Over the last couple of years the XRDC (previously branded the Virtual Reality Developers Conference (VRDC)) has released an annual report on the virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) industry. Now in its third year, the 2018 XRDC AR/VR Innovation Report has been released, offering insight into the rapidly growing and diverse industry including HTC Vive still being the most popular headset among developers.
A big focus of the report – and one consumers and industry professionals will both take a keen interest in – is the popularity of the head-mounted displays (HMDs) currently on the market. Ever since the first report in 2016 HTC Vive has dominated this sector, and while its lead may not be as big as in previous years it’s still the most preferred headset to develop for.
45 percent of developers selected HTC Vive as their platform of choice with Oculus Rift remaining in second place at 41 percent. Previously in third position, the Samsung Gear VR has massively dropped attaining 19 percent, while Android phones and tablets using Google’s new ARCore toolset took the mobile headset’s place with 30 percent of the vote.
Interestingly, when respondents were asked about which platform their next project would be released on, Oculus Rift came in first at 41 percent, followed by HTC Vive at 39 percent, and Android devices using ARCore at 29 percent. This alters the previous years report which had HTC Vive ahead, highlighting a possible Oculus Rift resurgence in the next year.
As for where these projects would be focused, videogames and entertainment still came out on top with 70 percent while training and education achieved a healthy 36 percent of the vote.
While recent reports hint at a supposed decline in VR interest, it seems that AR currently has the opposite effect. With 30 percent of developers are using Android’s ARCore toolset, and 24 percent making AR experiences for iOS devices using Apple’s new ARKit toolkit, 75 percent of the industry professionals surveyed believe AR will be bigger than VR, in the long term.
“Location-based AR and MR data will be ubiquitous as soon as the threshold for seeing it in a natural, unobtrusive way is significantly lowered,” wrote one respondent. “VR, with its physical threshold of having to immerse oneself and shut oneself out from one’s surroundings, is more similar to reading a book. Both are viable mediums, but very different.”