The market for smart augmented reality (AR) glasses is in transition. Assisted reality headsets like Google Glass remain niche products, limited mostly to enterprise and industrial markets. Slow sales cycles are partly to blame, but the market has also seen the emergence of a more compelling AR headset technology known as mixed reality (MR). While assisted reality simply overlays digital information on your vision, MR utilizes positional tracking and depth sensors to provide a more immersive experience, enabling interactions with holographic objects.
Microsoft HoloLens, which launched a developer kit in 2016, is one of the first true MR headsets in the market, and has been gaining momentum in commercial use cases across the enterprise, industrial, defense, and educational markets. According to a new report from Tractica, the question remains if Microsoft will be able to maintain the momentum, or if it will end up like Google Glass, which failed to emerge beyond the commercial use cases.
“The market for smart glasses will have different entry points with devices like HoloLens and Magic Leap at the top, modular devices like ODG’s R9 and Occipital Bridge in the middle, and assisted reality glasses at the lower end,” says research director Aditya Kaul. “The high-end and medium-range smart AR glasses are likely to find usage in enterprise and consumer settings, while the lower-end assisted reality glasses with their glanceable interfaces are ideal for industrial usage.”
Tractica forecasts that the global market for smart AR glasses will grow from 150,000 unit shipments in 2016 to 22.8 million units annually by 2022. The market intelligence firm anticipates that these volumes will drive device revenue growth from $138.6 million in 2016 to $19.7 billion by 2022.
Tractica’s report, “Smart Augmented Reality Glasses”, covers the various types of smart AR glasses, from simple assisted reality glasses to MR holographic displays and smart helmets. The different application markets for smart AR glasses that are covered in depth include consumer, enterprise, industrial, public safety, and healthcare. This report provides market forecasts ranging from 2016 to 2022 for smart AR glasses with data segmented by region, application market, and connectivity technology. An Executive Summary of the report is available for free download on the firm’s website.