AR and VR headsets to see short-term Covid-19 decline – but IDC notes positive long-term outlook
IDC has forecast a decrease in augmented (AR) and virtual
reality (VR) device shipments in the first half of 2020 due to supply chain
disruptions caused by the recent Covid-19 outbreak – but says the long-term landscape
According to IDC, a decline of 10.5% is expected on a
year-over-year basis in the first quarter, followed by a 24.1% decrease in the
second quarter. However, a bounce back is expected in the second half of 2020,
considering gradual production increase by mid-2020 that will account for total
shipments of about 7.1 million units for the year, which is a 23.6% hike from
2019. The long-term growth is expected to be strong throughout the forecast
period, with shipments growing to 76.7 million units in 2024, at a CAGR of 81.5%.
“Interest in VR within the enterprise continues to
ramp up as more companies use the technology to drive a wide range of training
scenarios,” said Tom Mainelli, group vice president for IDC consumer and devices
research. “Beyond the typical examples around training people for jobs that
involve expensive equipment or dangerous situations, we’re seeing a notable
uptick in interest using VR for soft skills training from line of business
“On the AR side of things, more industry verticals are
looking to leverage the technology to help address challenges in knowledge capture
and transfer as a growing percentage of key employees begin to age out of the
workforce,” Mainelli added.
VR and AR technologies are being seen by industry
optimists as a key tool to help the home working and videoconferencing enforced
by the Covid-19 pandemic. Recently, NexTech AR Solutions signed a letter of
intent to acquire
interactive video solutions provider Jolokia in an all-stock transaction. As
corporate meetings and events are happening online these days by medium of web
conferencing tools, NexTech has developed a technique to incorporate 3D photo
realistic holograms of people and products these virtual events via its ARitize
Last December, CCS Insight predicted that the market for AR/VR devices would grow to 21 per cent in 2019 to just over 10 million devices. According to CCS Insight, the variety of VR devices is growing and it expects new products in 2020 from HTC, Oculus, among others. This also includes the highly anticipated Sony PlayStation 5, which is widely expected to be accompanied by an updated PlayStation VR headset.
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