Parks Points

Expanding Use Cases in Virtual Reality

by Billy Nayden | Jan. 30, 2019

In a recent survey, 25% of broadband households indicated they were familiar with some type of VR technology, but just 8% actually owned a headset, Parks Associates researchers found.

While ownership has grown significantly over the past two years, VR headsets have not experienced the explosion in adoption that has characterized connected devices like smartwatches and smart speakers. Most consumers view VR headsets as a luxury niche product.

Gaming remains at the heart of VR technology, with the average headset owner playing 1.7 more hours of video games than the average gaming console owner. However, VR content creators have struggled to create an exclusive game that would garner widespread praise and mainstream adoption among gamers.

The opportunity for VR headset manufacturers is to craft virtual reality experiences that extend beyond the gaming space. Opportunities for VR use in health, education and enterprise-level implementation represent the next frontier in VR use, as manufacturers attempt to extend their reach beyond gamers.

VR for health was a focal point of the technology's presence at the Consumer Electronics Show this year. Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles have started using VR to help patients with pain management, utilizing the technology to distract patients receiving treatment.

Use cases like pain management and retail training undoubtedly present the cutting edge of VR technology. Consumers who had considered purchasing a VR headset in 2018 may opt to wait to see if the new Oculus headset will offer a superior experience.

These factors show the VR headset market is at a crossroads. As content creators search for the game or app that will appeal to mainstream consumers in order to expand their core audience, new use cases have emerged that might serve as a catalyst to bring VR to the mainstream.

This article was originally published in ecommerce times.

Billy Nayden

Billy Nayden

Research Analyst

INDUSTRY EXPERTISE: Entertainment content and services, virtual reality, sports media, gaming/esports

Billy is a research analyst on the entertainment services research team, specializing in entertainment content production and monetization. He brings experience from both the sports journalism and data analytics industries, making him uniquely positioned to study trends in television and the dynamic entertainment industry as a whole.

Billy earned his Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing from Southern Methodist University, where he minored in Sport Management and Film and Media Arts.

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