SALES OF VIRTUAL REALITY (VR) headsets will see strong growth over the next four years, with the market set to be worth over $9bn by 2021.
New data from CCS Insight also predicts that around 14 million smartphone VR headsets will sell in 2017, rising to 25 million in 2018 and reaching 70 million by 2021.
Meanwhile, the analyst house estimates sales of dedicated VR headsets, such as the Oculus Rift or HTC Vive, will reach 22 million by 2021, up a whopping 800 per cent on 2017.
Combining the expected sales of all types of VR headsets will see the value of the market rise from $1.5bn in 2017 to a huge $9.1bn in 2021.
Ben Wood, chief of research at CCS Insight, said the lower cost and ease of use of smartphone-compatible headsets made them an ideal entry point for most consumers.
He added that pushing high-end units would be a tougher sell for manufacturers, but that end-user interest and awareness will increase due to customer-facing businesses embracing the technology.
"The proliferation of VR experiences in theme parks, at cinemas and in other locations such as car showrooms and travel agents offering 'look before you book' experiences will only serve to educate users on the potential of the technology".
However, augmented reality (AR) headset sales are not expected to achieve such strong demand, with CCS not expecting mainstream adoption to occur until 2019.
"Although there are numerous very promising field trials underway, mass deployments of AR devices remain elusive, with a mere 100,000 units sold in 2016," said Wood.
"The focus on enterprise uses and vertical market opportunities means longer sales cycles, exacerbated by the complexities of integration and compliance in workplaces."
This slower growth for AR comes at the same time Microsoft said it was in no rush to push out a second-generation version of its HoloLens AR headset.
While Microsoft, Google, Samsung and other notable technology giants are entering the VR and AR markets, Apple remains a notable absentee, although CEO Tim Cook has said recently he sees huge potential for AR, rather than VR.
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