History lessons for a mass adoption — VR & Metaverse
By Susmith Karan
When you hear the word Apple, what is the first thing that comes to mind? A fruit? An iPhone? Probably not. But when you hear this word, what does your brain do in response? It starts thinking about one of the most successful companies ever created: Apple Inc. In fact, over a billion people worldwide own at least one product from Apple. One might say that owning an Apple product is like having membership in a cult-like club! It seems like everyone has at least one Apple product in their home, but why? What are the lessons can VR Headset or Metaverse learn from Apple products? How can we get customer adoption of new technology like VR and Metaverse?
Apple’s classic ad, 1984, has been seen as a breakthrough in company history; it is considered one of the best ads ever made. This commercial revolutionized the way people viewed Apple in both a good and bad fashion. People liked seeing an aggressive company ready to take on anything, but others saw them as weak because they were willing to start this “computer war” against their competitors.
Apple’s aggressive marketing strategy used in 1984 has become one of their most popular. The ad was catchy and entertaining; more importantly, the number of customers aware of Apple products increased. The number of people who recognize Apple products increased by 300% because of this ad.
The iPhone came out with its first generation in June 2007. The phone was revolutionary because it combined Apple’s iPod, a mobile phone and an Internet browser all in one complete package. The first generation of the iPhone came out in June 2007. Though iPhone was competing with the company giants — Samsung and Microsoft, this didn’t stop Apple’s customer base from purchasing the device. Apple sold 6.1 million iPhones in 2008 while its competitors sold 11 million combined.
The following year, Apple released the App Store, a marketplace for third-party applications compatible with the iPhone. This made the phone more attractive for customers because you can download apps to expand the functionality of your phone. By December 2008, Apple had sold 1 billion apps. In May 2011 that number was 25 billion app downloads.
In 2010, Apple released the iPad. This was a tablet form factor of their existing iPod line that allowed users to do everything on an iPhone but a larger screen. Apple’s competitors released their own tablet devices that did not have the capabilities of the iPad but for budget-friendly prices. Apple sold 7.5 million iPads in 2010. The success of Apple products in introducing the new technology is due to multiple reasons, and we can learn few lessons from its journey.
Key Lessons from Apple:
Customer Adoption: Before its launch, Apple spent several years perfecting the iPhone’s user interface through rigorous testing with various consumers and simplifying features present on early models, thanks mainly to this effort.
Strong brand awareness and trust among customers: With the successful launch of the first computer, Apple is a trendy brand in different parts of the world. After the iPhone launch, people started to trust Apple more because of its previous success with other devices.
Easy marketing strategy on the internet and news forums: Excellent customer service in each Apple location has helped them spread awareness about iPhone. This strategy pays off because you can always find someone willing to talk it up if they have an Apple product.
A large number of applications available to users: It made people prefer to buy iPhones, because there are already many useful and exciting apps available to download for free within a few minutes. People no longer need to pay large amounts of money and wait for several days or weeks to receive an application they want to use.
Virtual Reality (VR) & Metaverse
Virtual reality (VR) is a technology that replicates an environment, real or imagined, and simulates a user’s physical presence in this environment. It incorporates mainly 3D-computer graphics and sensors like GPS to let the user interact in this virtual environment. Its applications include entertainment (i.e., gaming), simulation training, education, etc. The Metaverse is merely a digital world where anyone and everyone can shape their own lives within their digital space(s). This might sound like science-fiction, but it’s reality.
VR headsets provide a different experience to what people are used to with traditional media. This hype about VR headset can prove beneficial, but some challenges affect the success of VR headsets and Metaverse.
For a start, even though many companies have tried their best to develop innovative technology for VR headset that offers a much better experience, many people are still not convinced about the quality of VR headsets. Similarly, even though there are claims that VR headsets can provide more immersive metaverse experiences, it is being said that the reality may fall short in comparison to what people have expected because of fewer media content or erroneous implementation. Full incorporation into our lives may take longer before it can become successful.
The current price of VR headsets may also be an issue. Sure, the prices are constantly dropping as more companies enter the market and compete over quality and affordability. However, the fact that there is still only a limited range of games or media out there means that people still do not have enough incentive to invest in VR headsets. And even if the price of VR headsets drops, people may still prefer to spend on other more meaningful things instead.
VR headset also needs to be compatible with multiple types of smart devices to reach a wider range of customers. People are generally attached to their smartphones. The current VR headset models require a wired connection to connect to Android or iOS, which can be incredibly annoying.
Also, there is much concern about the safety of VR headsets and their long-term effects on human health. Some people have reported having motion sickness or dizziness after using VR headsets for several hours in a row, and there is a rumour that VR headset usage can cause further impairment of one’s vision.
Even with the current challenges, there are some reasons why VR headsets offer an excellent chance for success. The metaverse experience that VR headsets provide can be very beneficial, especially for those previously immersed in the online world but never stepped into the Metaverse. Despite these challenges, the new perspective that VR headsets can offer is quite different from watching regular movies on flat screens of TVs despite these challenges, and this technology will continue to get better with time. Using a thought-provoking commercial ad like that of 1984 could attract a larger audience to try the new technology.
VR headset may be able to learn from the success of the iPhone and eventually become successful. If you want your company or product to succeed, it’s essential to focus on marketing strategies. But it is also crucial to make sure there is enough media content out there for customers to engage with before purchasing a VR headset. Excellent educational content availability could attract current and next-generation tech enthusiasts and take the learning to a new level.