This month we are featuring an op-ed from Mark Morrison of USens.
No pun intended, but I haven’t seen any ARVR revenue forecasts that remind me of reality yet. I have a great deal of respect for all of the players in both the augmented reality and virtual reality industries, specifically those who have been researching and developing it for over 15+ years. Many of these sage AR and VR industry vets share a similar opinion of how little innovation has been achieved on the development side; however, there has been tremendous evolution on the end user and hardware side.
Technology has come a long way for 3D graphics, computer vision, and artificial intelligence in both consumer and enterprise related use cases. Add this progress to the leaps and bounds in human computer interaction for mobile phones, and it seems only natural that VR and AR are due for their HCI revolution soon. But wait…not so fast.
There have been some ‘generous’ ARVR revenue forecasts projected by analysts in the last few years who suggest these emerging medias are set to explode with growth like we’ve never seen. Below are web links to some of these forecasts given over the past few years.
These forecasts project as much as $150B in combined ARVR revenue by 2020. Where does this come from? This (hyper) CAGR might be attributed by comparing ARVR sectors to smart phone adoption rates at their highest peak. One can see some patterns there that analyst might cull from, but are these relevant? It’s also possible these inflated forecasts are setting the industry up for false positives. This is not a healthy way to set a tone or a pace for growth. The collective ARVR industry has been relatively quiet on their forecasts while still benefitting from an investment feeding frenzy these last few years.
A myriad of quantified and qualified factors can bring forecasts up or down. Taking into account our world that provides historical data such as sales and technology adoption patterns, there are still many X factors. It’s still hard to argue the unknown or make a solid bet on the future of ARVR growth.
Some assumptions that are fairly safe to accept are that consumers want new technology that provides more convenience and cost savings. Global industry has a lot to gain from ARVR for similar reasons. Once the markets “want” turns to “need”, we could see the type of growth the above analyst are predicting.
Fortune 500 companies are investing huge amounts of money and cementing road maps that integrate ARVR. The Semi-Conductor and chip industries are laser focused on bringing the best possible consumer GPU/CPU to ARVR markets, focusing a lot of that energy on mobile end users. There’s also been a noticeable cooperation between traditional rivals in the technology space towards ARVR. This has added to consolidating a swell of excitement and enthusiasm into VR v.1.0. AR is also gaining popularity, albeit more on the enterprise side currently.
After having worked in games, software, hardware, AR, and VR I wanted to share a different type of AR/VR Forecast:
Mark T. Morrison
Corporate Director, Business Development, Sales, and Marketing