Virtual Reality – on the brink of going mainstream?

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In our series of posts this year, we are getting closer to the people behind the surveys.

Our first topic of the year is the stuff of sci-fi movies: Virtual reality. Few people know a lot and few people know nothing, most people know a little. Which shows, slowly but surely Virtual Reality is creeping into our lives.

While current projected uses are most commonly anticipated to be the most current common use (Playing Video Games / Augmented Reality – 47%), around 17% thought education would be a popular use. I have to say, while this surprised me at first, I can see the Henry Ford, faster horses issue being applying here.

Despite VR becoming more widely known, half our respondents had no intention to buy a console in future, a quarter thought they probably would and 8% are leading the way, already owning one.  With ownership so low, we asked what had stopped people from buying one so far. 22% are waiting for the technology to improve before taking the plunge, a third said it was currently too expensive and almost half had no idea what they would use it for.

I will be the first to admit; our Oculus Rift got a lot of use in the first few weeks but has been used less frequently in the past couple of months as the novelty wore off.  Despite our respondents seemed lack of enthusiasm for purchasing one now, 40% thought taking a survey in VR would be an amazing experience, (28% did not think it would add anything).

Given this, I think as the technology starts to become more mainstream we will have to lead the way in uses and experiences outside what has been done so far.

Over the last few years, our market research industry has begun to expand into new areas, and there’s talk of a possible skills shortage in data analytics as new technology becomes more and more integrated with traditional MR projects. How will virtual reality fit in? Will it only ever be a novelty survey tool or one day will it be as mainstream as mobile? Watch this (virtual) space!