Both augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) technologies have been around for quite some time. In the last few years, there have been some successful cases, like the legendary success of Pokemon GO in 2016. For a brief time, people were playing it everywhere. Since June, players have made 113 million friend connections and have sent each other 2.2 billion gifts. Today, there are 5 million people who play the game daily.
However, AR and VR are still making their entry into the customer sphere. The consumer releases of Oculus Rift and HTC Vive have been available for less than two years, and newer and better versions are already on the market. Based on adoption rates, I believe it will take around 3-5 years until these gadgets will be available in almost every home.
As the founding owner and creative director at an advertising firm that uses high-tech solutions for clients, like designing and coding AR/VR experiences, I believe these technologies will offer significant life-changing experiences, especially when the wearable tech is more available. I can tell you from experience that the demand for AR/VR is on the rise: Every company we talk to is very curious to learn about the new possibilities. Until they become mainstream, I believe that any company that jumps in to utilize these technologies will have a clear advantage over late adopters.
To put things into perspective, in 2014, there were only 200,000 active virtual reality users in the world. By the end of 2018, there will be 171 million active users. And in 2020, it’s predicted that VR/AR will be a more than $162 billion industry.
Big Brand Adoption
The latest brand looking to AR is Apple. The company announced in August that it bought Akonia Holographics, which makes lenses for AR devices. According to Reuters, it’s “a signal Apple has ambitions to make a wearable device that would superimpose digital information on the real world.”