AR/VR tech in Asia-Pacific: here’s where the money is

AR VR Asia-Pacific
Image by peshkov | Bigstockphoto

Augmented and virtual reality solutions continue to witness increasing traction in the Asia-Pacific region as organizations across all industry verticals look to leverage AR/VR technology for a variety of purposes.

A report by IDC notes that the Asia-Pacific region is expected to witness a net spending of $14.8 billion on AR and VR solutions by 2026, at a CAGR of 40.1% (2021-2026).

The consumer industry remains the major contributor in terms of VR spending, primarily due to its use for gaming and entertainment purposes. However, other industries are also expected to leverage these technologies for various commercial use cases such as training, collaboration, and metaverse-related activities.

360-degree educational videos

The education industry is of particular interest, as 360-degree educational video viewing (post-secondary) is the use case expected to see the most growth over the forecast period, with a CAGR of 48.1%. AR/VR technology will offer an increased immersive learning experience by enabling information virtualization, thereby developing innovation, problem-solving, and analytical thinking skills.

The findings of a 360-degree video study funded by the European Union’s Erasmus Plus Key Action 2 programme shows that 360-degree videos are more conducive to disciplines that observe how information is transferred into practical scenarios. The review took into consideration studies published from 2016, and showed that increased motivation, attentiveness, and knowledge retention were positively affected by 360-degree videos.

However, there is potential for growth where the physical comfort in viewing these videos is concerned. As headsets and VR glasses become more commonplace, the industry is expected to witness increased traction as these devices become more accessible.

Professional services keen on AR/VR

Discrete manufacturing tops the list of industries in terms of spending on such technologies, with average spending of a little under $400 billion at a CAGR of 26.4% between 2021 and 2026. The professional services industry is expected to grow the fastest at 41.5% CAGR, with healthcare closely behind at second at 39.9%.

According to IDC, the growth in professional services comes from an increasing need to engage in more effective collaboration, enabling companywide sharing and interaction. In healthcare, the need for improved collaboration is also driving increased spending, which is expected to reach $44.7 million by 2026.

AR VR Asia-Pacific
Source: IDC

“[AR/VR] has opened new opportunities for gaming, entertainment, consumer, healthcare, manufacturing, education and many more. As the technology gets more perfected and the metaverse is more embedded in the future of work, spending on AR/VR will see strong growth rates of up to 40% in the next few years,” said Dr. Lily Phan, Future of Work, Research Director, IDC Asia-Pacific.

And of course the metaverse

IDC also points to the emergence of metaverse-driven AR/VR solutions that will offer enhanced immersive experiences and boost engagement.

While the exact nature of the metaverse itself is not known, AR/VR is widely assumed to be a key interface for it.

IDC expects AR/VR to be used for multiple purposes in the metaverse, such as virtual collaboration, remote working, marketing and sales, logistics and operations.

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