In 2017, we'll discover more about Mixed Reality solutions that combine the best attributes of visual enhancement technologies and associated wearable devices. The rapidly growing AR/VR space continues to be an area for R&D within a number of related tech fields -- including spatial mapping, machine vision, holographics, video distribution and optics.
ABI Research has identified several companies that will lead the ongoing shipment of augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) head-worn devices, which are forecast to reach 37 million units by 2018, at an 83 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR).
Manufacturers in adjacent markets, particularly within the Machine Vision segment, will have the most substantial impact. New companies entering this space will drive overall market development, and help to position Mixed Reality (MR) as a key use case for AR enterprise implementations.
Machine Vision Market Development
"Machine vision is the driver behind advanced mobile AR solutions, particularly in education and marketing, and will define the future success of mixed reality solutions in the enterprise," said Shelli Bernard, research analyst at ABI Research.
The development and evolution of user input technologies is key as AR and MR markets grow, as the technologies will support accurate and intuitive hands-free interaction as implementations within the workplace become more commonplace.
According to the ABI assessment, while VR will dominate the revenue balance between AR and VR until 2019, at which point AR will grow to reach 53 percent of a $57 billion market, innovations continue to occur in both markets.
Meanwhile, both hardware solutions providers and software and content delivery-focused companies are demonstrating marked innovation through their latest offerings.
Additionally, other leading companies are capitalizing on the potential for AR and VR within specific market verticals -- as an example, Mind Maze is targeting the healthcare market to support brain injury recoveries.
Outlook for Vertical Industry Applications
"As vendors work to improve their AR and VR solutions, innovations through adjacent and enabling technologies will spur future market development," concludes Bernard.
The push to implement MR, as evident in work from companies like Microsoft, remains the goal for the clear majority of enterprise implementations due to its ability to offer the immersion of VR with the safety and convenience of AR solutions.