AR/VR $162 billion growth forecast by 2020

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International Data Corporation’s (IDC) latest report reveals that global revenues from augmented (AR) and virtual reality (VR) will grow from $5.2 billion this year to more than $162 billion by 2020 – a CAGR of just over 181%.

During that time, IDC forecasts that hardware will generate half of all revenues.

“For many years augmented and virtual reality were the stuff of science fiction. Now with powerful smartphones powering inexpensive VR headsets, the consumer market is primed for new paid and user generated content-driven experiences,” said Chris Chute, vice president, Customer Insights and Analysis.

While revenues for VR hardware and software are expected to be greater than those for AR during this year and next, “largely due to consumer uptake of games and paid content,” AR should surge ahead after 2017, forecasts IDC. This is particularly the case in non-gaming fields such as healthcare delivery and product design and management-related use.

Earlier this year, studies by Greenlight VR found that, while virtual reality has traditionally been viewed as a gaming medium, consumers are increasingly interested in using the technology for a wider variety of purposes.

Greenlight VR’s ‘2016 Virtual Reality Consumer Adoption Report‘ found that almost three-quarters of consumers (74%) are interested in virtual travel and adventure, 67% are interested in virtual movies/videos and live-events, and 66% are interested in using VR for home design.

“Overall, we were struck by the strongly positive and broad interest in VR in general, and in specific uses in particular,” said Steve Marshall, senior vice president of research and consulting for Greenlight VR. “Given all the attention in the press, we expected to find gaming as the primary consumer interest in VR. The reality is consumers have a variety of interests in VR – starting with travel and adventure.”



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Kristina Knight, Journalist
Content Writer & Editor
Kristina Knight is a freelance writer with more than 15 years of experience writing on varied topics. Kristina’s focus for the past 10 years has been the small business, online marketing, and banking sectors, however, she keeps things interesting by writing about her experiences as an adoptive mom, parenting, and education issues. Kristina’s work has appeared with, NBC News,, DisasterNewsNetwork, and many more publications.