The virtual reality (VR) space is on the way to becoming one of the most active niches in the technology industry. According to data from BI Intelligence, shipments of VR headsets will likely increase at a whopping 99 percent compound annual growth rate between 2015 and 2020. Furthermore, experts are forecasting prices for VR headsets to drop significantly. This will take place as engineers continue to develop the technology to cater to mainstream consumers. With the growth of the VR market, its content translation and localization needs have significantly grown.
Going Beyond Video Games
Currently pioneering the nascent sector are large brands, such as Samsung, Facebook and Google. Each company is in the process of implementing its own set of applications for their respective VR devices. Google is aiming to promote the generation of content via YouTube. Facebook and Samsung meanwhile are focusing on high-level, portable gaming.
“Beyond gaming, VR will be an important platform for streaming content and even shopping. Oculus has already experimented with Story Studio, a platform for VR movie creation. In addition, many consumers claim the VR experience will drive them to shop more online rather than in stores,” wrote BI Intelligence in the Virtual Reality 2015 report opens in a new window.
End-user Complexities and Barriers
The potential of VR adoption heavily relies on campaigns that are educating people about the new device and its various applications. Ultimately, businesses in the sector are targeting a very wide consumer demographic. Most may have heard about the technology organically; but there is also a huge chunk of the group that know very little about VR. In fact, the stigma that VR is limited to a bulky headset and blurry, pixelated images (as they were in the 90s) is hindering growth in the space.
Without educating the masses on the mechanics of VR and its benefits, businesses could risk low adoption rates. Because virtual reality is such a new concept companies will require more in-depth coverage on the proper use of headsets. By comparison, the rise of smartphones came from the development of analog handheld units. Comprehensive product manuals, website tutorials, online communities and presentations are just some of the mediums businesses will likely use to help individuals understand how such devices work. In order to cater to foreign regions, companies will be required to provide translated versions of their offerings. This could create bottlenecks in adoption, if poorly executed.
“Getting users to experience VR technology firsthand, and therefore truly understand its potential, remains a challenge. But the emergence of low-cost mobile VR solutions is helping. Even so, some industry participants strongly believe that anything requiring the user to wear a cumbersome device will ultimately fail,” explained Tractica, a research and consulting firm.
Content Translation and Localization
Professional language translation service could help companies in the VR industry streamline their products for international release. As mentioned earlier, extensive, detailed translations are required due to the complex nature of the headsets. During the initial release of VR products, users will rely on official manuals. They will use generic packaging to boost their understanding of the device. With that being said, individuals will likely not find sufficient information about VR units from third-party or external sources. This will likely continue until adoption has gained considerable momentum. Hence, to avoid confusion and to boost the foundational information on VR headsets, accurate translation of labels, software, websites and packaging materials must be prioritized.
Once masses worldwide finally get their hands on VR devices, the virtual pictures that they will project will be worth thousands of words. But some will also contain content that will require translation and localization.
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