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Is virtual now our reality?

Everyone is talking about the rise of virtual reality (VR). Today’s leading tech players have it, and soon every consumer will want it. 

In addition to PlayStation VR, there is HTC Vive and Oculus Rift, both offering high-end gaming experiences. More affordable and widely available smartphone options include Google DayDream and Samsung Gear, both of which will be upgraded and improved in the near future. With the spending power of big and trusted technology brands behind VR, and continual improvements being made to the user experience, consumer demand will grow.

In research we carried out in the UK in 2016, planned to coincide with the launch of PlayStation VR, over a third of consumers said they found the concept of VR “very appealing”*. 

Despite this hype, making these devices even more accessible remains a challenge for manufacturers and retailers as VR is a new experience for most consumers. 

Who are we kidding though – you probably know most of this already right?  But what you might not know is that this technology is becoming a reality for how us market researchers go about our business. 

At GfK we’re constantly innovating and using our world-class digital resources to provide companies with new insights about their consumers. So, as VR starts to penetrate the mass market, we decided to assess how big a role it can play in the market research world and where the benefits lie for our clients. 

We’ve taken the first exciting steps to evaluating the feasibility and scalability of VR-enhanced interviews, with a focus on the automotive sector – and you can take a look below, in a video featured in our award winning ESOMAR presentation. 

Incorporating new and traditional research methodologies, we asked over 200 respondents to complete a series of tasks about their car preferences using both VR and CAPI (Computer Assisted Personal Interview) technologies. 

* Source: GfK quantitative online survey amongst 1,268 consumers 18+ in UK, 2016

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