I admit I tend to gather a lot of gadgets. While rooting through a drawer recently, I noticed a bulky box containing a VR mobile headset that came with my Samsung Galaxy S7 a few years ago. Not being much of a gamer, this was my first immersive 3D experience outside of a movie theater. The device seemed like the coolest thing at the time, soaring over canyons or walking through virtual galleries (and bumping into furniture in real life). But I soon ran out of free VR programming that was pre-indexed, and was not motivated enough to root around for more or purchase any.
Here are some reasons VR headsets haven’t really taken off in the past.
Apparently, I am not alone. Without enough software, apps or content. VR headsets never really took off. Even gamers report branded vr headsets were too uncomfortable to wear for long-running games. As a result, there was not enough user base to warrant a high level of development.
VR companies also kind of limited themselves by making too many proprietary brands that are not compatible with each other. If a more universal platform would have been adopted and built upon, more content would have been developed to work on any device, and likely acceptance by the market would have come sooner. Or that’s the theory anyway.
The user experience used to be disappointing
There has traditionally been a lot of hype around the next big release in VR, especially for gamers. Users who were expecting dynamic scenes and super sharp images instead were delivered what one reviewer on aptly called “…somewhere between your expectations and a disappointment.”
VR can make you sick
The more time you spend in virtual reality, the more you lose special awareness of the actual room you are in and the things in it (hence me tripping over the ottoman). Some VR made people nauseous, or caused falling accidents. Extended time in VR can cause blackouts or epileptic seizures, even in people that have never had one before. Makers of the most popular VR headsets, the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, recommend taking “at least a 10 to 15-minute break every 30 minutes, even if you don’t think you need it.” Not so convenient if you are looking for a device to watch a 3D movie.
These are some of the things lacking in VR technology from just a couple of years ago.