You know a new technology is on the minds of a lot of people when it appears in a commercial during a major sporting event like the NBA Finals. So Samsung’s TV ad featuring an ostrich using a Gear VR headset to take flight was a major step forward for consumer virtual reality.
But just because big tech companies like Samsung–and Facebook, its partner on the Gear VR–want something to become mainstream doesn’t mean it will. For all the gee-whiz excitement that VR can generate by immersing people in experiences they can’t get anywhere else–like soaring above the clouds and being able to leisurely look all around you, as that ostrich does in the ad–the technology’s adoption has been fairly tepid. A lot is going to have to happen, on a lot of different fronts, before VR can truly become a part of most people’s lives.
Between their launches last year and the end of March, according to SuperData Research, consumers had purchased a combined total of about 7.7 million of the five most high-profile VR headsets—the Gear VR, Sony’s PlayStation VR, Google’s Daydream View, HTC’s Vive, and the Oculus Rift. Even though SuperData predicts that those numbers will rise to 15.9 million total headset sales by the end of 2017, those are not the numbers of a mainstream technology, especially when you consider that other data suggests little regular usage of those VR systems.
Read more at Fast Company.