The results of a recent study predict that mixed reality technology will be worth an estimated US$1.2 bn by the year 2024. The report focused on mixed reality companies Microsoft, Canon, Infinity, Magic Leap, HTC, Samsung, Facebook (owner of Oculus), Recon Instruments, Daqri, Meta Company, and Seiko Epson.
Major Drivers of Growth
The study, published on June 25 by Market Research Reports, said that while mixed reality technology has many practical and market uses, it is likely that entertainment will continue to be the largest driver of growth, which is anticipated to be almost 40% annually until 2024. Most of that growth is expected to occur in Asia and North America largely due to the large and still growing smart technology and entertainment industries in these regions.
Other major drivers of market growth discussed by the report are the aerospace and automotive industries. The automotive industry has already started incorporating mixed reality in order to optimize vehicle development.
Another factor in the anticipated growth in mixed reality technology is the Internet of Things (IoT). Mixed reality is continually expanding towards this system of networks between “smart technology” and applications that can communicate with one another. While the IoT is not its own market like mixed reality, aerospace, or automotive, it is a big topic in technology today, capable of influencing adjacent fields.
Potential Inhibitors of Growth
Not all of the news is good news, however. The report pointed out that privacy concerns, a major fear in mixed reality technology — especially in its more practical applications — may limit market growth moving forward. This obstacle also faces many other popular technologies today including the IoT and wireless internet and data — fields which continue to grow despite the challenge. That is not to say that this concern does not have issues unique to mixed reality and augmented reality technologies, which require use of camera and audio. Many mixed reality applications allow or require the recording of audio and video.
The heavy cost of research and development associated with mixed reality technology may also hold it back from reaching its full potential. While mixed reality has faced this particular obstacle since its earliest days, changes in other economic sectors may make big investors less willing or able to put their money behind advances in mixed reality technology.
While the estimates put forward in this report are more optimistic than other estimates by other researchers, it is still more reserved than many of the stories in the popular media, such as a story by Wired that called “mixed reality the new reality” or another publication that called it “the future of computing”.