Anthony Batt thinks that people need to stop making a big deal about virtual reality.
"Hyping something before it's mature is a bad thing," said Batt, speaking Tuesday afternoon at PitchfestNW.
The cofounder of Hollywood virtual reality studio WEVR and business partner of Ashton Kutcher said that the technology is still rough around the edges.
"VR is a mess. No one knows what they're doing," said Batt. "But it's fun."
He acknowledged the rapid pace of the technology. In 2012, Oculus Rift raised $2.5 million through a Kickstarter campaign. Two years later, Facebook bought it for $2 billion.
But Batt thinks the technology needs to explore and grow—without the burden of outside expectations.
"We just have to be a little patient," Batt said.
When it comes to VR entertainment, seemingly inconsequential details can lead to big problems, Batt said. If you're filming a movie in 360 degrees, for example, where does the microphone go? How can directors use artificial light without the lamp getting in the way of the camera?
"You have to rethink your set, you have to rethink your story, you have to rethink everything," he said.
Plus, the amount of data involved is massive. Batt said a recent short film he'd worked on weighed in at several terabytes.
But the VR industry—and market—is taking off. Earlier this year, a Goldman Sachs report estimated that virtual and augmented reality would be an $80 billion market by 2025.
The technology is most closely associated with the entertainment and gaming industries. But virtual reality is being explored in such diverse fields as travel and medicine.
Even the United Nations has looked into virtual reality. A UN-commissioned VR film, Clouds Over Sidra, takes viewers inside a Syrian refugee camp in Jordan.
Asked about where the technology was going next, Batt said he couldn't say.
"It's moving so fast," he said. "I have some ideas, but I'm going to be surprised."