We are at the cusp of a major revolution from mobile to immersive computing. Last year was seen as the dawn of a third wave of devices employing augmented and virtual reality (AR and VR), which define the two spectrums of immersive technology that could replace mobile computing.
A range of major products came to market in 2016 from companies including Oculus VR, Sony and Google. Since it bought Oculus for $2.1 billion, Facebook has acquired a further 11 AR/VR companies, underscoring the company’s view that VR and AR will form the next frontier. The large investments and acquisitions by tech giants suggest that these technologies will become increasingly integrated with the platforms on which we consume content.
According to a recent estimate by Goldman Sachs, AR and VR are expected to grow into a $95 billion market by 2025. As the chart below shows, the strongest demand for the technologies currently comes from industries in the creative economy – specifically, gaming, live events, video entertainment and retail – but will find wider applications in industries as diverse as healthcare, education, the military and real estate over time.