While virtual reality is taking off in all sorts of exciting ways, augmented reality and mixed reality are no slouch either. In fact growth is expected to be so strong in the coming years, that a Grand View Research report has suggested the industry could be worth as much as $6.86 (£5.6) billion by as soon as 2024.
Grand View sees mixed reality being adopted in all sorts of industries, from medical and entertainment, to automotive and retail. With its ability to show people what things could look like, it's very useful as a predictive tool, or to explain a procedure, as well as in sales, since it can be used to show off what an item might look like if purchased.
You might assume though that entertainment like games and AR movies would be the biggest growth factor, but that's not how the Grand View report predicts it. While entertainment will be a major factor in its growth, the biggest industries are expected to be retail and automotive/aerospace.
In the case of the latter business sector, mixed reality could be used to overlay information to the driver like a heads up display. It could also be used in car design to simulate certain weather conditions, or to show extra data during crash simulations. In terms of retail, it's expected to make shopping in the real or online world a much more interactive experience. Imagine buying a garment online, but first virtually trying it on using mixed reality technology.
Perhaps most exciting for those of us following this technology, is the fact that it suggests Microsoft and Magic Leap, are both set to “commercialise their MR devices in 2016,” triggering a huge growth in the industry. However it also suggested that HTC, as well as Google's Alphabet, were also working on mixed reality.
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KitGuru Says: Interesting to note that HTC was listed as working on mixed reality. I wonder if that's something to do with the Vive's front facing camera, or whether it has another product entirely.