Tech: What’s The Latest

The short term outlook for virtual (VR) and augmented reality (AR) might be a battle, as per Strategy Analytics, but if organisations can ride out this wave, then the future looks bright.

The findings that has appeared in the firm’s latest report, ‘Short and Long-Term Impacts of Covid-19 on the AR and VR Market’:

  • XR hardware incomes will surpass £28 billion annually in 2025
  • Complete XR shipments – combined VR and dedicated AR headsets – will increment sixfold through 2025
  • 2021 and 2022 will see a ‘slight comeback’ for cell phone tethered VR headsets because of the ascent of 5G networks

Strategy looks 2020 as ‘the year that the market for dedicated AR headsets really taken off’.

The Covid-19 pandemic constrained more urgent needs for organisations, chiefly around enabling remote working and bolstering cloud foundation. But this ‘new normal’ will support the AR and VR markets going ahead, the expert firm added.

“Coronavirus will have a significant negative impact on XR in 2020,” said in a note by the company. “There can be a decline in the two shipments and revenues by over 20% year on year as anticipated. We expect that the launch of cell phone tethered AR headsets is probably going to be pushed back to at least the very end of 2020, if not 2021, adequately postponing our earlier anticipated growth in a consumer market for dedicated AR devices by a year.”

One area of potential development going ahead is in lightweight, consumer friendly AR headsets. Once smart phone tethered devices arrive at the market, these devices will be popularized, with Samsung and Nreal cited as driving the way.

Strategy added that completely immersive 3D environments are starting to bear fruit, specifically designing, automotive and architecture, as well as in training and education for VR devices. “We have raised our longer term forecast for XR hardware because of new work and patterns in the new normal,” said David MacQueen, director of the virtual and augmented reality service at Strategy Analytics. “Work from home, training, education and collaboration will get benefited by AR/VR.”

This isn’t the only analyst note arguing for cautious optimism. In December – but before the pandemic – CCS Insight posited that the VR and AR markets were unpredictable, but promising. The market for extended reality products anticipated to see a growth of 21% in 2019.

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