VR, The Balance


By: Eric Daniel and Ben Nylin

It’s been ten years since Segway, a personal mobility device, uploaded one of their first commercials to YouTube, and seventeen since the company rolled onto the scene. A venture capitalist named John Doerr was confident that Segway would quickly become the fastest company to reach $1 billion in sales. With a target of 40,000 units to sell in the first year, a dismal 30,000 units sold in six years was less than impressive.

A case study of Segway poses an interesting question. What’s the difference between a technology that consumers ‘weren’t ready’ for and technology that dies with the failure of the product it is a part of? Perhaps a future invention will use the stabilizing mechanism that Segway pioneered. Perhaps consumers weren’t ready for a computer attached to his or her head, but maybe something like Google Glass will one day be the norm. Both Google Glass and Segway both wound up as the butt of more than a few jokes and serve as a cautionary tale to future creators. What technology is next to join them?

Does the Virtual Reality industry totter between ubiquity and ridicule, too?

Leaders in the virtual reality industry see VR, or virtual reality, as a powerful storytelling tool, but caution that it may have negative effects on a user’s personality over time.


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This story is a final class project for EM Digital Storytelling (JRMC 7012) and provides a full digital story experience. To experience the story, click the link below:



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