HMDs Will be Most Popular AR/VR Form Factor, Says ABI

By Tom Allen
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The markets for augmented and virtual reality are poised for growth, with new devices and content being introduced regularly. According to ABI Research, head-mounted displays will be the most common AR/VR devices, although AR will still see many varied form factors as the technology is used in more applications.

Three product categories are defined by ABI: standalone, mobile-reliant and tethered. Mobile-reliant devices, such as Samsung’s Gear VR, will be the most popular devices early-on; tethered models (like the Oculus Rift) and standalone types (such as ODG’s industrial headsets) will require time to mature before establishing a large user base.

Gaming is seen as a significant application for VR, due to the high levels of immersion the technology makes possible. Meanwhile, AR will be popular in the enterprise market. Other applications, like education, design and travel, will be served by both device types.

ABI does not expect AR and VR devices to reach their inflection point until 2016. They will grow from 3 million units this year to 55 million in 2020.