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February 23, 2017updated 10 Mar 2017 2:14pm

VR and AR to become a reality but not until 2021

The VR market is expected to be worth over $9 billion by the year 2021.

By Joe Clark

The Virtual Reality (VR) market is estimated to be worth over $9 billion by the year 2021, according to a new report.

CCS Insight has released its latest Global Forecast for VR and Augmented Reality (AR) Devices which states that the VR market will continue to grow exponentially with both dedicated VR platforms and smartphone VR platforms taking the lead.

Smartphone enabled headsets are expected to be the largest market and should see a meteoric rise in sales with 14 million units beings sold in 2017 and over 70 million by 2021. Dedicated VR platforms on the other hand, are expected to reach 22 million in 2021, which is an 800% increase over the next four years.

VR

Ben Wood, Chief of Research at CCS Insight, said: “Headsets designed for smartphones are the entry point for most consumers when it comes to virtual reality. Google’s Cardboard devices and Samsung’s Gear VR headsets have been the early market makers in this area.”

“There’s no doubt that dedicated VR headsets can be a tough sell. The complete package of the headset and a high-end PC is out of reach for most consumers and even the PlayStation VR, which can be used with the PS4 games console, has failed to meet expectations. There’s a lot of work to be done on all aspects of the experience, but we still believe there’s tremendous potential”.

The total combined market value of VR and AR is expected to be $1.5 billion in 2017 though CCS estimates that this figure will increase to $9.1 billion in 2021. CCS estimates that though initial sales will be slow as the technology becomes more advanced, more widespread, and lower in cost, it will see huge increases.

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However, the report also states that AR will make up a much smaller part of the devices sold as the market has been moving somewhat slower. The first significant figures of units sold won’t occur until 2019.

Wood said: “The technology continues to improve dramatically and 2017 will see the emergence of untethered solutions that will be more immersive than ever. Audiences will have access to a more diverse range of ever-richer content and experiences that we believe will further boost the market.”

“The proliferation of Virtual Reality experiences in theme parks, at cinemas and in other locations such as car showrooms and travel agents offering ‘look before you book’ experiences will only serve to educate users on the potential of the technology.”

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