Virtual reality hasn’t caught on among American teenagers, according to new research from Piper Sandler released Tuesday.
While 29% of teens surveyed own VR devices – compared to 87% owning an iPhone – only 4% of headset owners use them daily, according to the investment firm, and 14% use them weekly.
Plus, teenagers don’t seem to be very interested in buying new VR headsets. Only 7% said they were planning to purchase a headset, while 52% of the teens surveyed were unsure or not interested.
More than 5,600 respondents took part in the survey.
The survey results suggest that VR hardware and software have yet to catch on with the public, despite billions of dollars of investment in the technology from big tech companies and a plethora of low-cost headsets on the market. Teenagers are often seen as early adopters of new technologies, and their preferences can provide insight into where the industry is heading.
“In our view, this sluggish use demonstrates that VR remains in its early stages of development and that these devices are less important than smartphones,” wrote Piper Sandler analysts.
Meanwhile, companies believe in the technology. Apple is reportedly getting ready to announce its own headset as early as this year. In addition, Meta is also planning to release new VR headsets later this year. Its Quest 2 headset, launched in 2020, now leads the market in terms of sales by a wide margin, but shipments have declined last year.
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