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16 August 2016

Who is responsible for VR’s success?

Written by: Symon Madry, Account Director at Edelman

Innovation, Technology

Virtual Reality (VR) has many excited, and for good reason. Its promise of new or enhanced experiences is just being realised. However, predictably, there are some already ‘over it’. Some of the earliest adopters are quick to hand scuffed visors over to Players 2, declaring the sheen has already worn off, due to content, cost, hardware, or just the overall experience.

The naysayers remind us that everyone involved in VR today is responsible for its success. Whether it be in entertainment (where the tech will naturally find its foothold), health, education or architecture, siloes can’t be allowed to form.

Hardware makers mustn’t price consumers out of the market they’re looking to create. Software developers must be the Morpheus to content developers’ Neo, helping them understand the operations of a strange new world and how to unleash its full potential. Living within that world, content makers need to then unlearn some of the skills they hold dear and bring non-linear stories and experiences to life. Finally, those who prop up the entire infrastructure – telecommunications companies and ISPs – have a duty to ensure the network can sustain the data tsunami coming down the pipes. And what about us communicators? Our role is to help string it all together.

Most importantly, at the front of everyone’s mind must be the user. What will they think, feel and do with each component of the experience? (The user, in turn, will have to feed back into the process.)

A great – now seemingly historic – example is how YouTube works with its content developers to make the entire platform the success it is today. Conversely, observing the advertising industry, one can see how a large part of the creative community is yet to effectively exploit continuous tech innovation, slowing the overall sector potential and giving rise to disruptions such as adblockers.

It’s only continued and widespread collaboration that will make VR a success – and have Player 1 clamouring for their next turn.

Image: Virtual Reality Demonstrations by Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas, University of Texas at Austin via Flickr

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