Christmas set to double number of VR headsets in British households

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Virtual and augmented reality were always going to be hard-hitters this Christmas, but new research has revealed 10% of UK homes expect to have "some form" of VR tech by the big day.

The research, carried out by retailer Carphone Warehouse, said this would double the number of households in the UK who currently have virtual reality tech of some kind. 

VR tops the list of wearable tech expected to grow this year, taking the lead at 172% over smartwatches (49%) and fitness trackers (30%). 

After asking 2,000 British adults their opinion on VR tech via Opinium, Carphone Warehouse found gaming will be the most popular use of virtual reality, followed by travel experiences and 'attending' music concerts. 

With more devices hitting the marketplace, this inevitably draws in more content

Almost half of adults have reportedly tried a virtual reality experience and 80% are 'aware' of it; giving way to Christmas 2016 becoming the season it makes its way into the hands of many.

Indeed, virtual reality headsets available this season range from the very cheap Google cardboard-like devices, to the mid-range ones like Google Daydream and Samsung Gear and higher-end devices such as the Playstation VR, HTC Vive and Oculus Rift.

The appeal

Of the 10% of Brits saying they 'secretly' wanted to ask for VR this Christmas, over half feel it's too expensive, 8% think they might look silly using it and 7% are confused about content that's available to them. 

Carphone Warehouse is betting big on VR this year, and is giving away a free Samsung Gear VR 2 with any S7 and S7 Edge on any pay monthly contact, as well as a free Goji VR headset with any Android phone on a similar sort of contract. 

Dean Kramer director of Accessories, Carphone Warehouse, told VRTech News that good quality VR content is especially important to the tech's wider adoption. 

"With more devices hitting the marketplace, this inevitably draws in more content. There’s a wide range of apps for many devices out there for people to try out across many genres, even major theme parks are using VR technology to enhance their attractions. With the arrival of 360 cameras, VR also presents an exciting opportunity for people to make their own content which we think it going to be big for 2017," he told us.

Kramer added that the retailer thinks mobile VR will be instrumental in its appeal to a wider audience, given the affordability of it as an option as opposed to more advanced virtual reality headsets.

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