Spending on AR/VR to reach $50.9 bn in 2026: IDC

Spending on augmented reality and virtual reality (AR/VR) is forecast to reach $13.8 billion this year and grow to $50.9 billion in 2026, according to IDC report.
Virtual reality in education
The five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) for AR/VR spending will be 32.3 percent.

Virtual reality will account for more than 70 percent of all AR/VR spending throughout the 2022-2026 forecast. Spending will be almost evenly split between consumer and commercial applications.

Industrial maintenance and training are forecast to receive the largest AR investments throughout the forecast. Together, these two use cases will account for almost one third of all AR-related spending. In VR technology investments, the two largest named commercial use cases are found in training and collaboration, capturing nearly 44 percent of the market by 2026.

Virtual reality gaming and augmented reality gaming will grow to about 25 percent of all AR/VR spending by the end of the forecast.

The use cases that will see the fastest spending growth are emergency response (82.9 percent CAGR), augmented reality games (57.8 percent CAGR), internal videography (47.8 percent CAGR), and collaboration (42.7 percent CAGR).

The largest investments in AR/VR applications will come from discrete manufacturing, healthcare providers, professional services, education, and retail. The industries that will deliver the strongest spending growth over the forecast period will be healthcare, telecommunications, state/local government, and utilities.

United States will deliver the largest AR/VR spending totals, accounting for more than one third of the market throughout the forecast. China will be the second largest region, growing to nearly a quarter of the overall market in 2026 with a five-year CAGR of 42.2 percent.