After the introduction of lockdowns and social distancing, many of us were tempted or forced to leave reality behind and immerse themselves in the digital realm, where an array of new possibilities could be found right at their fingertips.
In 2021, and after years of being a high-tech nerd thing, like a phoenix from its ashes, virtual reality is back in the forefront, saving the day for all of us. These astonishing virtual reality statistics reveal that technology may finally be able to deliver everything the ’90s sci-fi predicted—and in some cases, even more.
So, without further ado, here’s a list of the most promising AR and VR statistics showing how this technology will help shape 2021.
Key VR and AR Statistics and Facts That Are Currently Changing the World:
- AR market revenue is forecast to hit $70–$75 billion by 2023.
- Mobile head-mounted displays will become a mainstay in the VR market.
- 70%–75% of consumers aged 16–44 know about AR.
- AR and VR will help us predict the outcomes of events in real-time.
- In order to grow, the VR industry must improve the user experience.
- Around 77% of gamers who use AR and VR prefer consoles.
- At the forefront of VR statistics: Sony is the world’s largest VR device vendor.
- Video games and social content account for nearly 80% of developed content for augmented, mixed, virtual, and cross-reality platforms right now.
- So far, YouTube’s official VR channel has 3.35 million subscribers.
- Pokemon GO is one of the most popular AR games, with over one billion downloads.
General Augmented Reality Stats and Facts
Now that we’ve looked into key statistics, let’s dig a bit deeper. What do people know about this? What are pros and cons? Who are the users? Here are some answers to satisfy your curiosity.
1. 70%–75% of consumers aged 16–44 know about augmented reality.
While the VR demographics are fairly varied (with around 90% of consumers being aware of it thanks to years of media coverage), only around 65% of people are aware of AR in the US and UK respectively.
Younger generations tend to be more familiar with AR, and nearly half of those between 55 and 64 years know what it is. However, even with more awareness among younger audiences (16–34 years), only 35% of them utilize AR tech.
2. What’s stopping businesses from using AR and VR?
While both virtual and augmented reality can offer businesses numerous prosperous opportunities, most companies tend to stay away from these technologies.
VR engagement statistics show that the main reason behind this mistrust (in 58.3% of cases) is the lack of understanding in the core concepts and advantages of AR/VR, and their variants, like mixed reality (MR).
The second reason for not embracing these technologies (in 54.2% of cases) is the lack of proof of ROI (return on investment).
3. Video games and social content make up nearly 80% of developed content for augmented, mixed, virtual, and cross-reality platforms.
Currently, 48% of that content falls within the confines of the video game industry, and 31% is for social media. Other areas like advertising, live streaming, news, and music are a bit behind, but it’s no surprise that VR development focuses on entertainment.
Data from game community websites—Steam offers VR stats that are helpful—backs this claim up, with more and more people immersing themselves in the gaming experiences VR has to offer.
4. Around 77% of gamers who use AR and VR prefer consoles.
Furthermore, Sony is the most dominant player in this market. Following consoles, the second most popular gaming platforms for VR content are mobile devices—64% of participants play AR/VR games on their tablets and mobile phones.
That being said, augmented reality games have played a major role in popularizing AR gaming content and improving the augmented reality statistics on engagement. Augmented reality headsets are also generally cheaper than VR gear, making them even more available for users.
Lastly, only 28% of participants said they play VR and AR games on their PCs, indicating that they’re still somewhat uneasy with integrating these technologies.
5. So far, YouTube’s official VR channel has 3.35 million subscribers.
Among the most interesting virtual reality statistics is the fact that YouTube 360 is gaining subscribers at a rather swift rate. This may not seem like a large number, but the rapid gain in popularity shows a clear consumer trend and a clear market demand for VR content.
Given how influential YouTube is, the platform can play an impactful role in the further popularization of VR in the forthcoming years.
6. Pokemon GO is one of the most popular AR games with over a billion downloads.
As it turns out, AR statistics have a fun side too. Since its initial launch back in 2016, Pokemon GO became an augmented reality superstar. It produced over $200 million in revenue after the first month and at one point attracted a staggering 45 million daily users across the globe. In fact, in 2018 it earned $1.3 billion.
Even after the craze passed, the game still managed to gain about $200,000 in revenue daily as of April 2019. On top of all this, the game also shines in the augmented reality retail market, with statistics showing that the game has been downloaded a billion times.
Although it’s debatable whether these downloads are all unique, this number represents 14% of the global population.
7. At the forefront of the latest virtual reality statistics: Sony is the world’s largest VR device vendor, with 2.2 million units shipped in 2019.
Sony remains the most dominant contender—the company sold 338,000 Playstation VR headsets in 2019’s fourth quarter. With such a strong presence, it’s no wonder Playstation VR statistics like this so greatly influence consumer and market trends, thus shaping the future of the technology.
Other vendors like Oculus have impressive sales numbers too, with nearly one million units of their Rift products shipped in 2018, and 1.7 million in 2019.
Augmented and Virtual Reality Statistics for 2021 and Beyond
We can certainly say that the coronavirus pandemic boosted and reshaped the future of VR. No one expected we would need AI and the entire tech industry to rise up to the challenge and support the creation of a ‘new normal’ for all of us.
Here’s what you need to know in order to stay up to date and relevant in 2021.
8. AI will help shape the AR/VR industry.
Judging by the current VR adoption rate, more and more businesses are starting to incorporate AR and VR into their work. As a result, entrepreneurs and developers are looking into different possibilities regarding potential collaboration.
From this year onward, they’ll search for new and clearer ideas on how to combine machine learning with augmented and virtual reality technology.
9. By 2023, AR revenue could reach as much as $75 billion.
When talking about the AR industry’s growth, professionals estimate that this market will surpass $70 billion in revenue by 2023. The main reason behind these recent augmented reality statistics is that AR technology is already present on smart devices. Thanks to the introduction of stronger cellular networks, in the near future, the technology will reach an even larger audience.
When smart glasses, which lag behind a bit at the moment, are combined with mobile AR devices, they could hit around 2.5 billion units in two years. As they become more widespread, they’ll also become more attainable and, thus, a more integral part of everyday consumer life.
10. VR and AR are expected to infiltrate the automotive industry.
Self-driving cars have been the talk of the town in recent years, and industry professionals are already talking about taking it to the next level by integrating AR technology into these vehicles. These trends will not only change the way people travel from point A to B but will also significantly impact AR and VR industry growth.
11. Augmented reality metrics will include more WebAR features.
Up until now, mobile devices have represented the primary AR access point after downloading and installing the necessary applications. But thanks to recent advancements, WebAR is on the rise and will enable users to use AR technology in the realm of the internet.
In the near future, more and more browsers and web apps will support AR. As a result, consumers will have a lower usage barrier and an even more immersive experience.
12. Mobile head-mounted displays will become a mainstay in the VR market.
Even now, according to the latest VR facts, mobile headset displays account for roughly 75% of VR devices used. The upcoming years will give the tech-savvy even more opportunities to immerse themselves in the digital world.
13. AR and VR will be able to help us predict the outcomes of events in real-time.
As the latest AR/VR industry report suggests, both technologies will help technicians predict possible outcomes in real-time by using these technologies on laptops and phones in the future. They will also be able to leave more specific comments, notes, or instructions for workgroups in remote locations.
14. Recent AR and VR trends point to these technologies entering the education system.
In the upcoming years, AR and VR will help enrich the learning experience and teaching methods for students and teachers alike in immersive, exciting ways.
First off, VR classrooms can help remote learners. Meanwhile, AR could help with learning and development, not just in the classroom but in companies as well by providing access to real-time information. If these technologies enter the education system, AR/VR usage will become even more pervasive.
15. XR is expected to gain ground as a medical device.
With the rising popularity of AR, VR, and MR (mixed reality) tech, professionals estimate that these three technologies will merge into XR (X reality or cross reality) and infiltrate important areas like health care.
Practitioners will be able to use all three technologies within a single app, enabling them to be more productive and efficient. At the moment, the biggest challenge is establishing these platforms while finding adequate development services for medical software.
16. How many people will use AR worldwide?
Augmented reality trends are on the rise, especially on mobile devices. The current available data suggest that the upcoming 2–3 years will lead to the industry’s further expansion, with over 2.4 billion mobile users around the world.
In 2015, there were only 2 million users, and by 2021, it’s estimated that the total number will reach 1.96 billion, according to the latest augmented reality statistics.
17. In order to grow, the VR industry must improve the overall user experience.
According to a Perkins Coie survey, 27% of users said that their biggest problem with virtual reality was the poor user experience offered by the current products. In most cases, they mentioned bugs, glitches, and bulky headsets as their main problems with these devices.
Even though this number is much lower than what the same virtual reality statistics showed in 2018 (41%), it still indicates that there’s room for improvement. On the other hand, 20% of the interviewed users mentioned the lack of quality VR content as one of their main problems.
Both AR and VR are bringing many promising advancements in nearly all segments of our everyday lives. As these technologies progress and become more common, more and more users will be able to harness the benefits and change their experiences, habits, and lives overall. A lot of opportunities and services are already available. However, the latest virtual reality statistics forecast even more exciting things to come.