What are the top things American consumers are looking for in a VR headset?
January 19th, 2024, James Stibbs

What are the top things American consumers are looking for in a VR headset?

With major players entering the market this year, including Apple which launches its Vision Pro product next month, we used YouGov Self-serve to ask what US consumers are looking for when it comes to virtual reality/spatial computing headsets.

15% of Americans already own a headset and a broadly similar amount intend to buy one in the next 12 months (16%). So what are they looking forward to doing once they’ve strapped their headset on? We asked people which experiences they thought could be improved through the use of a headset.

The biggest draw is video gaming, with almost half (48%) of Americans believing that gaming can be improved with the use of a VR or spatial computing headset. The next most popular option was tourism-related - exploring new destinations ahead of a visit is an aspect of VR that shows potential for 32% of Americans. Around the same amount (30%) say the same about watching movies.

Between 20% and 26% of consumers see the potential upside to VR of learning new skills, visiting new places, watching TV shows and watching sport but much smaller shares can imagine office meetings or working on documents being improved by strapping on their VR goggles. In fact only 2% of Americans say that a headset is more of a device for work, compared to 63% who say it is for leisure (16% say equal parts both).

So now we know what people may use a headset for. But what are they looking for in terms of features? We asked consumers to choose their top five considerations.

A low price is a first order concern and almost half of consumers (47%) say this is what they are looking for. Around the same proportion are also looking for good battery life (45%). Screen resolution is next with 43% selecting this option and lightweight build rounding out the top priorities (38%).

Then we see a range of lower order priorities including app availability, good privacy/security and easy integration with other hardware, like tablets, phones and computers.

Finally, we asked about price and, as reflected in the last question, consumers want to keep their spend levels low. When asked how much they would be prepared to spend, the most common answers Americans gave were between $1 and $250 and between 251 and $500 (25% each plumped for these options). Consumers opting to spend over $2,000 are in a very small minority right now - albeit that that could change very quickly if the spatial computing headset takes the same trajectory as the cell phone in the early 2000s.

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Methodology: YouGov polled 1,000 US adults on January 10, 2024. The survey was carried out through YouGov Surveys: Self-serve. Data is weighted by age, gender, race, political affiliation, education level and region. Learn more about YouGov Surveys: Self-serve.

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