Virtual Reality Gets a Boost during the Pandemic
- CCS Insight consumer survey finds that owners of virtual reality headsets have increasingly turned to their devices for entertainment during the Covid-19 pandemic.
- VR headset owners are extremely engaged with their devices, with 60% using them every day or almost every day.
- Exercise is a growing application of the technology, with a majority of VR users saying that they work out with their headset at least once a week.
London, 25 March 2021: The Covid-19 pandemic has prompted greater interest in virtual reality products, according to a recent survey from technology analysis firm CCS Insight. The company’s latest survey of people’s interest in and use of VR finds that the technology has been an important source of entertainment for over 80% of VR users during the recent health crisis. Furthermore, more than half say they’ve used the technology to socialise during this period.
Leo Gebbie, Senior Analyst for Extended Reality at CCS Insight, comments, “The global pandemic has offered emerging technologies an opportunity to prove their value. VR has stood out as a means of entertainment as people have navigated lockdown periods, and acted as a form of escapism while they’ve been physically confined”.
More widely, the survey finds that the VR market is displaying promising signs of growth, with 70% of VR owners getting their device in the past 12 months, suggesting a rapid expansion. Gaming continues to act as the “killer” application for the technology, with almost 90% of owners playing games on their headset at least once a week.
However, VR isn’t just about gaming. A broad range of other content is important, and nearly 70% of owners say that they watch videos on their headset on a weekly basis. This includes TV episodes, music videos and also adult content, which over two-thirds of users say they have watched in VR at some point.
Another notable finding is that VR is becoming increasingly popular as a form of exercise as people try to improve their health and well-being. More than 60% of VR users pick up their headset for exercise at least once a week, a trend that the company foresaw at its Predictions event in October 2019. Overall, three-quarters of VR users report that they consider themselves physically active while using the technology, suggesting that VR gets people moving even if they don’t think of it as exercise.
Gebbie notes, “Over the past couple of years, we’ve seen the uses for VR diversify, and while games are clearly still a major source of interest in the technology, applications such as using VR for socialising and exercising are picking up momentum”.
The research also reveals strong interest in VR among technology enthusiasts who do not yet own a device, although the biggest barrier to adoption remains the price of a headset. Gebbie adds, “Price remains a challenging hurdle for the VR industry. Facebook’s Oculus Quest 2 headset at £299 or $299 offers a punchy price point, but it’s still more than people told us they were willing to pay for their first VR device. This price gap remains a major barrier to mass-market adoption”.
Finally, the survey highlights that VR owners are broadly receptive to using the technology at work. Over 70% of VR owners say that the technology could be used in their workplace, and a majority say they’ve already used their headset for work in some way.
More details of CCS Insight’s extensive virtual and augmented reality research service can be found at: www.ccsinsight.com/research-areas/virtual-and-augmented-reality/
Notes to editors
CCS Insight is a leading provider of research on the markets for virtual and augmented reality. This forecast is part of a broader suite of research into the technology, including an extensive database of devices in this area, regular reports and updates on the latest announcements, events and news.
About CCS Insight
CCS Insight is a global analyst company focussing on current and future trends in technology. It provides comprehensive services that are tailored to meet the needs of individual clients, helping them make sense of the connected world. Follow @CCSInsight on Twitter or learn more at www.ccsinsight.com.
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