Virtual reality is struggling to become a mass market technology. This is demonstrated by slow sales of the main viewers and consequently the limited development of VR games and applications.
Those who have tried to exploit the hype with new VR-centric platforms such as Linden Lab with Sansar or High Fidelity with the platform of the same name retrace its steps.
High Fidelity and Sansar need to be rethought
Philip Rosendale, former founder of Linden Lab and “dad” of Second Life, then engaged in the development of High Fidelity, has already said that it will drastically cut the development of VR content and events and will focus on developing the version of High Fidelity that can be used via pc.
Ebbe Altberg, Ceo of Linden Lab, interviewed by Hamlet Au admitted that Sansar was launched as a VR-centric product just to exploit the hype and hinted that Sansar could also strengthen the usability of the platform via pc.
Interest in virtual reality has waned
That the virtual reality hype has deflated is evident if you only know how to read Google Trends data. The interest in the term “VR” has risen from 5 to 100 between October 2015 and December 2016. Then it has gone down to 16 where it is still today.
Of course, today’s interest is triple compared to 4 years ago, but it is less than a fifth compared to the “peak” of VR technology fame.
A technology, as mentioned many times on Mondivirtuali.it, which promises to have great applications in the business field (for example in design rather than in training), but that could remain a niche interest in the consumer sphere.
The lesson of virtual worlds has not been learned
Something already seen with virtual worlds like Second Life, which btw despite Linden Lab’s errors and the physiological decline in interest, this summer will celebrate the SL16B, its sixteenth year of existence online. And that despite everything remains a product that generates profits for Linden Lab.
The truth is very simple if you want to accept it: not everyone is interested in being creative. And even those who are interested in it, as Rosendale recently commented, today have a multitude of different tools available to do so. Think about what Instagram has meaning for photography or graphic enthusiasts, for example.
More and more alternatives for users
Thus every single platform and technology is destined to intercept only a fraction of the potential public, especially if like with VR it imposes on the user a dive that “disconnects” from the real world.