AR and VR headsets continues to gain strong momentum worldwide

IDC forecasts augmented reality and virtual reality headsets will see 100 million unit shipments by 2021

Tags: Augmented realityIDC Middle East and Africa
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AR and VR headsets continues to gain strong momentum worldwide Visitors during this year's GITEX Shopper use Samsung's Gear VR headset. (ITP Media Group )
By  Aasha Bodhani Published  June 20, 2017

The International Data Corporation (IDC) has revealed that augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) headsets are expected to grow at a strong pace in mainstream tech media,

IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Augmented and Virtual Reality Headset Tracker reported that shipments will grow at 58%, from 10 million units in 2016 to almost 100 million units in 2021.

IDC identified that VR headsets have dominated shipments, and in particular screenless views, which are VR headsets powered by a smartphone, as these are relatively cheaper.

Jitesh Ubrani, senior research analyst for IDC Mobile Device Trackers, said: "The next six to 18 months will further stimulate the VR market as PC vendors, along with Microsoft, introduce tethered headsets and high-end standalone VR headsets also enter the market.

"With lower hardware requirements on the PC and lower prices on headsets, VR will be more accessilbe than ever before. And the introduction of additional motion tracking and hand tracking will help further blur the line between digital and physical reality."

IDC believes VR headsets will continue to lead in terms of volume as AR is harder to achieve. Despite this, IDC also states that AR has a high level of interest and investment in vertical markets, such as healthcare, manufacturing, field service and design.

Ryan Reith, program vice president with IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Device Trackers, added: "It is very clear to us that augmented reality is the larger of the two plays here when looking at AR and VR combined.

"We believe that many industrial jobs will fundamentally change because of AR in the next 5-years, and these are much more opportunistic markets for dedicated AR headsets than the consumer market."

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