Will VR go the way of 3D?

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A provocative comment on the future of Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality (VR/AR) consumer take-up comes from specialist publication Display Daily, and asks whether VR will go the way of 3D.

Steve Sechrist, a well-regarded industry analyst, asks when will consumers start buying into to face-worn technology. His own answer is that it should have happened already…

He quotes recent marketing data issued last week with a reality-check/ forecast showing (both AR and VR) headsets down over 30 per cent (YoY) at 1.2 millio units shipped in Q1-2018 from the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Augmented and Virtual Reality Headset Tracker.

Sechrist admits that 1.2 million units for Q1/2018 is not overly bad, but issued a reminder that IDC’s own forecasts (in March 2016) anticipated 40 million units being sold this year, and building to 99 million by 2021.

He stresses that he is not complaining about IDC’s numbers which were reasonably made, but that it must be questioned whether consumers will ever come around to make face-worn devices mainstream, or will it – like 3D TV – remain niche?

Sechrist also reminds readers that that there was also a time when 3D was the best thing since sliced bread, a media darling, and the star of trade show after trade show.

“The mainstream 3D TV has eventually given way to 4K, 8K and HDR displays that get pretty darn close to looking like the real thing, and that’s the whole point,” he adds.


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