Dan Ness, Principal Analyst, MetaFacts, January 11, 2017
For ears, it’s an exciting time in the tech industry.
Hearable technology – audio-oriented wearables spanning wireless Bluetooth headsets to VR headsets – have received a fresh round of media attention. This has stemmed from substantial recent investment in new ventures such as Oculus VR along with a wider range of product releases.
Currently, one in eight US connected adults are regularly using a hearable device – either a wireless Bluetooth headset or VR headsets. This level of use is broad enough to represent great potential opportunities, yet not broad enough to sustain many competitors.
The primary current use case for Bluetooth headsets is for phone calls, as has been the case for more than a decade. Apple is leading the charge to change this with their Airpods tightly integrated with iPhones, in a bid to help popularize voice-controlled usage. Voice assistants such as Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa, Microsoft Cortana, and Google Now promise to radically shift how users interact with their technology.
VR headsets are primarily being used for immersive games and reaching a slightly different segment than Bluetooth headsets.
This is based on our most recent research among 7,336 US adults as part of the TUP/Technology User Profile 2016 survey.
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