According to recent forecast data conducted by the International Data Corporation, the amount of VR and AR shipped worldwide is said to increase from 10 million units in 2016 to about 100 million units by 2021.
The study also points out that while VR headsets have led much of the device volume to date, VR headsets powered by smartphones (“screenless viewers”) have been leading the charge because of their lower cost.
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A full report listed at Business Wire shows that the predicted growth can be attributed to lower hardware requirements on PC’s and lower prices for VR headsets, making the technology more accessible. With the continued growth of what VR is capable of, IDC believes that “the introduction of additional motion tracking and hand tracking will help further blur the line between digital and physical reality”.
AR however, continues to fall slightly behind VR. The study maintains that AR isn’t less important than VR, insisting that it’s “harder to achieve” but will ultimately have a bigger impact on the industry overall. Users are likely to have their first AR experience from a smartphone than a headset. IDC predicts that dedicated AR headsets have a market inside healthcare, manufacturing, and design.
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