There’s plenty of anticipation for virtual reality products, now that the PlayStation VR has an official consumer name, Oculus Rift is holding a convention next week, and HTC/Valve’s Vive gear is getting closer. And let’s not forget more than million Google Cardboard VR viewers are already in place, and Samsung’s Gear is hitting stores before the holidays. Still, it’s good to see that there are actual survey numbers to back up the excitement many are feeling about the impending arrival of VR.
Virtual travel firm YouVisit surveyed 1,000 adults in the US through Google Consumer Surveys, reported Ars Technica. The results showed 11 percent of the respondents had tried VR, representing approximately 23 million people in the USA. There’s another 30 percent on top of that who said they are interested in trying VR at some point, making for 41 percent of the population. That’s pretty good, considering there’s no particular marketing effort behind VR yet.
Other interesting demographics revealed by the survey include the fact that VR interest skews younger, as you might expect 18 percent of the 18-24 age group has experienced VR directly, and 46 percent said they wanted to try VR. On the flip side of the age spectrum, only 14 percent of people over the age of 65 said they would like to try VR. Interest in VR is not as high among women, with 15 percent of men having tried VR and 36 percent more wanting to try it, while only 8 percent of women had tried VR and only 21 percent were interested in trying the technology.
That 41 percent having tried VR or being interested in VR represents a potential market of 86 million people in the US. That’s good news for the companies getting into VR hardware, and the far larger array of companies looking to create or utilize VR experiences. We’ll be watching carefully to see if that VR market turns out to be as real as the survey indicates.