Because in the real world, I’m not an exception. I’m half the audience
Although there are many differences between women and men in the way we perceive and process particular situations emotionally, the experience is not something given to only one gender. Therefore, no matter who we are, we engage and respond to what is happening around us. What does it have to do with virtual reality?
Certainly, women have different criteria and expectations when it comes to VR technology. First, they do not focus only on innovative capabilities and technical parameters. Their adventure with VR begins at the level of comfort of the device itself. It turns out that the “standard” does not refer to something between men and women, but something that applies to the men only. For example, the size of the device or the spacing of lenses in almost every case is not appropriate for a typical woman. This causes discomfort and inability to fully capture the presentation because the moment of immersion crashes on the technical drawbacks of the device.
According to Adi Robertson, who was one of the women testing the new VR technology at CES 2016, most developers start testing a new device on themselves first, and therefore their VR device is tailored to a specific customer profile – mainly to men. She also mentions a funny situation when, in one of the tested devices, the functionality of tracking the eyes did not work. When she reported the problem to the consultant, she was asked if she was wearing mascara that day? To her surprise, after removing the cosmetics from her eyelashes, the device started to work perfectly – it was the only stand where the boss was a woman.
The conclusion is one of your products – even the best of all possible – cannot be properly tested or brings about problems such as discomfort or lack of proper regulation – you simply lose your customers.
It is expected that up to four years 200 million sets of VR will be sold. I wonder what percentage of the VR sets will go to women and whether the devices will meet their expectations? What products will they be looking for? Maybe something to relax or to improve their professional qualifications? Who knows, they may be eager to see a totally new arrangement of their apartment? Certainly, the perception of women’s needs should be an important branch of the VR industry.