What businesses should focus on
Gartner estimates by mid-2016, more than 7 million HMD devices were in the hands of consumers. However, they will mostly be used for traditional flat-screen video, video games and pilot projects by businesses that want to investigate its use. However, over the next three years, both markets will become well-established and business adoption could exceed consumer adoption.
“Business use cases are broad. In coming years, field service workers, those who maintain utilities, infrastructure, machines and equipment, will benefit because their work is often ‘hands-busy’ tasks,” said Mr. Blau. “An AR headset can provide visual overlays of diagrams, complex instructions, event recording or enable “see-what-I-see” remote collaboration. Using AR can improve workforce productivity by removing time-wasting behaviors or improving the efficiency of tasks.”
Competition will be fierce in the hardware industry, but there are also opportunities in core technologies, apps, services infrastructure and components, Mr. Blau said.
The future is bright for AR and VR and the technology that supports them. Gartner estimates in the next 10 years HMDs — across all form factors — will generate $72 billion in device revenue alone. The technology will evolve from pilot projects with modest growth to sustainable business models, market maturity and global availability. The technology shipping in 2020 will be markedly different than anything available today. The technical aspects of AR and VR will merge into a mixed reality feature set, with AR maintaining a larger market share due to its business applications. This new technology, called mixed reality, will merge the real and the virtual worlds to create hyperpersonal experiences.
“The result will be a plethora of new computing experiences that drive increased productivity across many industries, improved effectiveness of individuals in their work, and exciting new developments in the leisure, entertainment and retail sectors,” Mr. Blau said.