The Road to VR has an interesting article challenging 3 common ideas about why VR will fail. Well written and with rational challenges to the 3 common ideas about VR. See: The 3 Most Common Arguments Against VR and Why They’re Wrong.
One common thought about VR that I think has some merit is ‘gesture based’ control like Kinect is going to fail because users do not have enough room/space… or patience.
The Kinect has lots of problems like; abstract gestures, unnatural, unintuitive, and none of that is helped by Kinect’s high latency and inconsistent tracking. I believe learning gestures are as bad or worse a problem than learning how to do 3D anything with a mouse. So, I’ve long held that most input devices I have seen are currently inadequate for VR.
The input systems being designed today are ‘natural motion’ oriented rather than gesture based. So, opening a door is not a special set of hand signals. Instead you reach out and open the door using the same motions you would in RL. So, not much to learn. This will be a big help in learning how to use VR. The use of natural motion takes care of the gesture based won’t work arguments.
That leaves the argument about whether users will devote the space/room needed. Road2VR makes the point that users will tolerate, suffer if you will, various discomforts and overcome obstacles if the experience provided is deemed worth the effort. It is that eating crackers in bed type thing.
I am not sure how well this idea works with users having the space/room. Getting more room can be a huge obstacle… rearranging a room is doable. But, if you can’t devote the space you have, what does one do? Buy a new house, move to a new apartment? An experience is going to have to be really awesome to inspire that level of effort.
Road2VR cites the evolution of TV rooms as an example of people changing their living style to accommodate the TV. That may be a good comparison, but a TV took up little room and people already had living-rooms that were easily adapted to being TV rooms. I suppose that may be the same with VR. But, many people use their computer in a limited space or a dual purpose office and computer gaming space. I am not at all sure how willing people will be to devote a new area to VR.
Of course some will be into a total VR experience just as there are people that have special rooms for their home theater. Others have a TV on the wall of their office. So, there will be a range of use-cases. It is all a matter of how good VR experiences are.
Road2VR points out that most of those knocking VR have yet to try it. That is a good point. I’m not sure one could prove that point. But, so far it is my empirical experience. It seems to be a more prevalent scenario these days; someone rips on something they know nothing about.
With VR we are most all of us speculating. Plus there is a huge number of ‘IF’ considerations. So, those supporting VR, and those that are trying the current experiences too, have to speculate what the finished products and experiences will be like and what people will think of them.
I like my LEAP Motion Controller. But, I use a SpaceNavigator and mouse, mostly mouse. My LEAP is in the box. The tech is too new and it is awkward to use. There is no compelling reason to for me to make LEAP work. I am keeping it until I have some VR headset, other than my S5 flakey VR. I think this goes to show Road2VR’s idea is very plausible.