Commentary

Augmented Reality Headsets Heading To 30 Million, Eventually

Augmented reality has been around for years and it looks like some more years will be needed before it hits it big.

While Pokémon Go gave many consumers a taste of what AR could look like, the future of AR involves many head-mounted displays to bring it to a broader life.

Consumer spending on AR head-mounted displays will account for more than half (53%) of all headset spending within five years, according to the new semi-annual forecast by Greenlight Insights.

Spending on content and software is projected to grow 78% a year, reaching $15 billion by 2023.

“There are disruptions unfolding with the introduction of new handheld and head-mounted displays and exciting new markets are being created,” stated Clifton Dawson, CEO of Greenlight Insights. “We are expecting a faster adoption of AR headsets than what we have seen with virtual reality headsets, but optimism should be tempered as the AR ecosystem must address substantial problems on numerous base levels.”

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Growth in the number of AR head-mounted displays is projected to be relatively low in the short term but quickly ramping up in following years. Here are the projections for AR head-mounted display shipments:

  • 2019 – 2 million
  • 2020 – 8 million
  • 2021 – 15 million
  • 2022 – 24 million
  • 2023 – 30 million

As can be expected, revenue is projected to move along a similar path, reaching well into the billions of dollars by 2023.

One of the challenges in predicting the AR market is the number of unknowns, most notably the costs of various headsets and whether consumers will be willing to part with that much cash for an AR experience.

For example, the very-long-awaited MagicLeap headset is expected to cost somewhere in the vicinity of $1,200 to $2,000. The company has raised more than $1 billion to create a wearable device and is in the process of seeking even more investments.

There are lower cost alternatives, of course, such as Mira’s phone-based AR for less than $100.

The median average price for AR headsets will be $950, according to Greenlight.

As part of its forecast, Greenlight Insights surveyed 2,000 consumers and found that of those who want to use augmented reality, the top activities would be playing interactive games, watching live events and navigation when driving.

No matter the desired use, the mass adoption of augmented reality is still on the way.

3 comments about "Augmented Reality Headsets Heading To 30 Million, Eventually".
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  1. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics, September 19, 2017 at 8:11 a.m.

    I'll bet that just about every one of those cove, affluent,  18-24s will plunk down $1000 so they can be the first to own one of these wonderful AR headsets, then they will happily upgrade to the $2000 ones as they are enthralled by the deluge of content  that presumably is on the way---as well as millions of ads, I suspect. I wouldn't be surprised to see AR headset penetration exceeding the 75% mark-----"eventually".

  2. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics, September 19, 2017 at 8:47 a.m.

    Yep, those 18-24s sure are "cove"----I meant "coveted", of course.

  3. Chuck Martin from Chuck Martin replied, September 19, 2017 at 9:58 a.m.

    You may be right, Ed (eventually).

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