Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) devices are about to explode into the mainstream. You only have to look at the major press generated around E3 to get a really good idea of the potential.
So what is that potential in terms of dollar value?
CCS Insight have predicted the VR and AR device market is on course to become a $4 billion+ business inside of three years. The industry analyst has forecast that 2.5 million devices will be sold in 2015 – rising to a massive 24 million by 2018.
With headsets like Oculus Rift, Project Morpheus, the HTC Vive and Microsoft's HoloLens being the big leaders it is not surprising that CCS is forecasting such a boom in popularity.
Virtual reality covers the immersive, virtual world experiences presented by the likes of Oculus Rift and the PlayStation powered Project Morpheus from Sony. Where as Augmented Reality is blending the real and virtual worlds with computer generated images overlaid into the user's view. Microsoft's HoloLens is one of the best ones out there and if you're a fan of Minecraft then Hololens may become your new best friend.
Ben Wood, CCS Insight's chief of research explained:
Despite the reputational damage done to the consumer smart glasses segment by Google Glass, companies have realised augmented reality can be used to increase productivity and cut costs.
Over the next two years we're going to see the technology move out of trials into full-scale deployments. Companies that embrace augmented reality will gain a competitive advantage.
For only a few dollars, consumers can dip their toe in the water with an inexpensive holder for a compatible smartphone," explained Wood. We expect this democratisation of the technology to deliver growth not just in affluent mature markets but also in emerging markets where smartphone penetration is stronger than ever.
I for one will be purchasing the HTC Vive, Sony's project Morpheus and the Oculus RIft. Of course I review them so it is "work" for me. Even if I were not I'd still pick them up. From the comments/questions I receive from readers it seems most will be picking up at least one of the aforementioned devices.
Let me know in the comments which one you'll be purchasing...