Awareness of VR Gathers Steam, Adoption Less So

Usage still in catch-up mode as interest in the emerging technology grows

Sale and adoption of virtual reality headsets remains sluggish, but consumer awareness of those products isn’t too shabby.

A majority of consumers has heard about VR or are “very familiar” with it, ReportLinker found in a survey of 650 U.S. consumers, conducted in October.

The percentage of people familiar enough about VR to explain what it is to a friend rose about 14 points compared to a similar survey held in January 2017.

But the big challenge remains adoption; 30% of those surveyed said they had used a VR headset, up from 25% in the 2016 study.

Attitudes toward VR improve with usage, as 84% who had already experienced the technology (via a headset) said they had a “very positive” or “somewhat positive” perception of VR. ReportLinker took that to mean VR developers and product makers should spend more focus on hands-on demos.

Among VR companies, Samsung, maker of the Gear VR mobile headset, remained the best-known brand in the category, but actually saw that recall fall a bit in 2017 versus the year prior. In terms of brand recognition, Samsung was followed by Sony and Oculus, the Facebook-owned VR company that, ironically, powers Samsung’s VR platform.

Google, despite the recent hard push behind its Daydream VR platform, was at the bottom of the branding pack.