The Perceived Impacts of COVID-19 on Users’ Acceptance of Virtual Reality Hardware: A Digital Divide Perspective

Kuo Ting Huang, Christopher Ball, Jess Francis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The COVID-19 pandemic has directly or indirectly impacted everyone around the globe. However, the pandemic and its long-term consequences have not been distributed evenly within societies. These disparities have in many cases intensified existing social and economic inequalities such as the uptake of novel digital technologies. This study investigates the influence of the pandemic on the acceptance of virtual reality (VR) hardware within the framework of the technology acceptance model (TAM) and the digital divide/inequality scholarship. A survey was designed to examine the perceived impact of COVID-19 on the potential adoption of VR hardware. Specifically, this study included variables related to perceived ease of using VR hardware (ease of use), perceived usefulness of VR hardware (usefulness), intention to use VR hardware (use intention), and intention to purchase VR hardware (purchase intention). The predictors included two digital divide variables (material access and VR experience) and two other variables (COVID-19 and demographic variables). A total of 298 participants were recruited from Amazon Mechanical Turk. The results suggest that the perceived impacts of COVID-19 positively predicted participants’ perceived usefulness of VR hardware as well as their intention to use and purchase VR hardware.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAmerican Behavioral Scientist
StateAccepted/In press - 2023


  • COVID-19
  • digital divide
  • tech adoption
  • technology acceptance model
  • virtual reality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Cultural Studies
  • Education
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • General Social Sciences


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