Prior to the COVID crisis 2020 was already becoming a year of steady but persistent growth for AR and VR, but the experience of being stuck in our homes for extended periods has accelerated interest and uptake across multiple sectors.
The previous 12-18 months had delivered healthy reality-check – pun intended – for immersive tech after a prolonged period of unachievable expectations had started to undermine people’s interest. Instead, attitudes have shifted and a more achievable, sustainable future for the technology awaits. Critically, organisations are finally discovering how to use it to create real value, rather than simply making headlines.
That said, this is an industry with a global value of $3.48bn in 2017 and $5.78bn in 2018, and is predicted to reach a staggering $198.17bn by 2025, according to Statista. Even without the ‘COVID catalyst’ this remains a stellar technology capable, ultimately, of revolutionising the way we interact with the digital world.
How we access this content is likely to shift away from the little rectangles in our pockets to glasses – or even lenses – that offer a wider, hands-free view of the world. But the fundamentals of AR and VR will remain true. We are at the dawn of the augmented era, where digital content in the three-dimensional spaces around us will soon be as familiar as two-dimensional screens today.