What's Driving Growth for AR/VR?

Gartner’s recent list of top tech trends for 2019 included immersive experiences, which they described as follows:

“Conversational platforms are changing the way in which people interact with the digital world. Virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) and mixed reality (MR) are changing the way in which people perceive the digital world. This combined shift in perception and interaction models leads to the future immersive user experience."

Below, some of the anticipated themes related to VR/AR that will play a role in the coming year and beyond are explored:

  • Global AR & VR product revenues are expected to grow from US $3.8 billion in 2017 to US $56.4 billion in 2022, a 71 percent compound annual growth rate. This includes enterprise and consumer segments (ARtillry Intelligence).
    1. In VR, consumer revenue will eclipse enterprise revenue by a 3:1 ratio in 2022. Standalone VR like Oculus Go will accelerate consumer adoption.
    2. Head-worn AR will find a home with consumers. However, its specs and stylistic realities inhibit several consumer use cases in the near term. Apple’s potential 2021-2022 introduction of smart glasses will shift AR’s momentum and revenue share toward consumer spending.
    3. By 2022, enterprise AR’s revenue dominance over consumer AR will decelerate as smart glasses begin to penetrate consumer markets. Until then, mobile will dominate consumer AR, with most revenue derived from software as opposed to hardware (smartphone sales aren't counted).
  • The patterns of investment and development in the different sectors in which VR/AR are applicable – or potentially applicable – show the increasing applicability of this technology beyond the games and entertainment fields that saw its birth in the 1990s; 38 percent of respondents, for example, believe VR growth in the enterprise sector has been “strong” or “very strong” for example, with an equivalent figure of 43 percent for AR (The XR Industry Survey 2018).
    • Education is the enterprise sector that has been prioritizing VR/AR the most, and is the most competitive, despite the fact that it traditionally has had much less spending power than industry. Of respondents who reported that they are already using XR technologies, 23 percent were in the education sector.
    • Architecture/engineering/construction was a close second at 18 percent. Healthcare is quite low on the list despite the obvious VR/AR potential in diagnosis and therapy, with just 7 percent of those using this technology coming from the healthcare sector.
    • Industry expectations are that AR will blossom in the mainstream before VR does, in part because of the availability of open content development platforms like ARCore and ARKit, which have no VR counterparts.
    • Many industries see benefits in the long term from combining VR and AR. VR’s superior ability to create a fully immersive environment currently gives it the edge in training and educational applications.

Sixty-two percent of service organizations say that AR is providing measurable value for service in the following ways: better knowledge transfer among employees, increased employee efficiency onsite, improved first-time fix rates, and fewer truck rolls (IDC / PTC).

Written by Kris Kolo, Global Executive Director, VR/AR Association; excerpted from the ISACA Now Blog