The adoption of immersive technologies for gaming and leisure activities continues to grow at a rapid pace, with one study indicating that 40% of people aged 18-34 have experienced virtual reality (VR).
Research by SlotsMillion, the virtual reality casino that allows people to play for real money, has found 92% of people are aware of VR, with 23% having tried the new technology.
Of the 2,000 people surveyed by Opinium, a London-based strategic insight agency, on behalf of the VR developer, 2% have spent at least 25 hours in VR, 6% estimate their exposure at between 1-24 hours, and 15% have tried it once or twice.
A total of 10% of over 55-year-olds have experienced VR. That figure increases to 24% for 35 to 54-year-olds, and 40% among 18- to 34-year-olds.
Unsurprisingly, those aged between 18-34 are happiest to fork out for VR experiences, with £134 the average spend they are willing to lay out, while over 55s are happy to invest £74.
As a sign of the future strength of the burgeoning industry, 80% of 18-34 year olds are ‘interested’ in the technology, with close to a third (28%) saying they are ‘very interested’ or ‘obsessed’ with VR.
More than a quarter (28%) of those who are interested in VR said they would most likely use the software to experience travel, with the same percentage keen on watching films and television in VR.
Gaming was also a popular choice at (28%), while watching live music and taking part in exercise or sport notched 16% and 14%, respectively.
SlotsMillions CEO Alexandre Tomic said: “Our research proves that the critical initial phase of developing awareness has been achieved and it’s really only a lack of opportunity to try a VR headset that is holding many back from taking that step.
“Once headsets and the related technology becomes more affordable, I fully expect the interest and experience levels to continue to rise sharply.
“We can use VR to create beautiful, vivid encounters that are more colourful and life-like than real life. It has the power to transport us to another world and – as we are demonstrating with our VR casino SlotsMillion – be in two places at once.”
Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Samsung are among the companies to have produced VR products. With the technology set to go mainstream, experts have indicated the sector could be worth up to £65 billion by 2020.
The latest industry research comes as both land-based and online operators continue to explore the opportunities of VR. December saw Muckleshoot Casino in Washington State install a wireless, full-motion, multi-player VR system from VRstudios.
The revolutionary VR system is being offered in the casino’s popular nightlife venue, Club Galaxy. One- and two-player experiences transport guests back in time to a town overrun by zombies or into the midst of a Western-style shoot-out.
The move makes Muckleshoot Casino the first gaming facility in North America to offer streaming wireless VR – and it is already proving to be a hit with customers.
“The VRstudios system and content installed at Muckleshoot Casino is a standalone experience system – using our original content, software, hardware and proprietary platform,” Jamie Kelly, co-founder and director of esports for VRstudios, told TotallyGaming.com.
“Following the Muckleshoot Casino announcement, we are receiving interest from other casino organisations. We also believe that out-of-home entertainment venues will allow VR experiences to be more accessible and will encourage the adoption of VR/AR across all segments – consumer and enterprise.”
TotallyGaming says: Land-based and online gaming operators are constantly exploring new technologies, and with Opinium’s latest research indicating a growing awareness of VR among consumers, this sector will certainly be one to watch over the coming months.