LinkedIn has published the results of a study into business opinions on upcoming technology and adoption of virtual reality seems likely to be low.
The study concentrated on three emerging devices – VR headsets, wearables and self-driving cars – plus the development of artificial intelligence and there appeared to be resistance on all fronts.
LinkedIn asked its members worldwide a single question about each gadget, and the company’s marketing team found the results surprising.
Asked if they owned a VR headset, or intended to buy one in the next year, just 11 per cent said yes while 66 per cent said no. The remainder were uncertain.
The highest affirmative response was from the 25-34 age group at 16 per cent, with those aged 18-24 a little behind that at 13 per cent.
Residents of the United Arab Emirates bucked the trend at 33 per cent, followed by India at 25 per cent, with the UK placing last at just 5 per cent, just trumped by the US at 6 per cent.
Assessing why likely UK take-up was so low, Daniel Kent Smith, market research and insights manager at LinkedIn, said: “The UK has a fairly convincing track record as a land of early adopters, ahead of the curve on everything from smartphones to social media.
“However, a new study by LinkedIn suggests that professional audiences in the UK are noticeably less enthusiastic about the next generation of technology.
“In my theory, UK professionals are becoming more demanding when it comes to the credibility of new technology – and the value that it can add to their lives.
“After all, they’ve experienced a growing number of heavily hyped products that haven’t quite hit the mark: Google Glass and (dare I say it) the Apple Watch, to name two.
“Rather than a fear of technology, I think we’re seeing a growing (and to some degree, healthy) scepticism about the value that it can add.”
Asked if wearable tech was part of daily life, 64 per cent of respondents said no, against 35 per cent who felt it was.
Perhaps surprisingly, age at which highest adoption rates are seen is 45-54 age bracket at 40 per cent, with 18-24 year olds lagging way behind at 26%.
In other news, 48 per cent said no to buying a self-driving car and 28 per cent said they didn’t know. Again, the UK is lagging way behind at 13 per cent with the USA just three points higher.
Another potential surprise is that 58 per cent of those taking part in the survey were unconcerned about the rise of AI.
Unsurprisingly, the greatest level of resistance to new tech came from the 65+ age group with 22 per cent confirming use of wearables, 10 per cent likely to buy a self-driving car, and just two per cent using VR.
That said, they were far less concerned than their age 18-24 counterparts about the potential rise of the sentient robots – just 31 per cent compared with 41 per cent.