Global VR market to generate revenue in excess of $60bn in 2022

Photo by Scott Webb on Unsplash

Virtual reality (VR) technology looks set to gain widespread adoption over the next five years, reaching an installed base of 256 million users worldwide with revenues of over $60bn expected in 2022.

While the consumer market is expected to account for most of the market's revenue, the B2B space will expand its share reaching over 40% of the market by 2022, up from 26% in 2015, according to a recent report by ABI research.

"Content availability remains an issue, but healthy strides were made in the past year, particularly in Asia-Pacific and China with location based VR. Further trials and launches will accelerate the adoption of immersive content across the market and expand the use of VR as a tool for training, design, preparatory work and planning," says Michael Inouye, principal analyst at ABI Research. "While the consumer space often garners the largest share of attention the market potential is much wider and we've already seen very promising interest in verticals like retail, healthcare, automotive, education, real estate and more.”

VR experiences still range quite widely from more basic seated/standing mobile Head Mounted Display (HMD) configurations to dedicated location based VR installations, ABI research notes. However, with the rise of wireless HMDs, standalone VR, and six degrees of freedom (6DOF) mobile VR will help narrow the gaps between these different classes of experiences. Additionally, further technology advancements are on the horizon like eye tracking and increasingly higher resolution screens, the report said.

"We continue to view VR as a long-term market proposition, a technology that will really start to show its true transformative capabilities five plus years from now. In addition, while we currently see clear delineations between AR and VR today and into the near future," said Sam Rosen, managing director and vice president at ABI Research. " We expect these lines of demarcation to begin fading as the technologies increasingly reach maturity and saturation, perhaps then becoming better suited to the mixed and merged reality monikers that some use today."

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Laurie Fullerton

Laurie Fullerton is a writer based in Boston, MA with a background in business, sports, community, medical and travel writing. She has been a newspaper editor in the Boston-area, a sports writer covering yacht racing and a community reporter. She has been reporting for The Drum since October 2015.

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