Google: ‘Too many brands are doing VR just to say they are doing VR’

Cannes Lions: Google has made a big bet on VR but admits it will take much longer than most people think to reach the mass market and claims that at the moment “0% of the world” is fully aware of the technology.

Speaking at an event held at the YouTube Beach in Cannes, Aaron Luber, head of Google VR partnerships, said one of the biggest mistakes brands, and other content producers, make is to overthink VR.

“Lots of brands think they need to do [a video] in VR just to say they are doing it in VR. They need to think about why they are making a VR video in the first place,” he said.

Read more: Jaguar says VR is helping it sell an ‘incredible amount of cars’ as it launches Andy Murray experience

Google has made a big push into VR, most recently launching Daydream, which aims to make every Android device capable of running VR video. Clay Bavor, Google’s VP of virtual reality, believes VR will eventually “touch everything” changing how people communicate, travel, build buildings and remember things.

However, he admitted that currently “0% of the world knows about VR” and that it will be slower to scale than people think.

“The percentage of people that are still to have that first experience says something about how broad VR has gone, which is not at all. As much energy, talk and hype that there is around VR, it will be much slower to ramp up than people think. We need to figure out the content and getting the devices out there so it makes sense for people to create content,” he explained.

“The most likely source of headsets that will help VR reach critical mass will be based around phones – the device people are already buying. But right now it is about building scale and educating people.”

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