Augmented Reality headset

Virtual & Augmented Headsets Return to Growth

2019 has seen the virtual and augmented reality headset return to growth, according to the IDC. During the first quarter of 2019 shipments of headsets reached 1.3 million, up 27.2% on the same quarter last year. This is all thanks to a surge in standalone headsets such as the Oculus Quest and HTC Focus. 

According to the industry report by VRX (a survey of over 750 professionals in the Enterprise XR space). “Enterprises are really beginning to grasp the potential for immersive technologies to change the landscape, with higher growth rates reported than in our 2018 survey…..A massive 93% of enterprises that have decided to use VR have seen a positive effect on their business. With 57% saying that that uplift was very positive. ” Of course these enterprises are early adopters of the technology.

Across business, applications of XR technologies are having increasing impacts on people, processes and products. Collaborative tools are enabling more seamless remote working. The technology is transforming and pioneering better customer engagement and enhancing development processes. All supporting strategic data challenges and insights.

Therefore, the IDC anticipates the growth trend established in the first quarter will continue as global shipments for AR/VR headsets are forecast to reach 7.6 million units in 2019, up from 5.9 million in 2018.

Oculus announced at the OC6 event earlier this year, (source ABI Research). That the virtual reality training market is expected to grow to $6.3B by 2022. Companies such as Nestle and Hilton are diving into training tools already. This is one area that has seen huge growth.

Augmented Reality headsets and devices are also having an impact. While the sale of the devices is not as high as virtual reality, enterprise AR is evolving. “Enterprise AR is evolving quickly and many companies are actively looking for hardware solutions they can use to improve existing business processes and drive new ones,” said Tom Mainelli, group vice president, Consumer and Devices Research at IDC.

VRX reported, “98.6% of enterprise users said that they were at least considering investing more into XR in the next few years. Of these, 65.7% were sure that they would make future investments, 22.9% said that they were likely to but still undergoing testing and 10% said that they were at least considering doing so but could not confirm.”

More and more headset providers taking enterprise seriously and setting up units to deal with making virtual reality enterprise adoption easier (see Enterprise Immersive Technology will be mainstream in 3 years). Therefore we see a bright future in the technology. Early adoptors will start to see return on investments long before their competitiors.