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VR devices expected in 24 Million homes by end of 2017


Virtual reality (VR) headsets will be present in 24 million homes by end of 2017, with purchase intentions almost double that of early 2016, according to Parks Associates research.


Samsung’s Gear VR is the leading product in the VR market, with Sony’s PlayStation VR in second place, according to Park Associates. Of those who purchased a VR headset in 2016, 31% bought a Samsung VR and 12% bought a PlayStation VR.


Worldwide, some 24 million households are forecast to own at least one virtual reality device by the end of this year. This figure is predicted to rise to 77 million households by 2021, according to the market research company.


“The budding virtual reality market is just in its infancy. VR has the potential to breathe new life into important CE (consumer electronics) device categories that have reached saturation, but challenges are hindering wider adoption. Familiarity is low, with fewer than 13% of consumers having experienced VR first hand,” said Hunter Sappington, researcher, Parks Associates .


The evolution of multiple players, with different headset hardware, “has resulted in a fragmented marketplace, which affects both content availability and future innovation,” he added.

However, despite these challenges the VR sector is growing, with both increases in adoption and purchase intentions. Park Associates predicts new technologies such as eye tracking and mixed reality will be integrated into VR products over the next two to three years.


While gaming is the leading the fray in VR usage, potential VR equipment buyers are also interested in videos, virtual sports stadiums and virtual tours. Content, mobile and social use is being spearheaded by players such as Google, Samsung and Facebook.


Tu Skuse, research analyst, Parks Associates said:


“As headsets become increasingly available and users experience VR for themselves, interest will grow.  An expanding base of users will be key in motivating hardware makers, retailers, content producers, and service providers to continue to invest in this promising technology”.

Researchers believe that as well as entertainment, VR has the potential to impact multiple industries, including health, education, and industrial design.