Study Shows VR and AR Are Now Mainstream Tech

The time may be ripe for Apple to go all-in with virtual and augmented reality (VR and AR) products. What was once mostly fantasy is now mainstream, according to the sales data. There’s still plenty of room for growth. International Data Corporation “only” expects just shy of $2 billion in sales from VR and AR for 2021. That might sound like a lot of money. However, it pales in comparison to the $289 billion expected of smart home sales. Still, the increasingly popular VR/AR gaming genre should continue growing, IDC thinks. It may even grow faster than other parts of the new mainstream product categories. The analysts predict almost 68% growth over the next 5 years.

IDC expects AR and VR combined to show the most growth out of the three categories, thanks to both businesses and individual consumers. The latter is particularly interested in “robust gaming solutions,” IDC said. Businesses represent the bulk of AR spending today, but IDC thinks the market for AR headsets targeting the general public will grow. It predicted a 67.9 percent compound annual growth rate from 2020 to 2025 for AR and VR combined, which is more than 10 times the next competitor, smart home tech (10.1 percent growth rate).

 

Apple's Augmented Reality Headset Could Use Eye Tracking Hardware

Apple’s long-rumored augmented reality headset could contain eye tracking hardware for user input according. This could mean handheld controllers are not necessary, according to AppleInsider, which reported on a note by analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.

Kuo in a note to investors on Friday said the headset will use a specialized transmitter and receiver to detect eye movements, blinks and related physical information. The analyst believes eye tracking will soon be the most important human-machine interface technology for AR and VR wearables. “Currently, users primarily operate the HMD (most of which are VR devices) using handheld controllers,” Kuo writes. “The biggest challenge with this type of operation is that it does not provide a smooth user experience. We believe that if the HMD uses an eye-tracking system, there will be several advantages.”