BEIJING – Virtual and augmented reality technologies, which are vital components to creating a virtual presence in the metaverse, are expected to witness rapid growth in the next few years and inject fresh impetus into a wide range of sectors like education, healthcare and entertainment, said a report released by market consultancy International Data Corp.

Data from IDC showed that the investment scale of the global AR and VR market was close to $14.67 billion in 2021, and is expected to increase to $74.73 billion in 2026, with a compound annual growth rate, or CAGR, of 38.5 percent. Specifically, the CAGR of the Chinese market is expected to reach 43.8 percent during this period, ranking first across the globe.

IDC said the IT-related expenditure in China’s AR and VR market reached about $2.13 billion in 2021 and will increase to $13.08 billion in 2026, making it the second-largest market in the world. Specifically, AR expenditure will increase rapidly with a 49 percent CAGR, while VR expenditure will maintain steady growth with a 41.5 percent CAGR.

AR/VR hardware products will grow steadily with a CAGR of 47.8 percent in China, which is likely to occupy more than half of the country’s AR/VR expenditure, the report said.

IDC predicted that over the next five years, VR games will account for 30 percent of the country’s total VR market. Games, training and collaboration are expected to become the main application scenarios of VR in 2026.

A hot tech buzzword, metaverse promises a future in which the virtual and physical worlds are inextricably interconnected. The concept of metaverse refers to a shared virtual environment or digital space created by technologies including VR and AR.Tech giants have jumped on the metaverse bandwagon and invested heavily in the state-of-the-art VR and AR technologies, such as Chinese tech behemoth ByteDance and major foreign names like Meta and Apple.

Global shipments for VR headsets jumped 241.6 percent in the first quarter compared to the same period last year, said IDC.Meta captured 90 percent of the market, followed by ByteDance’s Pico with a 4.5 percent share.

Credited Source
China Daily / Fan Fei Fei