Oculus. It’s got a cool, sci-fi name. It’s owned by Facebook. I was thinking this dive into virtual reality would be the future.
But then I saw a picture of the device. It’s a huge, clunky piece of equipment strapped onto the face. That’s when I realized virtual reality may be the future, but Oculus sure isn’t. They need to think more about the consumer. Facebook is usually good about this, but it’s not working this time. Consumers want convenience, a product that won’t interfere with daily life but rather enhance it. Even the Google glass wasn’t seen as functional. People hate wearing glasses, let alone a huge machine on their face. If you want to market mobile virtual reality, at least make it the size of glasses and ear buds. The intrigue of virtual reality just might allow consumers to overlook the annoyance of having to wear something.
Mark Wilson writes that if consumers can “look beyond the silly goggles for a moment,” then they’ll be able to see the beauty of human connection. The problem he sees with Oculus is that it is striving to create a new reality within the machine. Instead of enhancing our reality now, Oculus wants to create a sort of “Facebook Matrix.” Again, my concern with this is how consumers will react. I don’t think the average person finds it appealing to be separated from true reality. We’re still humans, and we still like to be in touch with the world around us. As disappointing as the real world is sometimes, I think most people would still choose to be an active part of it.
So, Facebook, you’re all about the consumer, and now it’s time to translate that to the Oculus project. Don’t put so much emphasis on how “sci-fi” you can be about it. Here’s this new idea–now just ask yourselves how the consumer wants it delivered.