Is VR really in decline?

Have opinions and attitudes toward virtual reality shifted recently -- or are we already too familiar with the technology?

A world where ubiquitous AR and VR exist? ZDNet's David Gewirtz tells TechRepublic's Karen Roby about what a future of ubiquitous AR and VR could look like, and the potential pros and cons it would present. Read more: https://zd.net/2ChwIGX

CNET

Best Phones for 2019

Our editors hand-picked these products based on our tests and reviews.

Read More

VR was first introduced to the world in the early 1990s. It looked like it was about to explode commercially at the beginning of 2017. But has it performed as expected?

Lyon, France-based industry insights company ReportLinker conducted research on the virtual reality trend to find out if the predictions were true.

Its results show that awareness, opinions, and adoption have declined.

The near future does not look so pretty for VR.

Although North America is the biggest commercial investor in AR and VR (as of the end of 2017), the fact is that currently the technology is not at the forefront of the everyday American's mind.

They are less familiar with VR now than they were in 2017 or even 2016.

Over half (56 percent) of Americans say that they have heard about the technology but are not able to explain it to a friend -- a 10-point increase since 2017.

Almost a quarter (23 percent) are very familiar with it and can explain what it is (minus 13 points since 2017).

Is VR really in decline zdnet

(Image: Report Linker)

Following its initial survey in 2017, the main findings show that almost one in six (14 percent) of people have already experienced VR. 

When asked about VR's leading brands, less than one in three (28 percent) of them can name an industry leader without any hints or clues, and only 37 percent show familiarity when brand names are suggested.

Virtual reality is not a big mystery -- over half of respondents (56 percent) say that the phrase rings a bell.

Unfortunately, respondents would have a hard time explaining it to relatives or friends who are in the dark about it. However, respondents today are more likely to possess only this vague comprehension of VR compared to those from just two or three years ago.

Sony and Oculus are mentioned now off the top of respondents' heads as leading brands less than one-tenth of the time with 8 percent of mentions for each.

Industry leader Samsung's Gear VR was mentioned without any prompting 20 percent of the time by survey respondents in 2017, more so than 8 percent for Sony or Oculus.

Consumers remain positive-minded about the technology. Almost two out of three (62 percent) of respondents replied that they have a positive attitude toward virtual reality.

However, there were 14 percent fewer "enthusiastic" respondents in the most recent survey than there were in 2017.

If investors believe that VR and AR is a sleeping giant that it about to awaken, they probably will have a long, long wait.

Previous and related coverage:

Laundry-folding robots and recipe-suggesting fridges among our most desired smart tech

The emergence of various technology has enabled individuals to spend less time on mundane everyday tasks within the workplace as well as their own home.

Seven out of ten Americans are comfortable with IoT tech in the home

Most of us own at least one smart product in our homes – but how often do we actually use them?

AI starting to yield results in influencer campaigns

Influencer marketing campaigns have increased by 172 percent after the introduction of a new AI solution.

How much do we trust AI recommendations?

Every day, Americans make decisions supported by AI: What route to take, which playlists to check out, shows to watch, and articles to read? But are we happy with the results?