Why VR Still Isn't Mainstream Despite The Lockdown
When home-based and commercial VR was popularized way back in 2016, many proponents and those involved with the technology had very high hopes for it. Many were expecting it to be the next great thing to the internet and that the whole world would take to VR like frogs to a pond. The thing is, reality will usually deal with a double-edged card or a different one altogether. Things do not exactly happen the way they have been envisioned to be or things do not work out at all.
In the case of VR, it's definitely a double-edged one. A yes and a no, a pass, and a go. A lot of things have happened in the VR industry within the 2016 launch and the 2020 Corona Virus Pandemic. The question usually heard as to why the technology has failed to reach mainstream within those years and why not now when currently almost everyone is quarantined at home and have the time and opportunity to get into VR can be answered in a variety of ways. However, as one who has been doing one's best to keep abreast of the technology since then, the main reason that comes to mind is that VR is still new and in its infant stage.
Let's examine this line of reasoning while showing examples of why the state of VR is so and so. To begin with, when the radio first came out, not everyone had one and it took years for almost everyone to have one to listen to wherever they were. Then came the Television. It did take time for the boob tube to reach every nook and cranny of the world. The micro-computer revolution started from the late 1970's all the way to the 1990s to become a mainstream technology and still, not everyone has their own PC at home. The Internet started to become widespread in the 1990s yet both the US Gov. and top academic and scientific institutions were already using it since the 1960s. It was then called the Advanced Research Projects Agency Network (ARPANET).
So many people complain that VR is not taking on but in actuality it already is. It has begun, it has started and is now taking roots in the way people live and communicate in their daily lives. One cannot expect the technology to be an everyday appliance in just like four years. VR is a new technology that has to evolve with time as humanity evolves and makes use of the technologies available to them. An analogy would be UFO and gravity control technology as amusing as it may sound. It is a technology and people have to get used to using it. If flying saucers ever became an available mode of transport, then surely everyone will progressively start using it.
VR still has a lot of problems and issues to address at several different levels. The hardware, the apps, the availability, the cost, and the list goes on. The world itself has to address many severe problems currently happening today and that which may happen in the future. VR is now tied with humanity and whether at this point humanity will seek to progress or retrogress, VR as a tool and technology will follow.
Let's look at the current problems that the technology has especially at this time of global lockdown and quarantine. The main would be the availability and cost. With the exception of low-end VR like the cardboard and all its variations, VR is still too expensive for everyone. It's also not that available for everyone either. Now, with the pandemic and industry shutdown worldwide, you'll be lucky to be able to get one and if you do, the price is way above that which it is supposed to be.
There are a lot of available apps in VR which can be put to good use but then again, not everyone has a multi-use VR set-up of one's own. Yes, Sony has sold around 5Million PSVR's but those are limited to the console and specific uses mainly for games. 5Million alone is not enough to go mainstream considering they only use it in general when they play. Another is the technology itself. With that bulky thingamajig, you have to wear over your face, the space you need to move on and all the electronic gobbledygook you have to hook the thingamajig to and setting it all up so they all work together will definitely turn away lot of people away. Granny would just take one look, huff out loud, head for the TV, switch it on, sit on her favorite chair, and watch Dr. Phil. End of problem.
To this, VR advancement is of course keeping pace that is why Facebook came out with the Oculus Quest. Awesome, great, just put it on and you're in VR with a minimum amount of fuss. With the pandemic all around, Oculus has barely the parts or manpower to even fill up all its orders. Then there's delivery, no planes, no boats and most of all, still no mainstream teleportation technology. The only planes and marine vessels currently active today are all on red alert at the South China Sea waiting for who will pull the trigger first.
Finally, there is the law of inertia. It takes a certain amount of force to overcome an equivalent opposite amount of force. In short, if you're already comfortable doing things the old usual way then why bother getting up from your couch just to get something new you'll have to adjust to using from this point on. One reason why so many people have multiple alarm clocks set to ring after the other.
Despite all these and so many other reasons heard and unheard of, VR is here to stay. It will catch on and most of all it will evolve into something available and easy for everyone to access and use. We are only currently seeing the tip of the iceberg not the huge whole thing under the water so it would be way too early to state as a fact that VR is not catching on and won't go mainstream. We just all have to wait and the time will come when young people like Wade and Samantha and almost everyone like them will have VR as part of their everyday lives.