|HTC Vive Virtual Reality System.|
Currently you can experience a kind of Virtual Reality using just your mobile phone and one of the many affordable phone VR headsets, with the most basic being Google Cardboard.
But the real VR experience is immersive, allowing you to interact with the virtual environment. To do that you need equipment that is much more sophisticated, requires more space, and is more costly than a simple phone based headset.
From what I can gather the best VR system, offering a full immersive experience is the HTC Vive (This post is not sponsored BTW). At around US$799.00 it's one of the most expensive but well within the budget of an aspiring entrepreneur. Note that you'll need a fairly powerful computer to run it, something in the range of a US$2000-$3000 spend. Not totally unreachable for the average entrepreneur.
The costs, equipment and space requirements are, however, something that the average consumer would really have to weigh up the pros and cons. There are cheaper VR systems, some that attach to your PlayStation even, but none that offer what the HTC Vive can.
That's where I see an opportunity. Not just to offer a VR experience to people who can't justify owning their own system but also to offer such an experience to people who would never buy such a system in the first place.
All you need is to rent a space to set up shop and offer people a chance to experience not just VR games but also VR Art Applications, Social Apps and any other kinds of experiences available.
IMAX VR has an experimental VR Arcade in Los Angeles that opened to the public early in 2017. It has seen more than 20,000 unique visitors in around 3 months, and has been bringing in around $15,000 a week by its third month of operation. Exceeding expectations. Not bad for a $7-$10 ticket per person. As a result IMAX is looking to expand its VR Arcade business globally.
|IMAX VR's Arcade has multiple 'Pod' spaces for|
each VR space.
The IMAX VR Arcade offers a number of experiences suitable for beginners through to hardcore VR converts, ranging from Tilt Brush (Google's VR Painting App) to The John Wick Chronicles (a VR game based upon the John Wick movies).
The thing is, why wait for the big corporations to bring VR to your city. A single system is affordable and could be a viable business in your local area. From my point of view, how many artists are there who wouldn't pay $7-$10 to try out VR painting in tilt brush for a half hour or more? They could also upload their art to the cloud for downloading or sharing on social networks.
Other opportunities could be VR Gaming or the chance to create your own VR Environments in the upcoming Sansar Social VR World creation platform from the makers of Second Life (one of the internet's original virtual worlds).
Virtual Reality is no longer a passing fad. It has enough of a foot hold that multiple companies are investing in improving the hardware required to get the complete experience. At the same time, mobile phone VR headsets are so cheap that people can afford them on a whim, just to see what VR is like.
Personally I own two phone headsets. I bought the second one because it had an audio jack, microphone and was more comfortable to wear. I'm not particularly into the mobile phone experience, though it really is a good glimpse into the potential of VR. I really want to try the full experience and get my hands on some of the art and productivity applications.
In short, I'm a potential customer for anyone willing to set up a VR business.