New realities are taking off in a big way this year with the help of smart glasses and other tech advancements such as 360 degree cameras and motion sensors. Where augmented reality (AR) promises to blur the lines of the digital world with the physical, virtual reality (VR) aims to wash away the real world completely, creating a whole new world for you to interact with. In the past few years, we have see a number of wearables pop-up leveraging this technology including Meta, Magic Leap, Microsoft Hololens, Oculus, Pinch VR, Vrvana, and Atheer to a name few.
Big money has already made news in the AR and VR space. Facebook bought Oculus for $2 billion last year and Magic Leap, a relatively unknown AR company which is still quite secretive, came out of the dark with news that it raised $542 million from Google Ventures, Qualcomm, Legendary Pictures and others.
A recent report from management consulting firm, Digi-Capital, forecasts that AR/VR could hit $150 billion revenue by 2020, with AR taking the lion’s share around $120 billion and VR at $30 billion. Digi-Capital suggests that VR's core money will come from gaming and entertainment, something they say VR is best suited for whereas they see AR eating up the software world currently own by mobile -including enterprise solutions.
The firm breaks down a projected landscape of revenues for AR and VR by 2020. As expected AR and VR hardware make up a good portion of monies from each segment (more so on the AR side than on the VR side). In AR, commerce, enterprise, data and voice solutions are expected to be lucrative opportunities. In VR, Digi-Captial highlights gaming, film and theme parks as where they see the revenue for this technology.
Earlier this month, Juniper Research published a report on AR which also highlighted the growing success of AR and it's impact on mobile. The report found that augmented reality (AR) apps in the mobile games market will generate 420 million downloads annually by 2019, up from 30 million in 2014.
But AR and VR still has a bit of growth to do. The Digi-Captial predicts that we will see real growth in these tech sectors in 2018 and highlights issues like motion sickness with VR that need to be ironed out before mass adoption is possible.