Google VR head Bavor says VR has a long way to go before it is accepted by the masses
With talk that the Samsung Galaxy S8 will have a 4K screen to make images look better with a VR viewer, you might consider that a sign that virtual reality has arrived. But the truth is actually much different. The head of Google's VR division, Clay Bavor, says that the number of people who have used VR or even know about it is "approximately zero percent of the world.” Obviously you can't go by our readers who are apt to be early adapters of such technology.
Bavor says that adaption of VR is going to be slower than many had hoped for. He says that he expects the technology to piggyback on the popularity of the smartphone to eventually gain mass adaption. The Google executive is in Cannes at an advertising festival where he ranked 360-degree YouTube ads that are currently available to viewers, even those without a VR headset. So far these ads have generated 20 million views. Click on the video at the top of this story to experience a 360-degree YouTube ad for the BMW M2.
Speaking of ads, VR is a great platform to advertise certain products like cars, hotels and theme parks where experiencing the product is what drives sales. And in the world of sports, VR streaming could allow those at home to feel that they are inside the arena to cheer on their favorite team. VR could allow those purchasing tickets to any event to see the sight lines from a certain seat before the ticket is purchased.
Creativity will play a major role in the usefulness of VR as a tool. OnePlus has unveiled its last two flagship phones, the OnePlus 2 and OnePlus 3 via VR. This year, the company made history by allowing viewers to purchase the OnePlus 3 from a VR shopping mall inside a virtual space station.
To help create a standard for the industry, Google introduced its Daydream VR platform last month. The platform will work with Android "N" and will include smartphones, controllers, app developers and more. Meanwhile. to show those attending the festival in Cannes what VR can do, Google is showing off an app called Tilt Brush which allows users to paint in virtual space.
Frankly, it is hard not to see the the public becoming enthralled with the technology. But as Google's Bavor points out, there is still a long way to go before VR becomes a household tool.