Until recently Virtual Reality was only on paper or in early prototype stages. Now things changed a lot. But it is still hard to say whether it will actually stick around. In other words — it is a rather perplexing moment for an industry. This is extremely problematic for anyone who is trying to do something substantial with it.
The good sign is that Augmented Reality has become a thing and there are more than one viable solutions for applying AR for business. However, it doesn’t mean it makes VR business easier to pull off.
Here’s a little list of major challenges in developing high-quality virtual reality applications.
The price of the whole affair
Development of the VR app can cost you approximately from $8,000 (for a very simple game) up to $100,000 and that’s not the limit. A basic virtual or augmented reality ecommerce shop development would be around $15-25K, depending on the requirements you have.
Talking about the consumers, you need to analyze your target audience and ask yourself a question: would they invest their money into something majority aren’t used to?
For example, if you are developing a custom VR ecommerce mobile app, would the people who use your app actually buy anything there? If your answer is yes, then great!
All in all, this is one of the things every new technology has to face. There are four major reasons for that:
- Lack of competition on the market;
- Investors concerns about industry’s prospects;
- Lack of widespread consumer acceptance (around 23% of consumers and businessesaren’t eager to accept the new tech);
- Lack of excessive demand on the consumer’s side.
Engaging, truly innovating content is the biggest challenge VR industry is now facing. There is already a killer feature — virtual reality, interaction with anything you can imagine.
Now it is time for a killer app that will do it justice. At the moment there is not much compelling content that uses VR to its full potential. It is still at the point of figuring out the ways it can be done.
The gaming industry is still the most lucrative market for VR at the moment but certainly there is untapped potential in other fields.
It can be a literal marketplace with full-on service and demonstration. On the other hand – it can turn into a carnival of offers.
VR also opens up a whole new chapter in education, for example, teaching science. With its help, one can depict chemical reactions, physical processes, it also may greatly help to model experiments.
VR is not widely accepted as a legitimate thing by the public. It is seen more as a toy.
Part of the reason for that is that it is out of reach for the target audience. Most of the people simply don’t understand what VR is capable of. Marketing can handle awareness, but true adoption can come only after consumers will be able to get a taste of it and form a habit.
Next in line of the money-related challenges is rather a severe thing. One of the key factors in healthy growth and competition in the industry is a wide variety of ways to make money out of technology. If one can’t generate revenue out of his venture — then it is unlikely to go anywhere. That is the case of the current state of VR industry.
However, that is more of a question of time than a real problem. VR technology is slowly but surely moving towards the mainstream. And judging from growing amount of content — at this point, it is more of a marketing challenge than anything else. There is a need to explain the technology and its capabilities, overcome a bad press and trend fatigue.
There are challenges and then there are industry-crushing challenges. The question of how VR-gear affects health is one of the most critical to the development of the entire industry. If there is even the slightest bit of danger — the industry will be slammed into oblivion by public opinion and then most likely by legislation.
To make matters worse — research on the subject is still too scarce, inconclusive and because of that rather insufficient.
VR’s long-term health effects are barely known. And what is known is not certain to be claimed as a fact. This problem is twofold. One is physical. The other is mental.
Regarding physical effects — there are some definite facts about temporary side effects. If you take Oculus Rift’s health and safety document — you will find a list of potential after-effects.
Basically: if you use a VR-gear for too much — you may experience a headache, queasiness and blurred vision. But that is something that can be also said about reading a book.
It is far more complicated with the effect on mental state. There is an evidence that there might be a transformation of behavior due to prolonged exposure to ultra-realistic virtual reality environments. Such bleedthrough may have a certain effect on everyday behavior and can seriously affect social interaction and even perception of reality.
The most obvious challenge for VR applications is a power-based limitation. While that might be not much of a problem for a desktop-based gear — it is definitely something to reckon with in mobile realm. Batteries simply can’t sustain prolonged immersive experience the way desktop-based gear can.
Batteries have their limitations and you need to remember that VR/AR (or any graphics-intense) apps have high energy consumption. That means these limitations must be taken into consideration during the design phase of developing an application.
The problem is multi-faceted and it directly affects the perception of the entire industry. The basic purpose of any content is to deliver some kind of experience. If the gear can’t handle it in full — it limits the experience and muddies the impression. That is bad for business.Source]
In many ways — VR is the new undiscovered country.
The current position of VR is very much reminiscent of the Schrödinger Cat paradox — it is there but it is not there but it is definitely there but definitely not very much at all and so on and so forth.
But simply thinking about all the possibilities of VR in future is breathtaking and inspiring.