The Number Of Virtual Reality Users To Grow By 147 Percent In Next Five Years

Global virtual reality active users is forecast to grow by 147 percent CAGR between 2016 and 2021, according to, which on Wednesday (Sept. 28) published a report titled “Virtual Reality Market Outlook: Technology, Solutions, Content, and Applications 2016–2021.”

According to a press release highlighting the new report, said the virtual reality market is poised to experience a huge transformation during the next five years driven by advances in devices, apps, components, content and broadband communications.

“The purpose of virtual reality (VR) technology is to provide a near-real experience using reality emulation in a virtual environment,” the company said in a release highlighting the report. “The anticipated precipitative price decline for consumer headsets will also spur VR market growth, causing app and content development to reach an inflection point. Robust growth of VR headsets will be seen in both high-end and mid-tier adoptions. Fully immersive VR systems will gain substantial momentum by 2020.”

While virtual reality is still in its early stages of adoption, eCommerce companies — namely, eBay — have already started playing with it. In the spring, eBay announced it is bringing a virtual reality shopping app, in partnership with Australian department store Myer, to market in order to enable shoppers to get a more personal experience with their online shopping. That starts with what eBay calls “shoptacles,” which allow shoppers to wear a VR headset in order to get that experience. Along with that comes the launch of what eBay calls the “world’s first” VR shopping app, which will give consumers access to 12,500 products. EBay said it is giving away 20,000 free VR reality headsets, which are cardboard-style viewers, to create the experience eBay hopes will turn those browsers into buyers.

EBay said it is going the low-cost route in order to make it go mainstream faster and actually be able to get into most consumers’ hands. “We believe the next channel for retail will be virtual,” Steve Brennen, eBay’s senior director of marketing and retail innovation, told CNET. “We don’t build gimmicks … If retailers in the future are going to have an omnichannel strategy, it will include retailing a virtual world.”