VR ‘inflection point’ coming in 2016

Augmented and Virtual Reality Devices to Explode from 3 Million Units in 2015 to 55 Million in 2020

Scottsdale, Arizona — ​The augmented (AR) and virtual reality (VR) markets are seeing much action, from new devices and new content, to existing content adapting to make use of the new medium.

Head Mounted Displays (HMDs) will be the prevailing form-factor for both AR and VR devices, but AR will see varied form-factors as the technology progresses into more applications.

Marriott Hotels takes newlyweds to paradise honeymoon destinations.

Marriott Hotels takes newlyweds to paradise honeymoon destinations.

 

“Among the three categories of devices defined by ABI Research—standalone, mobile-reliant, and tethered—mobile-reliant devices like the Samsung Gear VR will see the most success early, while tethered devices like the Oculus Rift and standalone devices like those manufactured by ODG for industrial applications will need more time to mature before establishing a large user base,” said ABI research analyst Eric Abbruzzese, .

Virtual reality will be most popular in the gaming market, because of the high level of immersion possible in VR, as well as the high demand for interactive experiences.

Augmented reality will be most successful in the enterprise market, for applications in logistics, engineering, and automotive.

Applications such as education, travel, and design are served well by both AR and VR, and success depends more on specific needs than general application.

New content mediums, such as interactive VR video, are becoming more popular and catching the attention of content creators as a potentially viable medium. Existing software solutions, such as CAD software, can be outfitted to support AR and VR devices, and open a new approach to using the software.

As the market grows, major content networks such as sports networks and video creators will start supporting AR and VR devices, and more consumers will migrate to the market.

(Image courtesy Mattel.)

(Image courtesy Mattel.)

 

“There is a lot of excitement and hype focused on getting consumers to try out virtual reality, including the LG G3 shipping with an HMD in some markets, and Mattel’s View-Master AR toy,” said senior analyst Michael Inouye. “These early experiences will be like any new toy-novel for a while and then fall off in use, with new content potentially driving periodic re-engagement. For true breakthrough products to be embraced, technology, usability, and content must meet at the critical time. For AR and VR, the inflection isn’t likely to occur until 2016.”

These findings are part of a recent report Augmented and Virtual Reality, which will serve as the beginning of a larger focus on the market in the future. It can be found in ABI Research’s First Screen Video Devices Market Research.

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