2.5m Australian homes predicted to have VR headsets by 2020

Virtual reality is not just an emerging tech field in the US, Europe and Asia; it’s also making a major splash Down Under.

According to research carried out by an emerging tech analyst, Telsyte, 115,000 headsets will be sold in the second half of this year alone - rising to half a million next year.

By 2020 the firm’s research estimates over 3.3 million units will have been sold in Australia alone, reaching 2.5 million houses.

Playstation VR is set to lead the way in this mass VR adoption by Australians, their research shows, given that there are over a million homes already with PS4 consoles. Telsyte’s Australian VR & AR Market Study 2017 predicts that 65% of VR hardware revenue will be generated by PSVR in the second half of this year.

Mobile VR 'gateway'

Mobile VR is set to be big in Australia too, with 46% of overall VR unit sales in the second half of 2016 set to be in this area (with 8% PC-based and 46% console-related). However, the company notes that the tech has limitations, such as a lack of 3D head tracking, which means it may be a ‘gateway’ of sorts for new users of VR, to advance them on to more higher tech systems.

In addition, businesses across Australia are already in development or considering making their own VR apps, for internal or outside use, the Telsyte research adds.

Entertainment will be the main driver of VR adoption in Australi

Overall, awareness of virtual reality as a technology has increased by nearly half over the course of a year among those over 16, the research added. This is more than likely down to well-known brands such as Google, Sony and Facebook drumming up interest.

Health worry

While gaming and mobile VR provide answers to the ‘too expensive’ PC-based VR system consumer barrier, health effects are said by the research to be one of the main concerns when it comes to VR.

In particular, the effects on eyesight worry over half of Australians, and nearly the same amount are concerned that we don’t know much yet about the overall health impact of using a virtual reality headset.   

However there are still some concerns around the health impacts of prolonged use. Aussies surveyed by Telsyte said they were concerned about the health effects including eyesight for over half, and not knowing enough about the health effects (48%)

“Entertainment will be the main driver of VR adoption in Australia, however, organisations of all types are excited by the prospects of developing VR apps,” said Telsyte’s managing director Foad Fadaghi.

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