Enterprise to fuel $160 billion spending spree on VR and AR, says IDC

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Spending on virtual and augmented reality (VR/AR) is on course to reach $160 billion in 2023 thanks to significant investment from enterprise, according to International Data Corporation (IDC).

The market intelligence provider’s Worldwide Semiannual Augmented and Virtual Reality Spending Guide predicts that the five-year compound annual growth rate for VR and AR spending will be 78.3%.

Enterprise will drive much of this growth, IDC said, with the financial and infrastructure sectors being responsible for the majority. The manufacturing and public sectors will follow, while consumer spending on VR and AR is expected to deliver a five-year compound annual growth rate of 52.2%.

Tom Mainelli, group vice president for devices and consumer research at IDC, commented: “A growing number of companies are turning to virtual reality as a way to drive training, collaboration, design, sales, and numerous other use cases.”

“Augmented reality uses cases are also growing with a wide variety of companies leveraging next-generation hardware, software, and services to fundamentally change existing business processes and bringing new capabilities to first-line workers who require hands-free technology.”

Enterprise use cases expected to receive the largest investments in 2023 are training ($8.5 billion), industrial maintenance ($4.3 billion), and retail showcasing ($3.9 billion).

Three consumer use cases for VR and AR (VR gaming and video/feature viewing, and AR gaming) are expected to see spending of $20.8 billion in 2023.

The use cases that will see the fastest spending growth over the forecast period will focus largely on AR, for lab and field education, public infrastructure maintenance, and anatomy diagnostics.

Marcus Torchia, research director for customer insights and analysis at IDC, commented: “Augmented reality is gaining share in the commercial market due to its ability to facilitate tasks, provide access to resources, and solve complex problems. Industries such as manufacturing, utilities, telecommunications and logistics are increasingly adopting AR for performing tasks such as assembly, maintenance and repair.”

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