How Many People Use VR in 2023? Adoption is Skyrocketing Across Industries

As a consultant helping small businesses leverage technology, I am excited to see the rapid growth in virtual reality (VR) adoption worldwide. In 2023, an estimated 171 million people are expected to use VR technology globally.

VR has transitioned from an expensive novelty to a transformative technology across sectors like gaming, marketing, healthcare, education and more. Let‘s take a data-driven look at the rising numbers of VR users and its applications across industries.

VR User Growth Exceeds Expectations

The growth in active VR users worldwide has steadily climbed over the years:

  • 2016: 25 million
  • 2022: 171 million
  • Projected for 2024: 397 million [1]

Diving deeper into recent years:

  • Globally, there was a 48% YoY growth in active VR users from 2020 to 2021. [2]
  • VR usage in the US alone jumped from 36.7 million in 2020 to 53.1 million in 2021. [3]

The proliferation of smartphone-based VR headsets and increased VR content have largely driven this growth. With advancements like haptics and eye tracking in new VR headsets, the immersive experiences keep getting better. [4]

Surging VR Adoption Across Sectors

VR is making inroads into diverse sectors, transforming how businesses engage customers and train employees.

  • Gaming: VR gaming currently has the largest share of usage at 61%. Revenue from VR games is projected to grow from $7.7 billion in 2021 to $53.5 billion in 2028. [5]
  • Healthcare: Doctors use VR for surgical simulation, doctors have conducted 1 million virtual surgeries. Psychologists also use VR to treat phobias and anxiety. [6]
  • Education: VR allows students to travel virtually to any time and place. 93% of teachers surveyed believe it improves learning outcomes. [7]
  • Manufacturing: 20% of firms use VR for training workers, potentially saving $50 billion globally. [8]
  • Marketing: 16% of businesses use VR for marketing purposes like virtual product demos and immersive brand experiences. [9]

VR creates unique, engaging experiences for customers. As a consultant for small businesses, I believe VR marketing will give them a distinct competitive advantage.

China Leads in VR Adoption

Currently China leads global VR adoption with around $5.8 billion in VR spending in 2021, followed by United States ($5.1 billion) and Western Europe ($3.3 billion). [10]

The numbers point to massive growth potential for VR technology. As devices get more advanced and affordable, the addressable market is expected to multiply. Even small businesses have an opportunity to harness VR capabilities for marketing, employee training and beyond. The immersive nature of VR translates to higher engagement, brand recall and ROI.

With smart strategy and execution, VR can drive productivity, engagement and revenues to new heights. I hope this data provides insights into VR adoption trends across sectors. Reach out if you need any assistance in exploring VR solutions for your small business needs. The possibilities are limitless.

[1] Statista
[2] VRS
[3] VRS
[4] Pocket-Lint
[5] Finances Online
[6] Zippia
[7] Oberlo
[8] Pcmag
[9] Statista
[10] Statista