CTA research also tracked consumer sentiment of XR technologies for three years in our Augmented and Virtual Reality: Consumer Sentiments study (January 2019). While intent to use XR tech remains mixed across use cases, the highest intent for fully immersive VR solutions are in an entertainment or media context. Meanwhile, intent to use AR for shopping and navigation assistance are similarly high. Here, industry is meeting demand thanks to solutions for creating AR apps for mobile devices, like ARKit for iOS and ARCore for Android.
Consider Amazon’s AR View or Ikea’s Place apps, which let users view products or furniture in their chosen space before making a purchase. Warby Parker has an AR “try-on” app for eyeglasses using the iPhone’s True Depth camera and face-mapping technology. And Lego’s 3D catalog creates the 21st century version of the pop-up book using an AR app to make its collections rise off the page.
Hardware innovation is moving in parallel with XR software and app development to give consumers and businesses more options to embrace this reality-bending revolution. CES 2019 showcased a constellation of XR headgear, ranging from wireless VR headsets (HTC’s Vive PRO Eye) to AR glasses almost indistinguishable from normal eyeglasses (Focals by North). DigiLens, Dreamglass, Nreal, Realmax, Rokid, ThirdEye, Vuzix and more demoed AR glasses for both B2B and B2C applications.
It all adds up to a market that is becoming increasingly “real” and, more importantly, relevant for businesses and brands. CTA’s research found, on average, 24 percent of U.S. online adults are likely to engage with one or more VR use cases (e.g., entertainment/media) in the next two years, and 28 percent are likely to do so with one or more AR use cases (e.g., shopping) within the same timeframe. The rise of XR tech means the question “what is reality?” is increasingly an open one. How will your business answer?
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