AR and VR spending in Canada expected to hit $500m by 2017

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It may be the land of maple syrup and skiing, but Canada's also set to be a lucrative market for virtual reality, if the latest data is anything to go by. 

According to the International Data Corporation (IDC)'s Worldwide Virtual and Augmented Reality (AR/VR) Spending Guide, the country is expecting 230% year-over-year growth. 

Research analyst Manish Nargtas at IDC Canada said consumer VR adoption will see short-term initial update in the Canadian market, but this is set to rise.

"It is the combination of AR and VR hardware in both consumer and commercial that will drive the overall market by 2020. 360-degree video viewing, social AR/VR gaming, and virtual shopping experiences are just some use cases that are at our virtual doorstep'," he added.

Research director Krista Collins added that commercial applications - such as film, TV and retail - are some of the fastest growing industries in regard to VR in Canada, despite the hype about consumer areas. 

What about the rest of the world?

According to the same IDC report, AR and VR hardware is set to generate over half of total worldwide AR and VR revenues. The body added that AR and VR software revenues will also get off to a quick start, growing more than 200% year over year in 2016, but will be overtaken by services revenues in the middle years of the forecast, "as logistics and manufacturing demand enterprise-class support".

VR revenue will outshine that of AR in 2016 and 2017, including that for viewers, software, consulting and systems integration services. This is becuase of the update of games and paid content by consumers. 

The IDC says it thinks that after 2017, augmented reality revenues will surge ahead, hitting "critical mass" in healthcare delivery and product design and management-related use cases.

"The concepts of virtual and augmented reality have been around for many years, but now with inexpensive mobile and PC hardware powering affordable branded VR headsets, and apps enabling simple AR experiences right on the mobile devices, we can expect to see the interest level increase," added Collins.

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