IDC has predicted the number of augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) headset shipments to rocket upwards due to the rise of mixed reality (MR).

Despite shipments for AR and VR headset declining by 23.5 percent last year, new IDC data points to shipments in 2024 rising by 44.2 to 9.7 million units.

The new Apple Vision Pro, which launched an update earlier this month, and other products due to come out soon will also help to promote growth, while macroeconomic conditions improve worldwide.

Jitesh Ubrani, Research Manager, Mobility and Consumer Device Trackers at IDC, spoke about some of the factors driving the AR and VR market: “Apple’s launch of the Vision Pro grabbed a lot of headlines and has raised awareness for AR and VR and although it’s priced out of reach for most, it is helping raise the bar for competitors.

“Along with Apple, many companies such as Meta and others have already begun their journey, transitioning from VR to Mixed Reality; ultimately laying the groundwork for true AR experiences.”

Expanded Use Cases

By the end of 2028, VR headsets are set to reach 24.7 million units, which translates to a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 29.2 percent. VR sales are also being pushed up by its use cases expanding from gaming into design, training, and more.

Take the HUSH team, for example, which recently used Magic Leap Workshop to view installation plans for a building development in 3D that gave them, for the first time, a true sense of scale.

Over the same time period, AR headsets are expected to total 10.9 million units, equalling a huge 87.1 percent CAGR.

To reach these figures, the IDC uses ‘IDC Tracker’ products that relay forecasts for hundreds of technology markets from over 100 countries, as well as information about market size and vendor share.

IDC Trackers are updated on a monthly, quarterly, and semi-annual basis, with the results then sent on to its clients.

Ramon T. Llamas, Research Director with IDC’s Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality programme, added some colour to how the virtual world will be experienced from a user perspective: “It will be exciting to watch how the market will evolve from today’s experiences and how end-users will adapt to them.

“Mixed reality (commonly referred to as MR, the ability for users to toggle between augmented and virtual reality) has been the exception and not the norm, but Apple has shone a bright light on MR with the Vision Pro.

“Next, look at how companies will increasingly incorporate artificial intelligence to analyse data and generate virtual content for the user.

“Finally, display technology will move from content consumption to content interaction with more sophisticated sensors and displays.”

The IDC describes itself as the “premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events” for IT, telecommunications, and consumer technology markets.

Founded in 1964, the IDC has over 1,300 analysts worldwide offering analysis and insights to business executives, IT professionals, and the investors.

For more predictions, check out XR Today’s Prediction series for 2024 based on ten of the world’s top authorities in immersive technologies.

This article was first published by James Stevens for XRToday. Read the original article here.