Perhaps more so than any other technology, augmented and virtual reality are two of those technologies that have been science fiction staples for decades but are now working their way into the real world. In fact, some analysts are predicting that the market for these two technologies could reach $150 billion within the next five years, taking a significant chunk out of mobile.
Virtual reality and augmented reality are exciting – Google Glass coming and going, Facebook’s $2 billion for Oculus, Google’s $542 million into Magic Leap, not to mention Microsoft’s HoloLens. There are amazing early-stage platforms and apps, but VR/AR in 2015 feels a bit like the smartphone market before the iPhone. We’re waiting for someone to say “One more thing…” in a way that has everyone thinking “so that’s where the market’s going!” A pure quantitative analysis of the VR/AR market today is challenging, because there’s not much of a track record to analyze yet. We’ll discuss methodology below, but this analysis is based on how VR/AR could grow new markets and cannibalize existing ones after the market really gets going next year.