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Oculus: Virtual reality has to be experienced to be understood

evan kypreos


Samsung Gear VR S6

One of the main challenges of virtual reality hitting the mainstream is that it has to be experienced to be understood, explained Max Cohen, Head of Mobile at Oculus.

Cohen believes the perception of VR has improved over the years because more people have tried it:

I call it conversion on contact, you can’t really read an article and understand VR.

"I like to think back to about a year and a half ago when we first started talking about Gear VR and products like that. If you read internet comments you would see 90% saying this is horrible, this is terrible, no-one wants to put one of these on their head. And then after Innovator Edition came out and they tried Rift at various trade shows it shifted to 50/50 and now it’s about 90/10 the other way.

"It is something that mobile VR will get the message to a broad audience for sure but in the long run people have to try this to really understand it.”

Watch people's reactions to trying Gear VR for the first time:

Even though perception has shifted over the years virtual reality remains in the domain of the techie.

“The Oculus Rift target market is definitely gamers, but you can also watch videos [and] we’re going to release Oculus Video and Oculus Photos and things like that on the Rift.

"On Gear VR a lot of people are looking at videos and photos, as well as gaming. Gaming’s different because it’s powered off a phone and I wouldn’t say that this is core gamer product anymore, that being said it’s still going to be a tech enthusiast market, it’s still going to appeal more to people that like tech.” Cohen told TrustedReviews during MWC 2016.

Samsung’s and Mark Zuckerberg’s big announcement during the launch of the Galaxy S7, S7 Edge and Gear 360 camera will certainly help bring mobile virtual reality to the masses.

Samsung announced that all Galaxy S7 pre-orders will receive a Gear VR headset for free.

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