The owner of the Dallas Mavericks professional basketball team thinks that there are still a few more years to go before VR goes truly mainstream. During an interview with the SportTechie Podcast, Cuban was asked where VR was headed. He said: “Not very far for a lot of years. There’s a lot of ‘wow’ capability for virtual reality. There’s a couple of different elements when you talk virtual reality. There’s the entertainment side. It’s really cool to put on a pair of goggles, and I use VR goggles a lot. It’s very cool to put on a pair of goggles and go off a ski jump or go on a rollercoaster or tour a part of the world you’ve never seen or some things you would otherwise never have exposure to. That’s a unique ‘wow’ factor. There’s a place for that, but it’s not overly compelling to get people to use VR every day.”
Cuban went on to talk about watching live VR events, which several sporting events have begun to take an interest in. Cuban himself has been a strong investor in broadcast VR technologies. Cuban said: “Watching a live event is very, very difficult in VR particularly with the low-end goggles because depth perception is very difficult and switching between cameras is very difficult,” Cuban said. “NextVR does as good if not a better job than everybody but it’s still difficult to follow a game. It’s not something that people say, ‘You know what, I’d much rather watch it.’ Now, the easy response is that it will change over time as phones and devices become more capable but it takes more than just the phones. There’s the cameras, there’s the switching, there’s the stitching. There’s so many different things that I think we’re years away. It’s almost like the streaming industry with poster stamp-size video because of bandwidth availability. We’ll go through that same performance curve.”
It remains to be seen how accurate Cuban’s predictions will be.