The world market for virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) headsets has returned to grow after a year of decline: global shipments in the first quarter of 2019 (1Q19) reached 1.3 million units, up 27.2% compared to the same quarter

The general market of augmented reality and virtual reality has resumed to grow thanks to a surge of the shipments of head-mounted display (HMD) stand-alone and tethered, which have helped to compensate for the decline in the segment of the viewer screens

The analysis comes from the Worldwide Quarterly Augmented and Virtual Reality Headset Tracker of International Data Corporation (IDC).

According to the IDC study, virtual reality headsets accounted for 96.6% of the combined market of augmented and virtual reality, during the quarter, with high volumes coming from leading companies such as Sony, Facebook, HTC, Pico and 3Glasses. The first five vendors have won 65.1% of the total virtual reality headset market.

Although the volumes of the augmented reality market remain low, according to IDC, a momentum is also identifiable here. Among the leading manufacturers of augmented reality headsets are Epson, Lenovo, Vuzix, Google and RealWear during the first quarter of 2019.

IDC stresses that enterprise augmented reality is evolving rapidly and many companies are actively looking for hardware solutions that they can use to improve existing business processes and guide new ones.

IDC also expects that the growth trend recorded in the first quarter should continue, and global shipments of virtual reality headsets and increased should reach 7.6 million units in 2019, rising compared to 5.9 million in 2018. Most of this growth is expected to occur in the commercial segment, which IDC

IDC also expects stand-alone and tethered headsets to lead the growth of the virtual reality market. The stand-alone virtual reality headsets will conquer 38.2% of the virtual reality market in 2019, growing from 26.6% in 2018, according to IDC. The Tethered virtual reality headsets will have a 46.1% share this year, compared to 44.1% last year. Finally, according to IDC’s analysis, the viewer screenless will drop to 15.7%, down from 29.3% last year.

For 2019, stand-alone solutions will play an even more important role in augmented reality, where IDC expects they will total 53.9% of the market, compared to 47.8% last year. The screenless and cored viewers will win 27% and 19.1% respectively in 2019. Although the cored segment is small today, IDC expects it to play a more important role in the future, as it is likely that the first consumer oriented products will use this form factor.

More information about the Worldwide Quarterly Augmented and Virtual Reality Headset Tracker is available on the IDC website at this link.

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