Remember virtual reality? It was all the rage back in the day; back to, well, maybe three years ago. These days VR– virtual reality headsets– don’t seem to be on anyone’s holiday shopping list, and the VR that humans can actually afford– smartphone VR– seems to be dying off, too.
Sometimes you can’t see the forest from the trees. Other times, there are no trees in the forest. Remember Apple’s iconic white earbuds dangling from the ears of iPod customers?
That’s one way to tell whether or not a new product or technology has legs.
Look around. What do you see? Everybody has a smartphone. What else? More and more people have Apple Watch and AirPods. And that’s just the Apple ecosystem.
What do you not see?
Smartphone virtual reality– VR– headsets.
Also missing in action at Google’s latest product launch was any mention of the company’s Daydream VR headset. Google launched it in 2016. How often do you see anyone with one of those smartphone-toting boxes strapped to their heads?
Daydream turned into another Google nightmare and has been discontinued.
What about Apple’s VR?
Remember, Apple seldom is the first to jump into a new product category. Portable media players were a dime a dozen (not actual dimes) before iPod hit the streets. The world had many smartphones that humanity hated before iPhone came along. Smartwatches? Available before Apple launched Watch.
Wireless earbuds were a thing long before Apple’s AirPods attracted stares.
Instead of VR, Apple has concentrated on AR. Augmented reality. Think Pokemon Go. Think online stores that sell products you can visualize in your home or on your body.
AR is a thing. VR is not.