AR has Pokemon GO, but what is virtual reality's killer app going to look like?

VR experts discuss how to drive adoption of headsets

AR has Pokemon GO, but what is virtual reality's killer app going to look like?

Augmented reality already has its killer app with Pokemon GO, but virtual reality has yet to have a major driving force for hardware adoption.

Though many may turn off the AR aspect of Pokemon GO, it has been useful for the technology's adopters when explaining how it works to consumers, investors and various businesses.

VR however has yet to have a runaway success – though of course the major headsets such as the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive are only just now hitting the consumer market.

VR needs more than one killer app

Speaking at the VR World conference in London, a panel of VR experts across different industries discussed exactly what VR’s killer app would look like, and their opinion’s differed.

Unity Senior Evangelist Josh Naylor said he doesn’t think there has to be one killer app for AR – but there has to be “a whole bunch” of amazing games, experiences and apps.

He explained that, hypothetically, if there were two great games on HTC Vive but five on the Oculus Rift – he would go for the Oculus.

Naylor said one good game doesn’t matter too much when the consumer is spending around £600 or more on the headset.

He noted that Oculus and Valve are doing their best to open up VR to as many consumers and developers as possible, with the aim to get VR games on multiple platforms, not just their own. He said if VR succeeds as a whole, then every single platform will benefit.

Technology drivers

Ed Greig, 'Disruptor at creative digital consultancy Deloitte Digital, said that his clients want to see good metrics and gamified apps delivering results so they can take it to business leaders and show the impact of VR.

He added that Pokemon GO has made it a lot easier to have conversations about AR with clients as they can now understand potential use cases.

CCS Insight Wearables Analyst George Jijiashvili said he felt the next step for VR was better virtual presence. He said at the moment VR is quite solitary, but multiplayer elements and social aspects are what will drive broader interest amongst consumers.

Greig stated he felt the killer app for technology often comes from the adult entertainment industry.

He said this can lead to widespread adoption amongst consumers and is another driver for hardware because it offers a different experience - and has been a big driver of technology adoption.

Senior Editor

Craig Chapple is Senior Editor of and He was previously Deputy Editor at Develop and Online Editor at Nintendo of Europe.