Those people you see in line buying virtual reality headsets to go with the game systems or smartphones are no longer a rarity. Virtual reality is shaping up as the new high tech disruptor, says a report.

Virtual reality headset demand is going to triple over the next five years after doubling over the past year, according to research firm Parks Associates. VR is the new tech disruptor as multiple industries from video games to education, health and tourism rush to embrace the tech.

“Virtual reality has the potential to impact multiple industries beyond entertainment with its versatility and ever-increasing applications, including health, education, and industrial design,” said Tu Skuse, Research Analyst at Parks Associates. “Gaming is, by far, the leading use case, but potential VR buyers are also showing interest in videos, virtual sports stadiums, and virtual tours.

“Players like Google, Samsung, and Facebook are pushing VR into new areas, including content, mobile, and social use cases. As headsets become increasingly available and users experience VR for themselves, interest will grow. An expanding base of users will be key in motivating hardware makers, retailers, content producers, and service providers to continue to invest in this promising technology.”

Breaking down demand for virtual reality, Parks found wide interest in:

  • Video games
  • Watching videos
  • Taking virtual tours
  • Watching live sports

… and much more (See graphic included with this post).

Parks found that VR demand doubled between late 2016 and so far in 2017 with a key market segment (broadband households) upping VR demand to 9 percent from 5 percent.

Overall, VR headset sales are expected to hit 24 million before the end of this year.

That number is forecast to triple by 2021.

The top VR headset sellers are Samsung Gear (31 percent market share in 2016) and Sony PlayStation VR (12 percent).

The report is available for purchase at: