The virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) market will be worth almost $37 billion by 2027, according to the latest analysis conducted by IDTechEx. While consumer electronics manufacturers are still in the process of advancing their offerings and related technological breakthrough are happening on a frequent basis, the Cambridge, United Kingdom-based analytics firm believes that regardless of how the VR and AR market ends up looking in a decade, it will be worth exponentially more than it is today. In addition to conventional headsets that are already available for purchase, the future will likely bring a number of new products that are currently hard to define, with many tech companies introducing their own terms for VR, AR, and related solutions, IDTechEx says, specifically mentioning terms like "annotated reality" and "mixed reality" as things that still aren't firmly elaborated but will possibly play a major industry role in the coming years.
The VR and AR market will likely be valued at around $3.4 billion by the end of 2017, the firm states, adding that the short-term growth of the industry will primarily be driven by PC-powered head-mounted displays like the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. Predicting major growth factors in the moderate term is a more challenging task, especially as new categories of products are new being introduced on a relatively frequent basis. Apart from several upcoming mixed reality headsets, Google recently announced that its Daydream VR platform is expanding to standalone devices that will already hit the market this year. As that likely won't be the last self-proclaimed category of VR and AR products, IDTechEx's latest report uses a device classification that groups various headsets based on their (lack of) ability to operate as standalone and untethered devices.
While smartphone-powered VR headsets like the Samsung Gear VR and Daydream View are currently the most popular category of such products due to their affordability, that same characteristic also means their impact on total VR revenue is minimal, IDTechEx claims, implying that the growth of the VR and AR market in terms of value will be directly tied to the popularity of premium products and experiences in the future.