Although yet to achieve mainstream success, the virtual reality market is predicted to experience massive growth according to the latest research from Juniper.
In a whitepaper titled The Rise of Virtual Reality, it is claimed that approximately 30 million virtual reality headsets will have been sold by 2020 with sales topping $4 billion.
According to the study, the breakthrough year for VR is set to be 2016, with three million headsets expected to be sold. Although many of the initial sales are expected to be in the form of video game accessories, VR headsets do have the potential to expand into other industries.
Over the next year, a number of high profile technology firms are expected to launch their own VR headsets including the Facebook-owned Oculus, Sony and HTC. Although pricing and release dates are hard to come by, the hype surrounding these headsets is growing. Earlier this week, Sony revealed that its offering (previously known as Project Morpheus) would be rebranded as PlayStation VR.
In terms of a geographical split, the biggest market for virtual reality devices is expected to be North America, but Asian countries will not be far behind and should represent 10 million sales by 2020. China’s recent decision to lift the ban on video games is likely to drive VR success in the region.
As well as having the potential to revolutionize the entertainment industry, virtual reality headsets have possible applications in the industrial and healthcare markets. In order to achieve widespread use, however, a number of technical issues must first be overcome with some users complaining of nausea when using early test builds.