The industry of Virtual Reality (VR) would generate hardware revenues of up to $2.3 billion in 2016, according to a new report from the International Data Corporation (IDC). Segment leaders, Samsung, Sony, HTC, and Oculus are going to ship millions of units. The adoption of the technology will massively grow by 2020.
The research firm calculates that total volumes of shipped headsets, will reach 9.6 million units. Virtual Reality will dominate the hardware market in 2016 while Augmented Reality (AR) will make a stellar appearance in the coming years.
This is the first worldwide VR/AR forecast from the IDC, according to a press release issued last week. Both inventions will be as successful as the PC or the smartphone. By 2020, it is estimated that there will be more than 110 million distributed units in the hands of consumers.
There are three main categories in the Augmented and Virtual Reality Market, said the IDC. They are divided in: screenless viewers that depend on a smartphone, such as the Samsung Gear VR; Tethered Head Mounted Displays (HMDs) that need a PC or a game console to work, like the Oculus Rift; and Standalone HMDs like the Microsoft HoloLens.
Just in 2016, brands such as Oculus, HTC and Sony will sell more than 2 million VR Tethered HDMDs, when counted together, said Tom Mainelli, vice president for Devices & Displays at IDC, in a press release.
“When you combine this with robust shipments of screenless viewers from Samsung and other vendors launching later this year, you start to see the beginning of a reasonable installed base for content creators to target.” added Tom Mainelli.
VR Video games will be the main attraction for users who want to buy headsets such as the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive or PlayStation VR. According to Lewis Ward, research director at the IDC, new titles will generate “a new wave of VR hardware interest”.
This is the perfect time for Virtual Reality while brands develop the next generation technology
The research firm calculates that Augmented Reality will take longer to arrive since these devices that are being developed by brands such as Microsoft and Meta require more advanced hardware that is “dramatically harder to produce”.
Augmented Reality seeks to integrate digital information alongside the environment where the user is located, in real time. In other words, it will create an artificial environment that would even change “the way we do our jobs for many years to come”, said the firm.
According to Mainelli, building a high-quality hardware is more important, than quickly building a platform that could not perform as well as expected. The firm has advised brands to keep “its slow and steady approach”, of hardware development in the area.
“AR is going to have a profound impact on the way we interact with technology and the way we do our jobs for many years to come. In the meantime, we expect companies to begin experimenting with AR software on devices already in use: smartphones and tablets,” said Mainelli in a statement.