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Study Shows VR Will Boom This Year With AR to Follow in the Next Five Years

Predictions of the market for head-mounted displays (HMD) are becoming more informed as more are available on the consumer market. The International Data Corporation (IDC), a global provider of market information, released a report predicting the popularity and uptake of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) over the next five years.

The study set out by the IDC concerns HMDs such as screenless viewers, including Samsung Gear VR, tethered HMDs using PCs or consoles, such as the Oculus Rift, and standalone HMDs that integrate real life, such as the Microsoft HoloLens – but one thing to note is that the study excludes Google Cardboard sales altogether. It states that VR will have the upperhand at first, especially during this year, while AR takes it time to catch up over the next few years, which is a logical assumption considering how far along both of the industries are in terms of hardware development.

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Lewis Ward, Research Director of Gaming at IDC, mentioned that videogames will “clearly be the lead rationale for people to pick up an Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, or PlayStation VR this year”, despite launch issues that some of the mentioned HMDs experienced: “While there have been some launch window hardware shipment hiccups that must be addressed near-term, I’m confident that they will be ironed out before the holiday season. The addition of exciting new titles will lead to a new wave of VR HMD hardware interest among those buying for themselves or family members and friends.”

The report outlines what VR and AR will see in terms of shipments over the next five years. It predicts that VR HMDs will go from 9.6 million this year to 64.8 million by 2020, which is a 183.8% increase, while AR will see a similar increase of 189.8% from 0.4 million headsets sold this year to 45.6 million in 2020.

On top of these predictions, the IDC has identified VR and AR to be one of the six ‘innovation accelerators’ that will transform the digital industry by changing the way people work, alongside the liked of 3D printing and Robotics.

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