Overall, VR has potential, but it still has a long way to go to become a general-purpose interface. It needs to provide clear indicators that it is an empowering piece of tech and a major new mode in our interface with computing. Only time will tell whether VR can deliver on its promise.
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Author Eliza Ng