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Virtual and augmented reality to be powered by smartphones beyond 2017

Rebecca Merrett | March 8, 2016
VR and AR will help revive the more mature smartphone and high-end PC markets, according to Telsyte

Virtual and augmented reality headsets like Facebook's Oculus Rift and Microsoft HoloLens will start to shift onto smartphones and mobile devices beyond 2017, according to Telsyte.

The Telsyte Australian VR & AR Market Study 2016 said although demand for VR devices will be driven by gamers with one in two households owning a game console - the devices could be powered by smartphones. This could include adding goggles to smartphones to get near the same experience to a full-blown headset.

“Telsyte predicts VR and AR will help revive the more mature smartphone and high-end PC markets,” Telsyte's MD, Foad Fadaghi said.

Google Carboard, where a user places their smartphone into a slot to see content on their phone through a VR lense, is one of the most popular devices consumers are interested in buying, according to Telsyte's research.

The firm surveyed a representative sample of 1,075 Australian consumers aged 16 years and over, and found the Samsung Galaxy VR, Sony PlayStation VR and Facebook Oculus Rift are also popular among consumers.

About 20 per cent of those surveyed want to purchase a VR device, with Telsyte predicting 110,000 VR headsets to be sold in Australia in 2016 and grow to more than 500,000 unit per annum by 2020.

VR and AR are to also move beyond the current strong gamer use case to more business applications, the firm said.

“In Australia, the VR and AR market will spawn an ecosystem of developers that will be looking to help businesses take advantage of this new interface, much like Web and mobile app developers have previously,” Telsyte said.

However, there are still some challenges to wade through before VR and AR really hit mainstream.

“Many computers and smartphones will require upgrades to be able to use VR and AR add-ons. There are also social, health and safety concerns surrounding the prolonged use of VR devices.

“Only one in five people are willing to spend more than $400 for a VR headset, substantially lower than the price of most first-generation products coming to market,” Telsyte said.


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