Technology market is optimistic about the future of augmented and virtual reality but lack of content threatens to hold it back, a recent survey suggests.Released by the corporate law firm Perkins Coie and San Francisco based VR collective Upload, 37 percent of the survey respondents said “inadequate content offerings” are the main challenges for the future of augmented and virtual reality technologies. Reluctance by consumers and businesses to embrace AR/VR innovation was the second-most prevalent choice at 23%, followed by technological limitations at 20%.The survey was completed by 653 respondents, including AR/VR startup founders, executives with established technology companies and investors.Here are the other key findings:
UX and production costs are two important challenges
Putting content aside, 38% of respondents cited user experience (e.g., bulky hardware and technical glitches) as the biggest obstacles to mass adoption of both AR and VR technology. 32% cited cost of production as another important obstacle.
AR will surpass VR but it will take time
Two-thirds of respondents expect the AR market to surpass VR in revenue, but 82% expect it will take at least three years.
Mobile VR will grow
Nearly 9 of 10 respondents (89%) said VR and smartphone manufacturers will focus on developing mobile VR technologies in the next two years.
Regulation is not an important problem
Only 4% of the respondants consider regulatory and legal issues among the biggest challenges facing AR/VR.
Gaming, movies, television and live events will attract investment
78% of respondents expect gaming to be the biggest sector to attract AR/VR investment in the next 12 months, followed by movies and television (40%) and live events (34%)
AR/VR investment is on the rise!
The majority of investors responding to the survey (88%) directed the bulk of their capital to investments of $5 million and below last year. But over the next year, 22% expect to make investments in the $6–10 million range. They are mainly interested in investing in content, creative tools, and middleware and analytics.
And here are some key comments from the survey…
STARTUP FOUNDERS AND EXECUTIVES
“Content creators need to be unleashed, unchained and well-funded by responsible investors.”
“Smartphone VR is a critical first step for the industry. More focus on growing the entry level is required for the high-end to be successful.”
“It seems as though companies have the funds to invest but are becoming hesitant to do so because the market is moving slowly. It looks like high-profile projects are receiving money, but the more artistic, ‘risky’ projects are harder to get even small amounts of money to produce.”
“Low-cost, ubiquitous hardware is a matter of time, but we still need a ‘killer app’ to convince the majority of people to get onboard.”
“The AR/VR user experience needs to be optimized and it needs buy-in from major content creators and distributors.”
“The current experiences are ‘impressive’ but not ‘impressive’ enough.”
“AR/VR technologies are still very immature, with the possibility of new players all the time. We remain open but cautious in investing and pushing the technology and would like to see better metrics on how either or both technologies will drive revenue.”
“This feels like a repeat of the smartphone revolution.”
“More public demonstrations are necessary to promote AR/VR to the general public, as typical means of advertising are inadequate at explaining the technology to the unfamiliar.”
“We need to see some financial ‘hits’ in gaming and live action.”
“A few more generations of hardware will need to come along to lower total cost of ownership. The market needs to grow and killer apps are needed.”