IEEE Survey at CES Reveals: I Can See Clearly Now That Viewers Are Gone
More than Half of CES Survey Respondents See an End in Sight for Immersive VR Headsets by 2030; Education Sector Can Benefit Most from AR/VR Technology

NEW YORK, Jan. 15, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- At CES 2016, IEEE , the world's largest professional organization dedicated to advancing technology for humanity, conducted a survey that asked booth visitors to answer a range of questions regarding the future of AR/VR technology. 1,537 participants took the survey. According to the findings, the use of VR headsets might not have the staying power that is predicted with this new, emerging technology. When questioned about the year AR/VR technology will advance to the point where immersive headsets will no longer be required, more than half (52 percent) of respondents believed this will occur in well under two decades, by 2030. On top of the 52 percent, another 21 percent of respondents predicted this to be a reality by 2035, 15 percent by 2040 and 5 percent by 2045.

IEEE - Advancing Technology for Humanity. (PRNewsFoto/IEEE)

AR/VR Makes the Grade
When asked which industry would most benefit from the widespread adoption of AR/VR technology, 36 percent of participants indicated that the education sector would see the biggest impact and translate well in areas including virtual classrooms and AR/VR-enabled textbooks. Other notable industries included engineering (24 percent), healthcare (16 percent) and communication (nine percent).

"We are on the cusp of utilizing a technology that will have a profound effect on a variety of industries, such as education, healthcare and business," stated IEEE member Todd Richmond, director of advanced prototype development at the Institute for Creative Technologies at the University of Southern California. "Immersive capabilities such as AR, VR and mixed reality provide a whole new medium for communication and experience. Working in academia, I see endless possibilities to how augmented and virtual reality can enhance the learning experience by offering a more interactive element to information for students as well as act as another teaching tool for educators. It's encouraging to see, based on the results of the survey, that consumers are able to align the value of this technology in other areas besides entertainment."

What Happens Under the Knife, Stays Under the Knife
Although AR/VR has the potential to aid in the medical field -- especially when it comes to providing patients with an overview of upcoming surgical procedures – the majority of survey respondents were strongly against getting a "sneak preview" through this advanced technology. 60 percent of respondents noted an eight to 10 on a scale regarding their comfort level with this option (one being very comfortable to 10 being not comfortable at all). Of this group, 34 percent chose 10 as their response.

The Entertainment Factor
By using this technology that can provide an experience of being virtually anywhere, we asked participants to rank the first place they would go using virtual reality. Thirty percent of respondents chose the moon/Mars/outer space as their primary location. Traveling through time came in next at 19 percent, followed by a sporting event (18 percent), a popular city (16 percent) and extreme remote locations, such as a secluded beach or the top of a mountain (11 percent).

According to the results, the US is favored to be the first country to reach mass adoption of AR/VR, accruing 58 percent of the votes from participants. Japan was the second most-popular country at 21 percent, followed by China (12 percent). Brazil, India UK and "Other" (if desired country was not listed) were also considerations, but only reflected a small percentage of the results.

About the Survey
IEEE hosted a short survey at its booth during CES 2016, which ran from January 6-9, asking participants their thoughts on the future development and application of AR/VR technology. The total number of survey respondents garnered was 1,537. 

About IEEE
IEEE is a large global technical professional organization dedicated to advancing technology for the benefit of humanity. Through its highly cited publications, conferences, technology standards, and professional and educational activities, IEEE is the trusted voice on a wide variety of areas ranging from aerospace systems, computers and telecommunications to biomedical engineering, electric power and consumer electronics. Learn more at  

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