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Virtual reality not mainstream yet

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Virtual reality not mainstream yet

There’s lots of talk about the potential of virtual reality (VR) – but should we buy into all the hype?

According to JP Gownder, vice-president and principal analyst at Forrester, the answer is no. “We’re hearing a lot about the promise of virtual reality, especially from forward-looking companies that want to put their stake in the ground,” he says.

“Although VR will eventually find its place, there are many obstacles it must first overcome to gain mass-market status – from educating consumers on its value to sorting out high costs affiliated with the hardware.

“Organisations should be thinking about how VR fits into their business models, but overinvesting in the near term could backfire.

“Despite the present-day hype – and a few early, genuine innovations – there’s still a few years before VR will become a competitive differentiator for most companies.”

Gownder says the reality is that the vast majority of consumers don’t know or care about VR, and won’t know or care in 2016 unless they are hardcore gamers.

Meanwhile, only a few forward-looking enterprises – what he calls digital predators – are experimenting with VR in effective ways today.

So, while companies believe they are under pressure to adopt VR this year, Gowner says Forrester believes this is premature. “Even in the era od hyper-adoption, VR must overcome key obstacles to gain mass market status.”