New VR and AR Applications Driving Market Growth

March 30, 2016

Wellesley, Mass., March 30, 2016 – Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) technologies are growing in popularity as they finally emerge from the lab into applications for everyday life. BCC Research reveals in its new report that increasing demand for mobile devices is a key driver of the global market for both technologies.

Virtual reality technologies are used in the creation of environments that are presented to users’ senses in a manner that they experience these environments as if they were really there. Augmented reality technologies are used to create a blend of virtual and real environments. AR users interact with virtual applications in real-world settings. Unlike VR users, AR users are able to distinguish between the virtual and real environments.

The global market should reach $105.2 billion in 2020 from about $4.5 billion in 2015, reflecting a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 67%. The gaming industry dominated the overall 2014 VR and AR market with a 31.2% share, followed by the military with a 23.4% share. The education sector is the fastest-growing segment, with an expected five-year CAGR of 72.3% from 2015-2020.

New technology such as Google Glass, head-up displays (HUDs) and head-mounted displays (HMDs) are driving innovation in the development and usage of VR and AR.  Increased demand for smartphones, tablets and HMDs, coupled with enhanced VR and AR applications will attract end-users from many sectors in the coming years. However, VR and AR are only accessible to users who have the necessary hardware and software, a major restraint for the market. The high price tag of the devices limits their appeal among cost-conscious consumers, as well. However, key players such as Google, Nintendo, Sega, Microsoft and Facebook are making significant advancements in VR and AR technologies, which should continue to reduce device costs while strengthening their consumer appeal.

In January, VR and AR were the buzz of CES 2016. The annual VR and AR demonstrations at CES signify ongoing momentum to extend and commercialize the technologies. While HUDs and HMDs receive much attention as the user immersion device, several technological advancements are pertinent to the further development of VR and AR. These advances include: microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) sensors, which drive increased processing power in very small components; cameras with improved resolution; Global Positioning Systems (GPS); smartphones and tablets; and 3D TVs.

“Many of the AR/VR applications being developed for smartphones and tablets are designed to enhance communication with the real world, which aligns with context-aware computing technology. For example, in sensor-based smart cities,” says BCC Research analyst Sinha G. “As a result, the increase in sales of smartphones and tablets has acted a driver for the virtual and AR market.”

Virtual and Augmented Reality: Technologies and Global Markets (IFT124A) analyzes the industry by technology, by type, and by end-user application. The report examines emerging applications, trends, pricing considerations, R&D, government regulations, and competitive technologies. Analyses of global market drivers and trends, with data from 2014, 2015, and projections of CAGRs through 2020 also are provided.

Editors and reporters who wish to speak with the analyst should contact Steven Cumming at

Virtual and Augmented Reality: Technologies and Global Markets( IFT124A )
Publish Date: Mar 2016    

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