Research Report: Public perceptions of virtual leisure time

26th November 2019 14:18

DJS Research are pleased to announce publication of a new report looking in to public perceptions of virtual reality, particularly in the context of leisure activities.

Read the full report here: Ready Player One: Public Perceptions of Virtual Leisure Time

Key highlights:

  • Two in five respondents said they would prefer to experience at least one of the six activities offered in VR versus in real life; and one in five said they strongly agree they would prefer to experience at least one in VR
  • Personal training, riding a rollercoaster and seeing a major sporting event were the activities people were mostly likely to strongly prefer to do in VR
  • More than two in five people, and almost half of women (48%) would prefer a VR personal training session over ‘real life’
  • Two thirds of people (64%) believe that by 2030 the average person will spend at least 30% of their leisure time in virtual reality – with a third (35%) saying 50% or more

A survey of the general public in Great Britain has found that a third of people (35%) believe that the average person will spend at least half their leisure time in a virtual reality environment. Almost two thirds (64%) felt that the average person would spend at least 30% of their leisure hours in virtual reality.

The DJS Research Ltd study, carried out in partnership with leading online data provider Maru/Blue, included interviews with a representative sample of 1508 individuals from across England, Scotland and Wales.

Joshua Cooper, an experienced practitioner who was the Sr. Producer for the recent, ‘Harry Potter Wizards Unite’ augmented reality video game, said:

“Digital technologies that enhance a user’s perception of physical space have massive potential to revolutionize how people engage with the world around them. The current generation of entertainment is only scratching the surface of what AR/VR is capable of. Applications in construction and healthcare are already creating a paradigm shift in the way industries are engaging with this technology and I do not anticipate that slowing down.

Organizations that lean into AR/VR technology will increasingly find strategic advantages stemming from that knowledge base as users come to expect AR/VR implementations of products and services they previously consumed in their real-world environment.”

Indeed, if we consider those who said that they either agreed or strongly agreed that they would prefer the VR option, we find that as the number of activities to which respondents would be open to a VR offering increases, their perception of the amount of leisure time the average person will spend in VR by 2030 increases dramatically.

Even among those who do not prefer the VR option in any of the six activities we presented (890 respondents or 59%), the perception of the amount of leisure time the average person will spend in VR by 2030 is relatively high, at one hour in every three (34% of their time).[1]

Speaking about the overall results, Elliot Simmonds, Associate Director at DJS Research said:

“Whilst we are conscious that the statements we tested here are specific, we do feel they provide a reasonable approximation of the benefits VR might bring as compared to real life. For instance, this could be cost savings or increased convenience - be that in terms of time spent queuing or quality of view for instance. It is encouraging for the VR industry that two fifths of those we interviewed are open to trying virtual reality in at least one of the settings we asked about.

We hope that these findings will encourage a range of leisure providers – from the cultural sector to sport and physical activity providers – and those from other sectors, to at least consider the potential for VR in their offers moving forward. New models for subsidising or monetising this content may be needed, but VR provides the opportunity for many of our clients to reach a truly global audience in an innovative way.”


The full report is available here: Ready Player One: Public Perceptions of Virtual Leisure Time


[1] This question was asked as a coded list from 0% to 100% and so the figure 34% is an average of this list.


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