VR and AR headsets could be a money spinner


il_570xN.258852595Beancounters at research house IDTechEx says the market will reach $37 billion by 2020.

AR, VR and mixed reality headsets should grow in the consumer, education, construction and medical sector.

IDTechEx has predicted that the market will grow by more than tenfold over the next decade, from $3.4 billion to $37 billion.

Its research looks at not only AR, VR and mixed reality devices, but also devices labelled under other terms including ‘annotated reality’ and ‘augmented vitality’.

IDTechEx principal analyst Dr Harry Zervos said that the devices are categorised hinges on how much of the real world is allowed to come through the headset.

“A pure VR headset blocks out reality completely, while an AR one will only superimpose additional information, without obstructing the wearer’s view of the real world at all,” he said.

“What the future is bringing is a spectrum of eye-worn devices with varying amounts of reality and virtuality thrown in; for instance, a VR headset with a front facing camera can instantly become an AR headset, as it allows the wearer a full view of the real world, albeit through a display.”

According to Zervos, the market will be propelled in the short term by growth of VR devices that are tethered to an external PC.

“From 2021 onwards, growth will be transferred to standalone AR, propelled forward by the launch of high performing headsets and reduced power consumption that will lead to longer battery life and independence from the grid. Standalone VR will also make its mark, although its exact value proposition is not fully clear or even distinctly separate from standalone AR.”