Is 2024 The Year Of Mainstream Virtual Reality Adoption?

Although we’ve written several articles on this blog over the years about the development of Mainstream Virtual Reality (VR) tech such as in this recently published article where we proposed that Augmented Reality may be the future of VR. 

Predicting the exact timing of widespread virtual reality adoption is challenging, and determining whether 2024 will be the definitive year for it depends on several factors.

In this article, we will discuss some of these factors and see if they can help us predict and answer the question that this text seeks to answer. 

I hope that these factors serve as general considerations for determining the projection of trends and outcomes in the tech industry. 

Technological Advances

The first of the factors that can be used to predict the premise of this article is an investigation into current technological advances in Virtual reality. 

The advancement of hardware and software generally significantly influences tech adoption.

As a result, experts believe breakthroughs in related technologies that help to enhance user experience, affordability, and accessibility, could inadvertently drive broader VR adoption.

Smartphone adoption chart

Smartphone adoption chart

Source: Statista

The same was the case with the adoption of smartphones which caused the gradual move away from landlines. Once technology matures to a certain point, it starts to become more accepted. 

As we’ve seen in the past 15 months, the advancement in VR tech has accelerated such that if not in the next year, the next one after that may become the definitive year VR enthusiasts have long been waiting for. 

One of the many reasons why this statement is true is because of the changes to newly launched VR headsets from top VR players like Apple and Meta. 

As an example of the kind of changes that demonstrated technological advancement in VR, the recently launched Apple Vision Pro headset was the first to introduce the ability to see through the field of view with the headset strapped on. 

Content Development

Another factor to consider before predicting whether 2024 will be the year of mainstream VR adoption is the availability of fit-for-purpose content. 

The availability of compelling and diverse virtual reality content is crucial for widespread adoption. If developers continue to create engaging VR content and applications across various industries, it will undoubtedly attract more users to the virtual reality ecosystem. 

In my opinion, although there has been some really good VR content built over the past year, the majority of the advancement that happened in virtual reality in that period has mostly been from VR hardware with a lot still to do to inspire quality content. 

Consumer Awareness, and Tech Trends 

What is the current perception of virtual reality?

This is another question that needs to be answered to determine the outcome of VR in 2024. 

The general public’s awareness and perception of the VR ecosystem play a significant role in attracting more users. Effective marketing, educational campaigns, and positive user experiences can provide a more favorable view of VR technology.

The same is true with tech trends. Trends in various sectors, such as gaming, education, healthcare, and business can provide insights into the potential for widespread VR adoption.

Seeing increased integration of VR tech in these industries may indicate a move toward mainstream acceptance and aside from the advances in virtual reality tech I’ve seen over the past year, it is the trend in adoption of VR tech in various other industries that made me conclude that 2024 might be the year of mainstream virtual reality adoption. 

Global Events and Economic Factors

Chart shows the odds of having a reccession in 2024

There’s a 46% chance of a recession in the U.S. in 2024

Source: Statista

Perhaps the most important of the factors to determine If virtual reality would be widespread or not is if the barrier to partaking in the ecosystem gets even lower than it presently is.   

Global economic conditions influence the pace of technology adoption.

Economic stability and shifts in consumer priorities perhaps due to a recession may impact the willingness to invest in VR hardware and slow adoption rate. 

This is also the root of my skepticism. At the moment, virtual reality hardware requires a steep monetary investment. Meta advertises Quest 3 VR headset as a low-budget VR tech yet buying even that would set you back at least $500. 

Conclusion

All in all, to gauge the trajectory of VR technology in the coming year we need to continue to keep an eye on all of these factors. They represent the most accurate way to predict when the mainstream adoption of Virtual reality is likely to happen. 

In addition, although I think that for VR to succeed, augmented reality (AR) may need to first succeed, nonetheless,  VR represents a powerful business tool for founders and entrepreneurs willing to take advantage of it for their companies. 

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