If you are a millennial, then you can easily recollect all those science fiction movies that envisioned the Virtual reality technology which is slowly taking shape into reality in the contemporary world. It was always fascinating to look at all those fancy gadgets and ruminate over the horizons of human mind’s imagination which are, apparently, absent courtesy – the immense power and unutilized capacity of human brain.
Virtual and augmented reality (AR/VR) comes in that realm of once an envisaged world which has started to define the present now. There are many companies that are striving to produce gadgets dedicated to the same purpose. The growing interest can only be further corroborated by the exponential increase in the market size of the Virtual reality technology and augmented reality market – the market size stood at $6.1 billion for 2016 and has been estimated to stand around $27 billion for the current year; the numbers are explaining everything by themselves. Moreover, it has been forecasted that this market will stand at $209.2 billion by 2022. No more words are required to elucidate further upon the prospects this market hold for itself.
But, mind you, this market is still in its infancy stage and thus subjected to various hurdles that are raising their heads at every step that is being taken to penetrate this market further. And ergo, it only makes much more sense to take such difficulties into account and look at each one of them with a magnifying glass to gather more and more knowledge on them so as to tackle them head on.
So, here is a look at some of the challenges AR/VR market is facing currently
- High price of developing new Virtual reality technology: AR/VR are still a relatively new technology which is still connected to early adapters, tech enthusiasts and game addicts partly because of the high prices of the AR/VR devices. That’s why a normal consumer doesn’t see any value in purchasing because the price range of some high-end devices goes as high as $2000!
And even though there are many investments being made into this arena, the only common find throughout is that it is not cheap to develop this Virtual reality technology. The pricing problem is accentuated further only with the labor intensive development such devices require since augmented and virtual reality demands the combination of a set of disciplines to create an immersive experience which typically centers around optic mechanical designs.
- AR/VR device challenges: The most prominent limitation with AR/VR devices is their Field of View (FOV) which is at 90 degrees relative to 190 degrees’ horizontal and 120 degrees’ vertical for normal human vision. And for an immersive experience, as much of the FOV must be caught as possible. Also, in order to capture large FOV for the human eye which requires devices like headsets to be bulky which makes the prolonged usage of these devices uncomfortable and thus, unlikely. Thus, more improvement upon this factor is required along side others like those of weight, brightness, quality, the user experience.
- The difficulties with personalized learning: Personalised learning can be seen as a customization of the way something is being taught to cater to the needs of an individual learner. Now the motives of such a teaching are tailored in accordance with the learner’s requirements and also his abilities, and the instructional content and approaches are created which lie in complete coherence with those motives. But the objective of the personalised learning technique is excruciatingly difficult as far as a classroom is concerned because in order to develop a proper teaching approach, the instructors are supposed to measure and control too many variables and make too many decisions. This is why this concept has been found incredibly overwhelming. So, the work is going on reduction of such humongous number of variables prevalent so that the environment can be controlled in a better manner and outcomes can be made more predictable. But even then the ideal of fully personalised education is still a long way off. Though with the help of these tools students can get to feel the concepts they are learning which will make it easier for them to remember and express what they learned.
- Legal issues that face the augmented and virtual reality space: The usage of AR and Virtual reality technology has already made our lives easier to a massive extent but with this advancement has also been brought many legal issues which because of the infancy stage of this particular technology remain unsolved. The example to be considered is that of the infamous dispute between Facebook and the game maker ZeniMax which finally got settled with Facebook paying $500 million as a reparation for the damages under the category of ‘stealing the source code’.
Virtual reality technology
But what is really important is that how consumers will be impacted. For there are so many cases that have already been encountered due to the lack of any laws governing the virtual space? For instance, two perpetrators were convicted for engaging in illegal betting on a Virtual reality technology game based on FIFA which goes under the name of FUT Galaxy and in 2013, a virtual reality gamer was caught because he had stolen a virtual property which possessed a massive value in a virtual game called ‘RuneScape’ which he achieved by hacking into the profiles of other gamers.
Some of the legal issues that are harassing the virtual world are as –
- Intellectual property rights: - The major cause of concern in the virtual world is for the owners of the intellectual property for a user might be able to escape the liability of infringing upon the applicable rights of the owner just because there is a “no commerce” exception under the trademark laws for the Virtual reality technology world. Now when we are talking about an owner of the IP rights, these rights pertain to the photographs, music, names of the brand or their logos; traditional IP laws stipulate obtaining permission from the owner regarding the applicable rights to the usage of these. But in several jurisdictions across the world, use of trademarks ‘in commerce’ is a necessary pre-requisite to constitute trademark infringement.
- Virtual crimes: - The experiences in the virtual reality can produce some ethical challenges and criminal issues for virtual reality can lead to particular kinds of emotions and might result in sufferings even though they are being done in a virtual environment only. The examples of various such crimes are stealing of virtual property, illegal betting with virtual money, virtual groping, cyber assault, identity theft, strobe lighting etc. Furthermore, psychological issues are also associated when individuals are continuously devoid of law and order in this particular space because this can lead to an actual disorder in real life. The very relatable instance that can be considered is that of a female VR player who might have been subjected to groping in the virtual world. Now the psychological trauma she might be undergoing because of such incidence is the same as being groped in real life.
- Virtual privacy: - Even though there is a prevalence of data protection norms for VR/AR hardware, software and content providers so that compliance to the law can be assured, the privacy regulation in this arena is still not mature enough to deal with any breach. And many virtual reality gaming platforms do the storage and processing of substantial amounts of personal data of its users like the amount of reaction time by the user, their location, age, race, religion, political affiliation etc. and use it in furtherance of their own advertising and business models. Now sharing of such personal information can form a digital footprint of the user which might be used to identify his personal credentials and thus, it can be unsafe for a user.