Virtual Reality Industry Grows Up

Analysts agree that virtual reality (VR) is going to be and that its likely to happen soon. The marketplace is welcoming new headsets, content, and other offerings all the time. Industry groups and conferences are creating space for innovators to get together and find synergies and standards to drive growth.

Of course, no agrees about just how big virtual reality will grow or how fast. Global virtual reality revenues will reach $7.17 billion by the end of 2017, Greenlight Insights predicted. The total market will grow to $75 billion by 2021, according to the market research firm.  Almost two thirds of sales will be traced to headset sales this year, compared to content which will account for 12% and VR cameras which will make up 11.6%.

Today, the nascent market is fragmented and volatile. The combination of hardware and content will be critical to market success since the two pieces are interdependent.  Further, the technology remains expensive for the average consumer.

The competitive playing field will likely shake out with a handful of leaders emerging over the coming months and years, analysts agree. Smart phone makers are trying to create the right combination of technology and affordability with products that integrate VR. A recent  Juniper Research study forecasted that almost 60 million smartphone VR headsets will be shipped worldwide in 2021, which represents market growth of 240% on a market that shipped 16.8 million in 2016. Because of the lower price point of these se devices, they only accounted for 7% of hardware revenue, Juniper estimated.

Currently, the lionshare of promise for VR technology is in the consumer market. Enterprise applications (healthcare, education, construction, etc.) wll take longer to gain a foothold. By 2021, enterprise VR will account for 24.2% of global revenue, Greenlight projected.

To get a sense of the promise and current state of the VR market today, take a look at the infographic from Helios Systems below.

How long do you think until VR becomes a part of everyday life? Let us know in the comments section below.


— Hailey Lynne McKeefry, Editor in Chief, EBN Circle me on Google+ Follow me on Twitter Visit my LinkedIn page Friend me on Facebook

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