US Survey Shows VR Awareness is Growing – Adoption Not so Much

An online survey conducted by ReportLinker has been used to explore how the awareness and adoption of VR headsets has developed since 2016. The survey reached 650 US consumers representative of the US population in October of 2017 and shows some interesting trends for VR headsets.

The question about the general awareness showed that only 18% of the respondents had never heard about VR. Double that amount, 36% of the respondents said that they are very familiar with the technology and could explain it to a friend. That may be a tad optimistic, I assume.

ReportLinker Survey 2017 – Who knows about VR?

The next question looked at what people think about VR. While the percentage of people with a positive attitude decreased to 76% in 2017 (versus 83% positive in 2016), the overall positive view is still very strong. Even more impressive is the fact that 84% of the people who have already experienced VR by using a headset, view VR as somewhat or very positive. This is even stronger than the results for the overall population.

ReportLinker VR Survey 2017 Do you like VRReportLinker VR Survey 2017 – Do you like VR?

When asked who they believe the market leader is in this new market, Samsung was still the leader, even though the firm’s market position is somewhat eroding, with 35% in 2017 versus 44% in 2016. The rest of the players are closing the gap. More interesting is the question where to buy the ‘Know’ and ‘Idea’ headsets that 21% of the people believe are the market leaders. Another aspect is that not all people see Oculus and Rift as one and the same. There seems some opportunity for Facebook to increase their market awareness numbers.

ReportLinker VR Survey 2017 Who is the VR market leaderReportLinker VR Survey 2017 – Who is the VR market leader?

For comparison, the recently released list of best VR headsets by PC Magazine, shows a different ranking of the headsets based on specs and some form of testing. As can be seen, the writers are more positive towards the Sony Playstation VR and tethered headsets in general. VR headsets using smartphones are ranked in 4th and 5th place. This list does at least have the HTC Vive included, while the open survey missed them completely.

PC Magazine 2017 Best VR headset

Analyst Comment

While this online survey is a quick and easy way to see some trends in the marketplace, I wouldn’t read too much into the absolute numbers but just look at the trends. It seems that VR is on the mind of many people and with even positive views about the technology, the adoption rate among the interviewed consumers was only 5%. The issue for VR seems to remain actual sales numbers, not awareness and reviews.

Another aspect is the emergence of the mixed reality (I’m not a fan of that term) headsets based on the Microsoft design for the 2017 Holiday season. In a way I think that the sales results for these headsets from Acer, HP, Lenovo, Dell and now Samsung will be a very good indicator for VR in 2018. As an early teaser, the Dell and HP headsets are already out of stock on the Microsoft site. If you feel intrigued to check it out,with current incentives, the MR headsets including a VR ready PC will still set you back $1,000 to $2,000+. Happy Holidays. (NH)