The analyst company IDC has said that it doesn’t expect the augmented reality (AR) sector to really take off until the middle of the decade. It comes as it forecast shipment figures to decline by 8.7% year-over-year by the end of 2022. IDC said that a lack of new devices, companies' shaky financials, and smartphones being adequate for AR needs were holding the technology back.
Discussing the sector’s future, Jitesh Ubrani, research manager of Mobility and Consumer Device Trackers at IDC, said:
“We're still years away from mass consumer adoption of AR glasses, and the earliest timeframe for such products would be in late 2024 or early 2025 as companies such as Apple, Meta, and others use what they've learned from virtual reality headsets to launch a more streamlined and consumer friendly design for AR glasses. Between now and then, AR will continue to grow within the consumer segment though most of the products will be more akin to goggles or headsets rather than glasses and that will be a non-starter for many.”
With all the economic trouble going on, many companies including Google and Meta are doubling down on their core products and services. While Meta has shifted its focus to the metaverse, hence its name, the technology it’s developing is still nascent. For other companies, efforts in the area of augmented reality could be scaled back to focus on profitable products and services. This could be a factor in the delay of AR becoming more mainstream.
According to data from IDC, year-over-year growth will decline this year and tread water next year. In 2024, there will be modest growth but in 2025 and 2026 we will see large growth figures of around 50% and 120%, respectively.