Factors influencing the mass adoption of VR video platforms
Abstract: Despite the number of studies demonstrating the opportunities for the broad implication of virtual reality (VR) across numerous industry domains, including media, this technology has not yet made history, to a large extent, because of the bottlenecks that prevent it from becoming mainstream. A number of media houses, video production companies, and even VR equipment developers such as The New York Times, Disney, or Oculus invested into the creation of the VR video platforms and apps with 360-degree films and VR movies. However, their acceptance by a general public has been slower than many have anticipated. This paper explores the ecosystem of platforms serving VR video and identifies the factors influencing their development and adoption based on the insights from the previous research on the technology acceptance models (TAMs) of virtual reality and interviews with ten VR professionals: developers, content providers, and representatives of VR video platforms. This qualitative study reveals that VR hardware design and performance (degrees of freedom, rendered video quality, immobility, interaction with VR content, cybersickness), the price of VR headsets (which are monofunctional devices), limited socialization features in virtual environment, the lack of appealing VR content and issues with its production are some of the main components that hinder the interest towards virtual reality and VR video platforms by a large audience. These determinants, subsequently, may influence the VR users’ perceived enjoyment, usefulness and ease of use, essential for the emerging technologies diffusion. The paper presents the discussion on the bottlenecks and potential growth points that may become the drivers for the further development of platforms offering VR video and their adoption by the wider public.
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