Despite high levels of media, investor and executive enthusiasm, consumers are still just beginning to warm up to virtual reality.
On January 15, 2016, Greenlight VR debuted its yearlong series of webinars designed to address industry trends. The 60-minute discussion titled Understanding Tomorrow’s VR Consumer: A Global Perspective brought together international analysts including Sam Clough, Strategic Insights Director at SuperAwesome, and Ian McClellan, Market Insights Manager at Intel, to discuss wide-ranging consumer trends.
Topics included consumer awareness of virtual reality at the category and brand levels, purchase intentions, content preferences, and concerns regarding this new technology. A particular area of interest for the 50 attendees was Generation Z and how they may dictate the future of virtual reality.
“What we’re seeing from Generation Z is a strong desire to try new and innovative VR content. Whether that be strictly for gaming is uncertain as the VR medium itself allows for a new way to interact. What we’re seeing though is that 25% of the Gen Z sample wants to buy a VR device with their own money, which truly surprised us,” says SuperAwesome’s Sam Clough.
Key points of interest for the audience included, “What’s the killer non-gaming application we have yet to see?” And how can virtual reality be applied to education, as well as for professional and vocational training. Ultimately, the panelists concluded that the virtual reality industry will take time to develop best practices and nurture consumer interest.
“With the release of most of these products around the corner, we should expect awareness at both the category- and brand-levels to equalize according to adoption. That’s the one thing with this research that’s the most interesting, it’s directly dictated by time,” says Intel’s Ian McClellan.
What’s certain, though, is that this is just the beginning for virtual reality.