Exploring the adoption of mixed-reality sport platforms: A qualitative study on Zwift
Westmattelmann D, Grotenhermen J-G, Stoffers B, Schewe G
A novel type of application is presently advancing the digitalisation of sports by transferring physical performance into a virtual world, enabling users to compete and exercise together online. Nevertheless, mass adoption remains a significant challenge. We focus on the running and cycling application ZWIFT, which has received considerable attention as an exemplary mixed-reality sport (MRS) platform. To illuminate adoption factors, we conducted interviews with 22 (non-)users of ZWIFT (including professional cyclists), and apply qualitative content analysis based on the multi-level framework of technology acceptance and use. We refine the UTAUT2 model and define individual-level (e.g., realism, sports identification, task purpose) and higher-level (e.g., weather, values of sport, cheating) context factors and new outcome phenomena (e.g., social network size). Our findings advance the literature on the acceptance of mixed-reality applications in the context of sports, and provide a foundation for further research. Moreover, guidelines for fostering MRS adoption are provided.
Technology adoption; Mixed-reality; Virtual interaction; Sports digitalisation; Qualitative content analysis