« ParksAssociates.com Hosted by Parks Associates

May 16, 2016


2.3 million U.S. households own a virtual reality headset

Roku, Technicolor, Accedo, Samsung, and Others Address CE and VR Markets at CONNECTIONS™

Parks Associates announced new consumer research today showing that 2% of U.S. broadband households, or 2.3 million households, own a virtual reality headset. The research firm will host CONNECTIONS™: The Premier Connected Home Conference May 24-26 in San Francisco, where its analysts will discuss findings from 360 View: CE Adoption and Trends, a survey of 10,000 U.S. broadband households, which reveals 5% of U.S. broadband households plan to buy a VR headset in 2016, an increase from only 1% who made a purchase the year prior.

“The big change in VR for 2016 has been the availability or pending availability of VR headsets from companies such as Facebook (Oculus Rift), Google (Google Cardboard), and HTC (Vive). Sony PlayStation VR is expected to be released in October.  We expect gamers to be the initial market for VR,” said Barbara Kraus, Director of Research, Parks Associates. “VR is an immersive experience, and more is better for gamers – more immersion, better sound, better graphics, and more players. The mass market is more likely to adopt mobile VR, which will be less expensive and uses a tool – the smartphone – that the majority of U.S. consumers own.”

Virtual Reality Headsets

As more households adopt these devices, and they become part of the consumer-based IoT, they will emerge as a new way to experience content streams coming into the home and a new interface for other connected devices throughout the home. Parks Associates recommends that CE companies that are developing VR headsets provide simple methods to add (and remove) multiple content streams while giving the user the tools to personalize their experience with this device. For the consumer, the division between device and content is already blurred, and innovations in virtual and augmented reality could finally erase the distinction.

“The CE industry is moving from one defined by hardware to a business of virtualized products, OTT content, and new advertising models, which could be integrated into a VR interface for users to control and interact with their homes,” Kraus said. “At CONNECTIONS™, we will discuss virtual and augmented reality, examine their potential roles in the connected home, and hear how companies are bringing VR out of the gaming world and into the mass market.”

The 20th-annual CONNECTIONS™: The Premier Connected Home Conference will host over 650 executives from the connected entertainment, IoT, and smart home industries and will feature panel discussions on successful business strategies to fully engage consumers in the connected home experience. Barbara Kraus will moderate the following sessions on connected CE, VR, and augmented reality:

“Reinvention of the CE Industry,” Wednesday, May 25, 3:45 p.m.

  • Dr. Chris Jones, VP of Technology, iRobot
  • Tom Love, VP of Consumer Insights, Roku
  • Perry Weinstein, VP & General Manager North America, Accedo

“The way in which content is being consumed has changed dramatically over recent years, and it is set to change even more over the course of the coming years,” said Perry Weinstein, VP & General Manager North America, Accedo. “With consumers able to access compelling content at any time across a multitude of platforms, it has become table stakes for device manufacturers to provide an advanced yet intuitive video-streaming experience for their customers in this new era of consumption.”

“New CE Experiences in Voice, Gesture, and Control,” Thursday, May 26, 10:30 a.m.

  • Kenn Harper, VP, Devices & Ecosystem, Nuance Communications
  • Peter Taylor, Vice President of Products, WeMo/Belkin
  • Ali M. Vassigh, Director of User Experience, EVA Automation

"The connected home brings with it intelligent devices and systems that aim to make our day-to-day life simpler and easier,” said Kenn Harper, VP, Devices & Ecosystem, Nuance Communications. “However, as these devices become packed with more sophisticated features, it’s not easy for users to tap into that intelligence with constrained or, in many cases, screen-less interfaces.  Our discussion at CONNECTIONS™ will shed light on the importance of creating a more human conversation with the connected home through voice and gesture."

“Most of the industry still suffers from a problem akin to a human condition known as ‘Sensory Processing Disorder,’ wherein the system is not effectively integrating multiple disparate incoming sensory signals into something meaningful,” said Ali M. Vassigh, Director of User Experience, EVA Automation. “A simple example is combining gesture and speech to create meaning. One says, ‘I caught a fish this big’ with a gesture that positions one’s hands two feet apart. In combination, each adds meaning to the other, but apart, the message and meaning are incomplete.”

“CE Innovations to Navigate VR and Personalize the Content Ecosystem,” Tuesday, May 24, 4:15 p.m.

  • Paul T. Kim, Director, Content & Services, Samsung
  • Danny Vossen, Director Innovation & Strategic Partnerships, Technicolor
  • Yoel Zanger, CEO, Giraffic

“Technicolor integrates a 100-year heritage of creating memorable moving images with today’s latest technology to deliver wondrous premium content,” said Danny Vossen, Director Innovation & Strategic Partnerships, Technicolor. “We harness artistry and innovation to challenge what is visually and sonically possible so that we can raise the bar of premium content that will drive the adoption and monetization of VR. Technicolor also works with service providers to deliver increasingly bandwidth-intensive experiences as immersive entertainment and virtual reality traffic begin to flow over networks to audiences at home and on the go.”

Event sponsors include Reception Sponsors CEL and Zonoff; Session Sponsors Icontrol Networks and PlumChoice; Lunch Sponsors Coldwell Banker and NXP; Silver Sponsors Alarm.com, Assurant, Asurion, Centercode, ROC-Connect, Support.com, ULE Alliance, WiZR, and ZigBee Alliance; Bronze Sponsors Audio Analytic, Ayla Networks, Cirrent, EVRYTHNG, Flextronics, Honeywell, HP, iQor, mnubo, People Power, PlanetEcosystems, WeatherBug Home, and Z-Wave; Program Guide Sponsor Vivint; Breakfast Sponsors Greenwave Systems and leakSMART; and Break Sponsors Home8, HomeAdvisor, Nortek Security & Control, State Farm and Tyco.

For more information on CONNECTIONS™, visit www.connectionsus.com. Follow the conference on Twitter at @CONNECTIONS_US, #CONNUS16, and on the CONNECTIONS™ Industry Insights Blog.

For more information on this research, visit www.parksassociates.com. To schedule an interview or to request specific data, contact Holly Sprague at hsprague@gmail.com, 720.987.6614.

About CONNECTIONS™

Parks Associates' 22nd-annual CONNECTIONS™: The Premier Connected Home Conference will take place May 22-24, 2018, at the Hyatt Regency San Francisco Airport in San Francisco. CONNECTIONS™ is the premier connected home event hosting more than 600 executives from the connected entertainment, IoT, and smart home industries. CONNECTIONS™ provides networking opportunities combined with two days of visionary keynotes and conference sessions focused on technology adoption and trends, product and service forecasts, evaluation of new business strategies, and recommendations for strategic partnerships, monetization opportunities, and value-added service design. The event also features a research workshop highlighting Parks Associates’ smart home insight consumer data.

Throughout the event, sponsors offer tabletop demos during networking events, spotlighting new technology innovations and services for the entertainment, mobile, and smart home market segments. For more information, contact sales@parksassociates.com, call 972-490-1113, visit www.connectionsconference.com.