Global spending on AR and VR forecast to hit $18.8 billion in 2020, says IDC

According to IDC's latest Worldwide Augmented and Virtual Reality Spending Guide, global spending on augmented reality and virtual reality is forecasted to reach $18.8 billion (£14.5 bn) in 2020.

This figure is an increase of 78.5%, compared to the £8.12bn which IDC expects to be spent in 2019.

The report also shows that global spending on AR/VR products and services will continue this strong growth throughout the 2019-2023 forecast period. The spending will be led by the commercial sectors, which will see its combined share of entire spending increase from less than 50% in 2020 to 68.8% in 2023. The report also found that hardware will account for approximately two thirds of all AR/VR spending throughout the forecast, followed by software and services.

Giulia Carosella, research analyst, European Industry Solutions at IDC, said: “AR/VR commercial uptake will continue to expand as cost of entry declines and benefits from full deployment become more tangible. Focus is shifting from talking about technology benefits to showing real and measurable business outcomes, including productivity and efficiency gains, knowledge transfer, employee's safety, and more engaging customer experiences.”

In another report from earlier this month, PwC found that AR and VR could add £62.5bn to the UK economy, which would boost the GDP by 2.4% by 2030. Both AR and VR will play a very important role on the UK workplace with 1.19% of jobs – coming to just over 400,000 people – utilising the technologies by 2030. Among the two technologies, AR will continue to offer huge benefits to the global GDP through to 2030, accounting for £985bm of the £1.4 trillion overall.

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