Do the VR startups have to close now? A comment:
In the second half of the year the annual Gartner Hype cycle was released again and there was a great shock! After Virtual Reality (VR) had slowly fought its way out of the "Valley of Disappointment" to the "Path of Enlightenment" in the last years, we had expected that we would now move straight to the "Plateau of Productivity". But after several looks at the graphics it becomes clear: VR has simply disappeared from the hype cycle! Is VR dead? Augmented Reality (AR) is currently positioned in the "valley of disappointment" and the term Mixed Reality (MR) has now landed on the descending branch. MR implies VR as well as AR depending on the definition. Does this mean that VR was put back into the “valley of disappointment” shortly before the home straight?
With the Hype Cycle Gartner tries every year to classify the new emerging technologies according to their degree of attention into different sections of a cycle curve. Gartner assumes that every technology first goes through a hype based on exaggerated reporting, then falls into the aforementioned "valley of disappointment", then unravels again and offers a lasting benefit for society. This was still hinted at in 2017 when VR was placed on the threshold of the "Path of Enlightenment". But now VR has simply disappeared! Fortunately, we have not disappeared, but have plenty of ideas, which we implement very productively and successfully - independent of the "Educated Guesses" of the consulting giant. A few weeks after the publication of the hype cycle, Gartner has commented on this in a statement: The reason for the disappearance is supposed to be the fact that Virtual Reality is already almost mature and can therefore not be evaluated as a new technology. Since MR can be defined as a mixture of AR and VR, we are surprised by the crash prognosis for this new/old mixing technology.
This, of course, once again raises the question of how Gartner comes to these estimates. What is the data basis? According to Wikipedia, this is probably based on which topics are discussed in the digital media.
VR is the evergreen among the Gartner terms. A look at the very first Gartner hype cycle from 1995 reveals: VR has already been certified as falling into a valley of disappointment. In the retrospective certainly not quite wrong, but also not quite right. Although the Virtual Boy by Nintendo flopped in the 90s, VR hasn't disappeared. In the CAVEs of research institutions and large corporations, VR survived various subsequent hypes.
Since HMDs and improved processors are on the market today, VR and AR experienced a kind of revival. And this is where our biggest criticism of Gartner Hypes becomes clear: it's not about actual technologies, but about buzzwords. Although VR has long been used as a productive platform in industry as a CAVE, it is still on the cycle because the underlying technologies such as graphics cards, processors, Internet bandwidths and display technologies are constantly evolving. However, Internet bandwidth and processors do not sound as sexy as virtual reality. Well, in the Gartner hype it seems as if VR has died again in the valley of disillusionment. But in fact it is more like the 90s, where technology has established itself in a rather lucrative niche of the big industrial groups and has become a decisive competitive advantage. This will also be the case in 2018, with the difference that small and medium-sized companies will now also be able to participate because the technology is now less expensive and requires less employee training. At the startup front it does not look as if VR is not moving out of the "valley of disappointment", but - and this is perhaps the misunderstanding of a hype - the technology is becoming the standard and is therefore no longer worth reporting. Fortunately, from our point of view the coverage does not decrease, more and more success stories for the use of VR in medium-sized companies can be read in the press. Honestly, are we really smarter with Gartner?