With all of the hype surrounding virtual reality, it can all seem really exciting. You probably hear a bit about the new updates and advancements being made to virtual reality tech every few weeks, and they can all seem so promising. Still, as with any tech, there are a few pitfalls to look out for when you are using (or considering using) virtual reality. Here are a few common virtual reality traps that you need to be aware of an avoid whether you are using virtual reality as a consumer or producing content for others to enjoy.

 

Just because it’s cool doesn’t mean it’s flawless.

Some people forget that the hottest new technology doesn’t mean the best new technology. Virtual reality is opening us up to a world of new possibilities, but it does have its limitations. Most notably, it can be tough to use physically. One big barrier is that it can make people oblivious to what is happening around them. Getting the virtual reality experience requires you to immerse yourself in a digital world in order to really feel that you are a party of the virtual setting. This immersion cuts off your visual and auditory connection to the physical world and places you in a sort of false bubble. If your phone is ringing or if your friend is standing in front of you, you probably won’t be able to tell. This can cause problems ranging from mild annoyances to actual hazards. Another issue that CNET author Scott Stein brings up is nausea, “VR-induced nausea is a very real thing. I used to feel dizzy and sick every time I tried early VR hardware…”[1] He says that after using the technology a lot the effects have worn off somewhat, but they still happen.

The good thing is that tech companies are working on these issues. There has been a big push to get rid of the wires that attach the virtual reality headsets to computers. A recent report from tech radar on the Game Developers Conference tells us this is the next step in virtual reality advancements, “What’s next, at least as on display at this year’s Game Developers Conference, is wireless.”[2] As these updates are made, hopefully more of the challenges will begin to dissolve. It is important to be careful though. You know that the technology isn’t without risks, so be cognizant of how you utilize it. This is especially true in business. If you are incorporating virtual reality into your marketing or content plans, make sure to produce content that lets the user know how to use it safely and effectively. If you are demoing virtual reality content, give users a safe space to try it out without having to worrying about falling down or bumping into people.

 

Don’t try and over-do it with the virtual content.

It can be tempting to be a pioneer and jump right into the latest tech trend. This sounds fun and it is a great idea to explore new spaces, but be careful. For one thing, creating virtual content can be costly. Making virtual reality apps and videos is awesome, and your ROI is probably going to be worth it to some extent. Since the technology is still new to everyday users, developing some virtual reality-friendly content or marketing can be a great way to get your name out there. People are trying out everything to see how a virtual experience can change their daily lives. However, if you sink your entire public relations budget into making a specific virtual campaign you need to be careful. Access to the technology is increasing but it still isn’t as far reaching as it will be in the future. Pace yourself and grow with the progress that virtual reality is making. Putting out a small amount of high-quality virtual reality content will be much more impressive to users and consumers than anything else.

 

Never assume virtual reality is just for tech experts to use.

We have gotten to a point where virtual reality content is becoming much more common which means people are discovering new ways to use it. While many people assume that virtual reality is just for video games and the occasional video to show off how cutting edge it is, that’s just not true now. The tech is getting more affordable, and people are finding how much it can bring flat or dull content to life. As the customers’ demands meet the creators’ innovative uses, virtual reality will become more commonplace.

If you have a business of any kind, or even if you work in one, then virtual reality can be useful to you. It gives us all new ways to experience the world, and can allow you to bring your product, concept, or content to life for current and potential customers. As of now, if you have a smartphone and some cardboard you can turn your device into a virtual reality headset (according to TechAdvisor).[3] Be curious and explore how virtual reality can be incorporated into your business. You never know what advancements you might make!

While there are a few other virtual reality traps, those are three of the biggest to watch out for when you are adopting the technology. Make sure you use virtual reality headsets carefully, and produce content responsibly. If you keep these things in mind, you will likely love the platform and constantly be thinking of ways you can use it every day.

 

What other virtual reality traps have tripped you or your business up? Is there anything you wish you had known before producing virtual reality content? Share your thoughts and tips on potential traps for others to avoid in the comments below.

[1] https://www.cnet.com/news/the-dangers-of-virtual-reality/

[2] http://www.techradar.com/news/virtual-reality-breaks-free-from-wires-at-gdc-2017

[3] http://www.pcadvisor.co.uk/how-to/gadget/how-make-google-cardboard-vr-headset-v2-3585298/