WebVR and Consumer VR

August 1, 2017

In the last few months, several online communities/social networks have appeared, offering consumers the potential to develop their own VR experiences. A key feature of these sites is an embrace of WebVR. As an example, check the quote from the InstaVR site:

VR requires both good content and a lot of eyeballs to become mainstream. Utilizing WebVR, in particular, is the easiest way to both distribute and market 360 media. Though the end user experience is certainly not as good as with native VR headsets — you’re not going to have the crispness of an Oculus Rift or HTC Vive experience, nor the ability to do room scale VR — you’ll at least start to introduce users to the value and benefits of virtual reality.

https://www.instavr.co/articles/general/why-we-made-webvr-available-to-our-free-users

The InstaVR site goes on to ennumerate 3 reasons for using WebVR, rather than the alternate “download an app from the app store” model common in the Unity-driven VR world:

1. Publishing to Web (and Sharing via Facebook!) Helps Promote Your Native VR Apps – a WebVR experience can be a “gateway drug” to a more sophisticated experience.

2. Users Don’t Have to Download an App – Probably 90% of users “drop off” when asked to download an app to their mobile. In addition, desktop users may be exclused. WebVR gives the simplest Customer Experience for consumers new to VR.

3. Collaborate Easier With Others – The Web has robust social network platforms for sharing, increasing the value of VR to consumers. In contrast, native VR systems have little or now connection to social networks. Seamless integration of web and VR content, distributed socially is perhaps the most powerful feature of the WebVR platform.

The consumer market for VR hasn’t grown according to overly-optimistic expectations. To grow, VR has be be maximally accessible in the existing consumer tech landscape, and WebVR is the way.

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