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It’s no secret that Virtual Reality (VR) is the new sexy in the emerging technology field. Most major tech company either has an eye on VR or has already ventured into the VR space. Years ago, virtual reality sounded more like a concept from NASA than a technology field that will be available for ‘market consumption’. Facebook, Sony, Google, Samsung and and many others have all at least pre-announced their own VR headset. On paper at least, 2016 is supposed to be boom time for VR gadgets as most of them them are set to be officially released next year. Virtual reality headset like theOcculus VR is set to be released in the first quarter of 2016, the HTC Vive is also set for a Q1, 2016 release.
Producing VR headsets and related gadgets might not exatcly be a money spinner for now, but it is definitely going to become the “oil boom” for tech firms in the not so far future. Its true that most VR gadgets out there are mostly conceptual, offering a peek into the possibilities of what virtual interaction can do and what it will be able to do, but the excitement is nonetheless not concealable. Developers are still pretty much experimenting with VR’s possibilities, which can lead to a lot of fun and more interesting things to discover. In 2016, we’ll be expecting at least three major new VR devices: the aforementioned HTC Vive and Oculus Rift, as well as Sony’s PlayStation VR . However, lots of potential consumers out there don’t even know such thing as virtual reality exist. A whooping 30% of educated participants in a VR awareness survey claimed the didn’t know such gadgets even existed. But just how many potential consumers are aware of VR gadgets, which VR gadgets is at the pole position and what’s the potential for a better awareness for VR gadgets come 2016? Well let’s get mathematical;
VR consumer awareness chart
Image credit: Statistics.com || chart shows the results of a survey among consumers in the United States regarding their awareness of Virtual Reality headsets.
This chart was made available under the Creative Commons License CC BY-ND 3.0

From the survey, Occulus rift VR headset leads the pack. Mostly thanks to a subtle yet powerful and effective product awareness campaign by Social networking giants Facebook. Prior to its acquisition by Facebook, very few knew of its existence, while many only got more exposed to VR after the acquisition. Facebook snapped up the start-up for US$2 billion. The Occulus rift has a consumer awareness score of 35 percent.
Samsung Gear VR scores second highest in terms of consumer awareness with 32 percent of the respondents having heard of it. It follow closely behind the Occulus rift, thanks part to being a product of an established brand and perhaps but less likely its price.
Previously known as “Sony project Morpheus” , the VR headset which is now known as “The PlayStation VR” follows closely behind the Samsung Gear VR with a consumer awareness score of 29 percent. Sony is known for their prowess in the gaming industry, the promise of a super immersive gaming experience got gamers “evangelising” of the VR gadget.
Google’s Cardboard VR occupies the fourth spot with an awareness score of 25 percent. It may be ugly looking but it baffles me why the Cardboard VR is at the fourth spot with Google’s enormous resources —Also the cardboard VR also serves as a framework for other VR headset that is powered by smartphones. Nonetheless, Google’s cardboard VR headset awareness is propelled perhaps by Google’s large reach.
HTC vive VR
Image credit: digitaltrends.com

Following closely is the HTC vice, the Zeiss VR and the Avegant Glyph with awareness score of 16 percent, 9 percent and 8 percent respectively. Other VR headsets jointly hit an awareness score of a not so encouraging 1 percent. It is however important to note that the awareness score of each VR headset does not in anyway reflect quality. Virtual reality may be one of the hottest emerging markets in the technology world but a lot needs to be done to bolster future adoption rate through effective awareness campaigns.

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