If you’re a fan of augmented and virtual reality (AR and VR respectively), the International Data Corporation (IDC) has good news for you. Revenue from those markets is expected to double (or more) every year from now until 2021, according to the company’s update reported on by AppleWorld Today.
AR and VR On the Rise
IDC’s Worldwide Semiannual Augmented and Virtual Reality Spending Guide says that both AR and VR are on the rise, something we already knew. After all, Apple’s announcement of ARKit during WWDC 2017 spurred a slew of new YouTube videos highlighting what developers were already doing with the new software development kit.
ARKit, if you missed it, allows developers to build detailed virtual content atop real-world scenes for immersive gaming, interactive shopping experiences, and much more.
According to IDC, total spending on AR and VR products is expected to rise dramatically over the next five years. In fact, the research group suggests it will soar from $11.4 billion USD in 2017 to nearly $215 billion in 2021. That reflects a compound annual growth of 113.2 percent.
Shifting Strategies in AR and VR
The spending is expected to begin with the consumer segment, but evolve over time. In the United States and Western Europe, IDC expects discrete manufacturing and process manufacturing to be the next largest sources of AR and VR revenues. Between 2017 and 2021, consumer segment in the U.S. will quickly be overtaken by process manufacturing, government, discrete manufacturing, retail, construction, transportation, and professional services.
The above chart shows IDC’s forecast for AR and VR growth for the next five years. As you can see, “Internal Videography” and “Others”, the main segments of the consumer market, are going to see only modest growth during the timeframe IDC has issued its forecast for. Laboratory and field industries, along with therapy and physical rehabilitation, are expected to see the greatest amount of growth.
A Long, Convoluted Story Made Short
In other word, we can expect to see quite a bit of growth in what the general public will love AR and VR for, but that will quickly be overtaken by professional use of the technology. If IDC is correct, we can expect to see plenty of new apps make use of AR and VR to entertain us, but the real long-term growth of the technology won’t be vying for consumer dollars.
Instead, and this certainly makes sense, industrial, medical, and governmental industries will apparently pour money into utilizing AR and VR. The use cases for laboratory work, fieldwork, and physical rehabilitation will grow exponentially, and that will hopefully spur even more innovation and evolution of the technology.
It’s really not a big surprise, and I’m looking forward to what the technology brings us. It’s bound to be more than just Pokémon Go.