A recent study from Parks Associates found that 63% of people in the US are not familiar with and know very little or nothing about virtual reality. With such low levels of awareness amongst people in the United States and lower-than-expected sales, there is plenty of room for improvement in the public perception of virtual reality headsets.
Not surprisingly, younger people were much more familiar with the concept of virtual reality with twice as many Millennials saying they are interested in purchasing a virtual reality headset. Within this group, some 12% of males were intending to purchase a virtual reality headset, compared to just 5% of females, according to the study. Out of all the brands on the market, Oculus Rift is the market leader when it comes to people’s familiarity with virtual reality headsets. The familiarity ranking of the top six brands within the United States is as follows:
1. Oculus Rift
2. Samsung Gear VR
3. PlayStation VR
4. Google Cardboard
5. HTC Vive
6. Microsoft HoloLens (mixed reality)
Most people who had actually tried virtual reality said they enjoyed the experience, with almost half intending to purchase a headset, while another third said they did not plan to purchase a headset though they had enjoyed the experience. Another 15% went ahead and actually purchased a headset.
The article in mediapost.com points out sales figures show that sales for headsets have been lower than predicted, in particular for PlayStation VR. Initially, it was predicted that between 1.4 million and 3 million PlayStation VR units would have been shipped by the end of this year, but the actual figure is expected to only be about 745,000. The Park study found that about 3.4 million households in the United States currently own a VR headset.