Virtual reality is a very hot topic in tech and business news, and its popularity is predicted to increase exponentially over time. For businesses looking to get started with VR, we give a rundown of the top 5 mistakes to avoid at all costs.
Having nothing after the “wow!”
Virtual reality is still a relatively new experience for the majority of people. The first time putting on a VR headset, picking up the controllers and being transported to a different world is incredibly interesting and impressive. Offering any sort of VR experience is a great way to attract people’s attention, but one of the fatal mistakes is not having anything of substance that lasts after the initial excitement has worn off. Your virtual reality offering should have a point. A challenge, goal or activity that keeps the user interested and gives them a reason to stay in the headset, and to go back again at a later time. Without this, the time and money spent attracting their attention is wasted the second they ask “what now?”
Not having a strategy to achieve ROI
Following on from the previous point, all VR endeavours need to provide a clear return on investment. Merely attracting people to your company is not enough, the VR experience needs to allow for your company to either make or save money. Many companies still use VR as a “gimmick” with no thought as to how the experience will have a positive effect on their company other than drawing temporary attention. For VR to be a success it needs to be woven properly into your business strategy. Used as a training or collaboration tool, VR can provide huge cost and time savings, and as a sales tool can greatly increase interest and conversion. VR has a wealth of applications and each of these can provide quantifiable benefits to a business when fully embraced.
Believing the Rumours
Early virtual reality experiences were a bit of a rollercoaster. Often quite literally. The graphics were juddery and pixelated and the scenes jumped around faster than your brain could keep up. Unsurprisingly this left many users feeling nauseated and dizzy. One of the biggest mistakes people make when considering VR today, is thinking that nothing has changed. Or that business VR will leave you feeling exactly the same as the free apps you can download for inexpensive mobile-based experiences.
Business virtual reality, created on professional platforms, makes a very small percentage of people feel unwell. The hardware and software used has been thoroughly tested to ensure it is as user-friendly and accessible as possible. Shying away from a VR investment because a few people have felt sick would be like refusing to buy a car because some passengers feel travel sick!
Entering Uncanny Valley
The graphics in virtual reality are not photo-realistic. Nor are they intended to be. When creating virtual reality experiences, a balance has to be found between images that are real enough to be immersive, but not trying to be so real you enter the world of Uncanny Valley. By aiming to make avatars and environments too realistic, but just missing the mark of true photo-realism, the effect can be strangely off-putting and uncomfortable for users. Don’t fall into the mistake that the more true to life your images are, the more impact they will have on the user. True immersion comes from instant reaction time, as can be provided by the better headsets on the market and good quality software.
Giving up on First-Timers
At Immerse we have had a great deal of people come into our offices to try out our software first hand. There are those who have worked in VR since its inception, and those who have never so much played a video game, let alone put on a headset before. Some people naturally take to the controls and will be assembling our satellite terminal in the desert within minutes. Others have a much harder time, and find themselves struggling to pick up the first piece or even find where they should be looking!
The temptation, when faced with someone finding it difficult, is to take over the reins, do the task for them, let them sit back and watch. But VR will never catch on if no one is allowed to learn! Give people time, let them get accustomed to just being within a VR environment, and let them learn at their own pace. Often it’s those who have difficulty at first who become the biggest VR fans when they eventually get the hang of it. Ten minutes of patience at the start can reward you with a long-term supporter!
Do you agree with the above?
Are there any other mistakes you see happening in the industry?
We’d love to hear your thoughts so please do comment below with any feedback or questions.
If you’d like to come in and try our VR scenarios for yourself, please get in touch.