I’ve never been a fan of technology for technology’s sake.
Back in the early days of the web, I ran the online edition of what was then one of the largest-circulation magazines in the country. At an editorial planning meeting, a senior reporter presented a plan for a cool graphics package. “Can we make the pictures spin?” a designer asked.
Why would we? “Because we can.”
With most new technologies, there’s a tendency to do things not because they make strategic sense or somehow move things forward but because we can. Brand marketers are particularly susceptible to this; they want to be the first to do something—anything—mostly so they can issue a press release saying they were the first to do it. What typically follows is a series of copycat moves by those in other categories until someone unexpectedly (even accidentally) does something with the technology that takes advantage of its ability to create a unique consumer experience.
This headlong rush to the new can make it difficult to separate substance from hype. Which can lead to some pretty poor investment decisions involving technologies whose promise fails to materialize.
Virtual reality is not one of those technologies.