The Global Virtual Reality Association:

The first virtual reality alliance

Posted by Agnieszka Orlikowska on December 19th 2016

Virtual reality (VR) for the masses is here and it is going more and more mainstream. This year has already been a really important one for VR. We witnessed the launch of both the new hardware and the new contents that made this technology more accessible to the public.

Nevertheless, even though the VR industry has made all these significant strides throughout 2016, it still seems to have difficulties in gaining massive levels of adoption. There are three main reasons for that. First of all, customers are still surprisingly unaware of VR. They do not know much about recent technological developments. Unfortunately, not only the lack of the VR awareness is problematic. The prices of the hardware are still relatively high and at the same time the quality of the VR content is quite low.

In order to face all these challenges last week the major VR names such as Acer, Google, HTC, Oculus, Samsung, Sony joined their forces and created Global Virtual Reality Association (GVRA). The companies decided that the collaboration is much more beneficial for them than the competition against one another. But what is the main reason why all these tech giants have decided to unite and form this association?

Virtual Reality needs standards

According to the press release available on the website of Global Virtual Reality Association, the main mission of the organisation is to promote the "responsible development and adoption of VR technology" on a global scale. GVRA aims at bringing together industry leaders and fostering the collaboration between them in order to develop and share best practices as the field grows and evolves.

"We're still very much in the early stages of VR, so it's critical that industry leaders work together to create and share ideas on how we can safely build this industry," said Jordan McCollum, General Counsel for Oculus at Facebook.

The founding companies would like to work together in order to unlock and maximise the potential of VR technology. Their another intention is to serve as a resource for consumers, policymakers, and industries interested in VR as well. Global Virtual Reality Association also plans to host and participate in international discussions on important topics in VR to shape the public discussion on the technology.

But how will the group achieve its goals? Actually, it was not explained by GVRA neither on the website nor in the press release. All the details of how the organisation is supposed to work in practice are still unclear.

Is anyone missing?

Global Virtual Reality Association was launched by the major players in VR industry, however, it is easy to notice that among the founding companies two big names are missing - Microsoft and Apple. What about them? Will they take part in this new initiative? It seems that rather not. Both of them decided to stay out of the GVRA since they have different plans concerning the future of virtual reality. Microsoft has just announced its Windows Holographic platform that is seen as a competitor to the Oculus Rift while Apple seems more interested in AR than in VR.

Faster VR adoption will depend on how successful GVRA is

Will Global Virtual Reality Association increase the awareness of the brands and encourage the greater adoption of VR technology? Will the cooperation between these big tech companies lead to the unification of the standards in terms of hardware and software across the broad spectrum of virtual reality? Only time will give us the answer for those questions. We have to be patient and see what is going to happen next. One thing is sure: with the close cooperation of major VR companies, it seems that VR has a better future ahead.