Worldwide spending on augmented reality and virtual reality (AR/VR) is forecast to reach $160 billion in 2023, up significantly from the $16.8 billion forecast for 2019. According to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Semiannual Augmented and Virtual Reality Spending Guide, the five-year comp
The research group expects much of the growth in AR/VR spending will be driven by accelerating investments from the commercial and public sectors. The strongest spending growth over the 2019-2023 forecast period will come from the financial (133.9% CAGR) and infrastructure (122.8% CAGR) sectors, while the manufacturing and public sectors will follow closely. In comparison, consumer spending on AR/VR is expected to deliver a five-year CAGR of 52.2%.
“A growing number of companies are turning to virtual reality as a way to drive training, collaboration, design, sales, and numerous other use cases,” said Tom Mainelli, group vice president, Devices and Consumer Research at IDC. “Augmented reality uses cases are also growing with a wide variety of companies leveraging next-generation hardware, software, and services to fundamentally change existing business processes and bringing new capabilities to first-line workers who require hands-free technology.”
The commercial use cases that are forecast to receive the largest investments in 2023 are training ($8.5 billion), industrial maintenance ($4.3 billion), and retail showcasing ($3.9 billion). In comparison, the three consumer use cases for AR/VR (VR gaming, VR video/feature viewing, and AR gaming) are expected to see spending of $20.8 billion in 2023. The use cases that will see the fastest spending growth over the forecast period include AR for lab and field education, AR for public infrastructure maintenance, and AR for anatomy diagnostic.
Hardware will account for more than half of all AR/VR spending throughout the forecast, followed by software and services. Strong spending growth (189.2% CAGR) for AR viewers will make this the largest hardware category by the end of the forecast, followed by VR host devices. AR software will be the second fastest growing category, enabling it to overtake VR software spending by 2022. Services spending will be driven by strong growth from AR consulting services, AR custom application development, and AR systems integration.
“Augmented reality is gaining share in the commercial market due to its ability to facilitate tasks, provide access to resources, and solve complex problems,” said Marcus Torchia, research director, Customer Insights & Analysis at IDC. “Industries such as manufacturing, utilities, telecommunications, and logistics are increasingly adopting AR for performing tasks such as assembly, maintenance, and repair.”