Understanding the diffusion of virtual reality glasses: The role of media, fashion and technology

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PubDate: Jan 2019

Teams: Kleinundpläcking GmbH;Universität der Bundeswehr München

Writers: Marc Herz;Philipp A. Rauschnabel


Facebook, Google and many other established players’ future will encompass a new media format—Virtual Reality (VR)—that require novel devices such as VR glasses. While market forecasts are promising, recent diffusion rates indicate that consumer acceptance is still limited. By incorporating existing and proposing new benefits and risks through the lenses of media, technology, and fashion research, the authors develop and test a comprehensive framework to study consumer reactions to wearable VR glasses. Results of an empirical consumer study on virtual reality acceptance indicate various novel and interesting findings. For example, health and privacy risks diminish adoption rates, whereas—contrary to other technologies—psychological or physical risks—do not. Likewise, fashionable designs and wearable comfort—two novel constructs investigated in this research—matter in addition to established utilitarian and hedonic constructs. Finally, this study includes a novel perspective on media technologies by showing that VR-adoption intention is highest when consumers expect to experience both a strong sense of virtual embodiment (the sensation of being another person) and virtual presence (the sensation of being at another place), while the presence of only one of these conditions may even have a negative effect.