“When I tried to explain my VR startup to outsiders of the industry, either friends or clients, more than one decade ago, their first reaction would usually be ‘What’s that?’ But now, on hearing that I’m engaged in VR business, people would say ‘Wow, that’s cool,’ only that the exclamation is often followed by a second award question of ‘But what is it exactly?’,” Meng Weiqi, CEO of VR firm Beijing Longteck, said about the change of attitude towards the emerging technology at Vive New Ecosystem Conference 2018 held last week.

Compared with two years ago, the buzz surrounding VR has gone quiet, raising concerns that the industry is dying. But subtle changes show that despite slowing media coverage, people are becoming more familiar with the concept of VR thanks to more affordable devices, better content, and the popularity of offline VR arcades.

A survey conducted by HTC Vive shows that the familiarity with VR in China increased from 35% to 51% over the last year, up 150%. Yet, there is still a long way to go to make it as popular as smartphone, a situation that’s depicted in Steven Spielberg’s blockbuster movie Ready Player One.

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Emma Lee

Emma Lee is Shanghai-based tech writer, covering startups and tech happenings in China and Asia in general. We are looking for stories related to tech and China. Reach her at lixin@technode.com.