Microsoft’s HoloLens to lead the growth of mixed reality devices

New research has predicted that mixed reality devices like Microsoft’s HoloLens will start gaining sales momentum come 2019.

This forecast comes from CCS Insight, with the analyst firm believing that 2018 is going to mark the start of growth in adoption of AR (augmented reality) devices. Also, ‘enhanced AR’ hardware (which is what CCS calls mixed reality devices) like HoloLens will start to cause ripples in the market in 2018 (in terms of both consumers and enterprise), leading to further growth the following year.

CCS Insight analyst George Jijiashvili observed: “Enhanced AR devices like Microsoft's HoloLens and Magic Leap's upcoming solution will [begin] to affect the market, although the volume will initially be small and will only start building after 2019.”

At that point, sales could be pushed further by the next-gen HoloLens – should it be ready by then.

Smart glasses

The prediction for 2021 is that 8.6 million AR devices will be shipped in total, and of these, 7.1 million will be smart glasses, with the remaining 1.5 million being enhanced AR devices. Almost half of all this hardware will be sold to businesses.

Jijiashvili noted: “AR will generate 26% of the [VR and AR] market value despite contributing only 9% of the volume. Again, this is because of their higher ASP, which will be supported particularly by enhanced AR devices largely targeted at enterprises.”

CCS further predicted that total shipments of VR and AR devices will hit 99 million units in 2021, for total sales of almost $12 billion (£9 billion).

For this year, the analyst firm forecasts that 16 million VR and AR devices will ship by the close of 2017, which is a more than healthy yearly growth of 47%. The vast majority of those shipped devices will be VR, and (cheaper) smartphone-based VR products at that – 13 million of them.