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  • Writer's pictureNisha Sashidharan, Head of Marketing

Navigating the Top Trends in AR and VR

Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) have gained much attention in recent years, thanks to advancements in technology and the involvement of major tech industry players. This has resulted in significant consolidation as major companies acquire firms operating within the AR and VR domain. With the continuous evolution of technology and the growing prevalence of 5G internet connections, the AR and VR market is well-positioned for robust future growth. In this blog post, we will explore the market drivers for AR and VR, forecasts for their future, and cutting-edge developments that are currently unfolding in these exciting fields. 



Market Drivers in the AR and VR World 

Augmented Reality has become increasingly popular on social media platforms like Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok. These platforms leverage Augmented Reality to enhance user experiences with new lenses and features. The gaming sector has also thrived with Augmented Reality applications, with popular games like Pokémon Go. In the eCommerce sector, applications such as Ikea Place, Wayfair, and Sephora have made notable strides in adapting to AR and VR technologies. AR software dominates the market, and the imminent entry of Apple into the AR glasses market will bring further growth.  

 

The VR landscape continues to evolve with significant advancements in headset quality, with Meta's Meta Quest headset accounting for over one-third of total unit sales. The VR market is transitioning from basic games to a more sophisticated realm with interactive and immersive experiences. The interplay of technological innovation and market dynamics positions AR and VR for substantial growth, blurring the boundaries between virtual and authentic experiences. 

 

Market Forecasts in the AR and VR Domain  

The future of the AR & VR market appears promising, with projections indicating potent growth. By 2024, the market is set to generate an impressive revenue of US$38.6 billion, with an anticipated annual growth rate of 10.77% (CAGR 2024-2028). The AR Software segment, expected to reach US$13.0 billion in 2024, plays a pivotal role, reflecting significant demand for software-based Augmented Reality solutions. 

 

Geographically, the United States leads in revenue generation, projecting a substantial market volume of US$10,260.0 million in 2024. Beyond revenue, the global AR & VR user base is expected to surge, reaching 3,674.0 million users by 2028. This widespread adoption emphasizes the increasing integration of AR and VR in various sectors, shaping user experiences and industry landscapes. These statistics validate the current momentum of the AR & VR market, highlighting its transformative potential and significance in the evolving tech landscape. 


The Top 10 Trends in the AR and VR  

In this section, from revolutionizing enterprise applications to redefining immersive entertainment, we explore the top 10 trends propelling these technologies into the forefront of innovation and user experience. 1. Enterprise Applications 

Enterprises increasingly use Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) technologies to improve training and operational efficiency. These technologies provide immersive experiences that help employees acquire valuable skills in simulated environments. From hands-on learning to maintenance procedures and collaborative workspaces, businesses are leveraging the potential of AR and VR to equip their workforce with the necessary skills. 


For instance, Microsoft HoloLens, a mixed-reality headset, is widely used in industries such as manufacturing and healthcare for interactive holographic experiences that facilitate hands-on training and real-time collaboration. 

 

2. Immersive Entertainment 

The entertainment industry is experiencing unprecedented immersion with the introduction of AR and VR technologies. Gamers can now enjoy an unparalleled sense of presence and interaction through Virtual Reality gaming. Meanwhile, filmmakers are exploring innovative storytelling techniques, creating immersive cinematic experiences that go beyond the traditional screen. 

 

For instance, Oculus Quest 2 is a standalone VR headset renowned for its powerful hardware and extensive library of games. With its immersive VR gaming experience, it has become a popular choice among gamers. 

 

3. Healthcare Revolution 

The healthcare industry is currently undergoing a significant transformation using Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR). These technologies are being utilized in various ways, such as medical training, surgical planning, and patient care. The use of realistic simulations helps improve medical professionals' skills, while virtual environments assist in planning complex surgeries, leading to better treatment outcomes. 


For instance, Touch Surgery is an AR surgical simulation platform that medical professionals use for training and enhancing their skills. It enables surgeons to practice procedures in a lifelike virtual environment. 

 

4. Education 2.0 

AR and VR technologies transform education delivery by providing students with interactive and immersive learning experiences. Educators use these technologies to create engaging and effective teaching environments through virtual field trips, simulations, and hands-on experiments. 


One such example of an AR application designed specifically for education is Google Expeditions. With this tool, teachers can take students on virtual field trips, enabling them to experience 360-degree panoramic scenes that enhance their learning experiences. 

 

5. Augmented Retail 

Retailers are increasingly using Augmented Reality (AR) technology to enhance the shopping experience for consumers. This technology allows shoppers to virtually try on clothing, access interactive product information through mobile apps, and navigate stores using AR maps. As a result, shoppers enjoy a more personalized and enjoyable shopping journey. 


For instance, IKEA Place is an AR app that enables users to preview furniture in a real-world setting before purchasing. This provides a more immersive and engaging shopping experience, making it easier for consumers to make informed purchase decisions. 

 

6. Remote Collaboration 

As more people shift to remote work, AR and VR technology is becoming increasingly important in promoting collaboration. Virtual meeting spaces and collaborative environments allow teams to work together seamlessly, regardless of their physical location.  


One example of a platform that leverages this technology is Spatial, which offers a collaborative AR and VR experience. This platform allows users to connect in virtual spaces, share content, and collaborate in real time and is designed explicitly to enhance remote meetings and team collaboration. 

 

7. Hardware Advancements 

Advanced hardware plays a vital role in the development of AR and VR. Headsets that are lighter and more comfortable, powerful GPUs, and improved motion tracking all contribute to a more immersive and enjoyable experience for the user. 


For instance, the Valve Index is a high-end VR headset that boasts advanced features like precise finger-tracking controllers and high-quality visuals. It serves as an excellent example of the continuous advancements in VR hardware. 

 

8. 5G Integration 

The deployment of 5G networks is a significant turning point for augmented and Virtual Reality. The faster data transmission, reduced latency, and more stable connections create a path for seamless and responsive virtual experiences, primarily in applications like Augmented Reality gaming and remote collaboration. 


For instance, the Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2 Platform is a chipset specifically designed for extended reality (XR) experiences, including AR and VR. It leverages 5G connectivity to provide high-quality, low-latency immersive experiences. 

 

9. Social VR 

Social elements are becoming an increasingly important part of Virtual Reality experiences. Whether it's virtual social events or shared collaborative spaces, users are discovering fresh ways to connect and interact in the virtual world.  


For example, Facebook Horizon Workrooms is a Virtual Reality meeting platform developed by Meta (formerly Facebook). This platform enables users to collaborate in a shared virtual space, making remote work more interactive and engaging. 

 

10. AR Glasses 

The development of Augmented Reality (AR) glasses is gaining momentum, offering a future where increased information effortlessly blends into our daily lives. Companies are investing in creating lightweight and stylish AR glasses that have the potential to redefine how we perceive and interact with the world around us.  


For instance, Google Glass Enterprise Edition 2 is an AR smart glasses solution specifically designed for enterprise use. It offers hands-free access to information, making it particularly valuable for tasks such as field service and logistics. 

 

Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) are two emerging technologies that are revolutionizing various industries such as healthcare, education, entertainment, and retail. With the advancements in AR and VR, we can anticipate a future where the boundaries between the physical and digital worlds will become increasingly blurred, leading to more immersive, interactive, and transformative experiences than ever before. If you're interested in staying up-to-date with the latest trends in AR and VR, keep an eye out for the latest developments and be a part of this exciting journey into the future. 


Read other Extentia Blog posts here!

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