What to expect at Mobile World Congress
Pablo Valerio, International Business & IT Consultant
2/2/2017 00:00 AM EST
What will the tipping point be for mass adoption of virtual and augmented reality? This year's Mobile World Congress has some clues.
The potential growth of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) won’t be realized until there is more content available. People are not jumping to buy VR headsets and, despite the efforts of some vendors promoting them and bundling them with other devices, the sales of headsets and other VR devices has been slow.
While VR headsets hold tremendous potential, only 12 million were sold in 2016, mostly inexpensive units to use with smartphones. This year, new devices arriving from several manufacturers, and faster, cheaper, video processors, could boost VR to the masses.
The real size of the VR market is difficult to estimate. According to a July article in Fortune: “Analysts are divided over how quickly virtual reality will catch on. At the high end, 20 million units could be sold this year , including all types of VR headsets and accompanying controllers and accessories, according to market research firm Tractica. Neil Schneider, executive director of the Immersive Technology Alliance, came up with a much smaller estimate of 300,000 units in the first 12 months on sale.” Also according to Schneider, smartphone based VR headsets, such as the Samsung Gear, could sell well as an attractive bundle. Analysts, however, are reducing their estimates. Market tracker Digi-Capital has cut their forecast from $150 million to $120 million for 2020.
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