Augmented and Virtual Reality Leading Growth in Emerging Devices
Augmented and virtual reality will grow to more than eight times
its current size over the next five years, making it the fast-growing
category among emerging devices, which include wearables and smart
According to a new report from tech market research firm IDC,
augmented and virtual reality will finish 2021 at a total value of
$4.43 billion. In 2025, that value will escalate to $36.11 billion,
representing a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 68.4%.
"Virtual Reality headsets are seeing strong growth in 2021
from both consumer and commercial buyers," said Tom Mainelli,
group vice president for IDC's
Augmented and Virtual Reality team, in a prepared statement. "We
expect VR growth to continue well into the future as more consumer
and enterprise use cases present themselves. Today, AR headsets are
primarily focused on enterprise use cases, but we do anticipate
consumer-focused headsets will gain traction in the later years of
our forecast as major technology companies enter the space with new
According to the report: "Augmented and Virtual Reality will
see the fastest value growth in the coming years with the
anticipation of new devices coming to market from both established
and start-up companies and a warming reception among new users.
Enterprise users have moved beyond exploratory and pilot use cases
and into broader deployments while a growing number of consumers have
demonstrated pent-up demand for robust gaming solutions. While the
headset itself will be the site of data consumption and attention,
keep an eye on how the experience evolves from consuming and
interacting with content on the device to connecting with other
devices and systems to serve seamless experiences at work and at
The wearables market is already much larger than the AR/VR market
and will end 2021 at a value of $77.78 billion. By 2025, that will
reach $106.35 billion, a CAGR of 9.9%.
"Wearables' value will increase with the continued popularity
of earwear and smartwatches. Driving the earwear market higher is a
combination of strong end-user demand, a constant replacement cycle,
and a long range of devices from emerging and established companies
alike. Meanwhile, the smartwatch market will grow as the health and
fitness experience evolves to provide prescriptive data as well as
descriptive data to uncover new actionable insights," according
to the report.
Smart home is by far the largest category in emerging devices,
with an expected 2021 value of $289.93 billion, growing at a compound
annual rate of 10.1% to $400.36 billion by 2025.
About the Author
David Nagel is editorial director of 1105 Media's Education Technology Group and editor-in-chief of THE Journal and STEAM Universe. A 29-year publishing veteran, Nagel has led or contributed to dozens of technology, art and business publications.
He can be reached at [email protected]. You can also connect with him on LinkedIn at or follow him on Twitter at @THEDavidNagel (K-12) or @CampusTechDave (higher education).