Factors such as growing popularity of smartphones, huge investment in virtual and augmented reality companies and the cost-efficient benefits after usage are driving the growth of virtual and augmented reality market. The growth in healthcare and e-commerce sector is directly linked to the growth of virtual and augmented reality market. Also, growing technological advancements in the field of ICT is one of the major reason for the growth in virtual and augmented reality market. In 2016, Nintendo’s “Pokemon Go” alone earned a revenue of USD $600 million in its first three months, which was greater than the total revenue of VR/AR games market for the year 2016.
Factors that could inhibit the growth of virtual and augmented reality market are the cost of VR headsets (HMD), image latency, limited memory and processing power. However, it is observed that there has been a rise in new virtual and augmented reality ventures that are coming up with new products and services that are affordable.
With the launch of Google’s ARCore and Apple’s ARKit in 2017, application developers across the world are coming up with new virtual and augmented reality applications which are beneficial for various sectors like healthcare, education, gaming, entertainment, aerospace etc. Emerging research and development initiatives by tech giants like Google, Facebook, Snapchat and Microsoft etc. in the field of virtual and augmented reality will emerge as an opportunity which will fuel the growth of the market.
For instance, in May 2017, Microsoft launched an augmented reality app called Mixed Reality which showcases Mars Curiosity Rover, mainly for educational purpose. Also, Apple Inc. is working upon a powerful wireless VR plus AR headset with 8K display for each eye, which is a higher resolution than today’s television set.
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In terms of business model, augmented and virtual reality market can be segmented as:
• Hardware sales
• E-commerce sales
• Mobile network data
• In-app purchases
• Enterprise B2B
• Premium apps
In terms of application, augmented and virtual reality market can be segmented as:
• Other (education, real-estate & engineering)
In terms of geography, augmented and virtual reality market can be segmented as:
• Rest of Europe
• South Korea
• Rest of Asia-Pacific
• Latin America
• Middle East
Major players operating in the augmented and virtual reality market are:
• Google Inc.
• Microsoft Corporation
• Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd.
• Oculus VR
• Facebook Inc.
• Qualcomm Technologies Inc.
• Sony Corporation
• Magic Leap
• Metaio GmbH
In May 2018, Microsoft Corporations launched two new augmented/virtual reality applications for remote assistance and layout visualization respectively. Microsoft Remote Assist is an application that works on HoloLens (Microsoft’s VR/AR headset) which could be used for remote assistance. The app live-streams a first-person view from the HoloLens and enables collaborators to remotely interpret the view in real-time. This could benefit the industrial and automotive sector vastly. The second application that Microsoft Corporation announced for layout visualization was, Microsoft Layout. Based on both Windows VR headsets and HoloLens, the application helps big industries to create virtual layouts for large facilities and makes sure that equipment fits correctly before it is procured and brought to the facility. Also, the stakeholders can collaborate to a feed of virtual layout to discuss and edit in real-time. Manufacturing, real-estate and automotive sectors will mainly benefit from this advancement.
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