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Research undertaken at the eBay Innovation Lab has revealed that 2016 will be the year 3D entertainment finally hits the mainstream – after trying and failing to capture our imaginations since 2011.

From robots to virtual reality, holograms and 3D printing, consumers were measured at the eBay Innovation Lab via gaze tracking, NFC rating systems and dwell time to determine the adoption rate and receptiveness to technology tipped to change the entertainment world across Australia.

The results showed that 42% of Aussies are entertainment junkies – whether it’s immersive VR surroundings or the latest drone – Aussies love to interact with and buy tech that will provide hours of entertainment.

Living in a virtual reality world
Since the Samsung VR Gear headset release at the end of 2014 the accessibility of a fully immersed, 3D world has started to become viable, and this is beginning to change consumer perceptions of what is possible in entertainment and gaming.

In the past six months virtual reality has started to capture more than just the early adopters’ imaginations. There has been an incremental increase of 523% in sales on eBay, showing a promising adoption speed to consumers’ everyday lives, with eBay Innovation Lab participants spending a total of 11 hours in a virtual reality world.

eBay predicts 2016 will see a growing shift in the way brands will communicate with consumers; in September 2015 alone, Netflix announced their virtual living room with Oculus Rift, as well as Sotheby’s using virtual reality to sell luxury homes, proving this is just the beginning of brands giving consumers opportunities for a more immersive and useful experience.

The untapped opportunity of Holograms
Apart from Princess Leia and Star Wars, consumer’s interaction with holograms has been especially limited to date. The Holho hologram had the least amount of interest from participants in the eBay Innovation Lab, however those that did engage, spent significantly more time with it than any other product – approximately 1.21 minutes more, closely followed by the virtual reality experience.

With the Microsoft Hololens developer kit due out in early 2016, the eBay Innovation Lab results show it will need to get it into people’s hands before consumers fully understand the benefits. Based on the findings, when experienced it will be the biggest game changer to entertainment and gaming compared to anything else consumers have seen in the last twenty years.

Futurist, Chris Riddell comments; “Virtual Reality truly pulls down barriers of time, borders and distance, connecting people no matter where they are and what they are doing. This technology is bringing new environments into the home, the office and excitingly the classroom – with education methods rapidly evolving to give the next generation truly immersive learning surroundings. In fact Australians across these sectors are in many ways ahead of the rest of the world when it comes to utilising this technology.

This was proven at the eBay Innovation Lab where we saw that consumers who engaged with virtual reality and the hologram - the ultimate in 3D visuals, stayed and experienced it longer than they did anything else.”