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BizReport : Trends & Ideas archives : February 05, 2016

Virtual Reality: Seeing, and trying, is believing and buying

As some of the largest companies in the world put their faith in virtual reality, a new report from Futuresource Consulting reveals that the new technology has a long way to go before consumers will part with a significant amount of money to buy into it.

by Helen Leggatt

Over the coming months a variety of first generation virtual reality headsets will hit the market. According to FutureSource's 'Virtual Reality - Niche or Mass Market?' report, despite the hype surrounding the new technology, very few consumers - just 3% - have actually tried VR.

In fact, even among those early adopters that attended CES 2016 it was the first time they had tried VR, says Todd Richmond, director of advanced prototype development at the Institute for Creative Technologies at the University of Southern California.

VR.pngAccording to Adam Cox, Senior Analyst at Futuresource Consulting the number of people who have tried VR "needs to be a lot higher if people are going to be persuaded to part with a significant amount of cash. They need to understand what they're going to purchase and no amount of marketing can do that - with VR you have to try it! VR has the potential to create significant revenue opportunities across the industry and it will fail if consumers aren't aware of the technology or don't have the opportunity to try it".

The VR market will be given a significant boost over the next six months. The launch of Samsung's Gear VR consumer unit in Q4 2015 as well as the imminent launches of the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive will transform the market along with the launch of the PlayStation VR headset later in the year. Futuresource's research found that movies (39%) and games 38%) were the content most people who are interested in VR are most interested in experiencing. Just over a quarter (26%) were interested in experiencing VR sports.

Futuresource predicts that total consumer VR content (video + games) will reach $8.3 billion by 2020.

Image via Shutterstock

Tags: technology, trends, virtual reality, VR

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