Augmented and virtual reality devices will drastically increase in popularity, rising from 3 million units in 2015 up to 55 million in 2020, according to ABI Research. Head-mounted displays (HMDs) will lead the way, but mobile-reliant devices will see early success, with tethered solutions needing a bit more time to mature.
"There is a lot of excitement and hype focused on getting consumers to try out virtual reality, including the LG G3 shipping with an HMD in some markets, and Mattel's View-Master AR toy," said Michael Inouye, senior analyst at ABI Research. "These early experiences will be like any new toy-novel for a while and then fall off in use, with new content potentially driving periodic re-engagement."
It's unknown if gaming and movies will help drive VR, even though hardware developments are being made. Meanwhile with AR, which is increasingly popular in the enterprise, consumers find a lack of apps difficult to help embrace the technology - and ABI Research thinks it may be a matter of time:
"For true breakthrough products to be embraced, technology, usability, and content must meet at the critical time. For AR & VR, the inflection isn't likely to occur until 2016."