Will VR achieve mass-market appeal in 2017 or remain a niche service? Which VR hardware and services have the greatest potential of being successful? Will VR meet the same fate as 3D Television? Business Insider recently asked “What happened to virtual reality?” and so are we.
VR has been the topic of most debates during our 2017 trend sessions. When the NY Times and other leading media outlets sent out Google Cardboard to their readers in 2016, a lot of people thought “This is it”. But with the cost of high-end hardware such as Oculus, HTC Vive and Sony PlayStation VR, these will not become mass-market devices in 2017. Nor have we seen any big hits (the killer app) in terms of games, apps or other content that drives demand.
We believe that lower-end devices such as Google Daydream and Samsung VR can boost demand and sales in 2017. However, these devices don’t provide the fully immersive experience. The question is if they will really be used beyond the initial trial and showing them off to friends and family.
In summary, this means that from our perspective a 3-4% household penetration in the US and Western Europe could probably be considered a success in 2017 moving towards 10% in 2018. This includes both low-end and high-end devices.
On the positive side, content owners and VCs are making big bets on VR for the future. The likes of Disney, Viacom (MTV) and Vice are investing in VR content to experiment and test when it does take off. In reality this is a mix of 360 video and true VR, but over time it’s likely that most content will be shot in some kind of VR format.
DMI is currently working on a couple of VR pilots in the real estate and entertainment area so let’s see how it goes!
Magnus Jern, Chief Innovation Officer