The market for virtual and augmented reality is undoubtedly huge. The numbers we are talking about are mind-boggling, although the market potential is yet to be fully realized. When Facebook acquired Oculus for two billion dollars in 2014, it was a huge bet it made especially given that there were other noticeable failures including that of Google Glass. While all those bets are beginning to pay off at this time, we still have a long way to go for market acceptance.
In our experience of testing several applications including ones in the wearable, AR and VR space, one common theme that stands out is “compelling content”. Any of these technologies don’t really mean much by themselves – they take their shape only based on how compelling the content is for end users to consume. As an analogy, let’s say a very fancy theatre is made available to the public, but the movie that is played is very sub-standard. The fanciness of the theatre is not what will stand out. The sub-standard content is what will stand out.
Now, how can we ensure compelling content and the success of these applications in the marketplace? – This is where augmented reality app testing and other aspects of testing for the technologies under consideration here, come into picture. The more the apps are tested (both by software testers specialized in this space and by end users), the more is the feedback on not just the app but also the content. These together enhance the relevance and reach for the app and the content.
In case of mobile and social computing, when they entered the market, the usage was intuitive for end users and the connect was for reasons that even a common (non-technology) user could relate to right away – however, in the case of AR, VR and the wearables segment, such common man acceptance is yet to be established – to start with at-least, we may not see that happen in the near future. It will still be for a select group of power users, given the cost of most the devices as well. With all of these in play, of the varied strategies that may have to be adopted in enhancing market share, software testing is going to play a huge role. As mentioned in our earlier posts, the domains across which the applications will be leveraged will be diverse, user base will be closely involved in app development and content, content may even come in from users (users who are able to source content globally), and for these to happen organizations need to source testers both internally and from a crowd. We at ATE, have been able to help organizations in this segment with their testing needs including wearables, AR and VR.
We are excited as more of these apps enter the market, as testing takes a more prominent seat in all of these, further shaping this industry by the day.