Worldwide spending on augmented reality and virtual reality (AR/VR) is forecast to grow 68.8 percent from this year to about $20.4 billion in 2019, according to International Data Corporation.

The most popular commercial uses for AR/VR technology next year will be training ($1.8 billion), online retail showcasing ($558 million) and industrial maintenance ($413 million).

The industries that will spend the most on AR/VR next year are personal and consumer services ($1.6 billion), retail ($1.56 billion) and discrete manufacturing ($1.54 billion), IDC estimated.

The most popular uses of AR/VR technology next year will be virtual reality games ($4.0 billion), video/feature viewing ($2.0 billion), and augmented reality games ($616 million), IDC said.

The researcher estimated that worldwide spending on AR/VR products and services will see a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 69.6 percent from 2017 to 2022.

Applications

The commercial sectors will lead growth in worldwide spending on AR/VR solutions with a combined share of overall spending rising from 64.5% in 2019 to more than 80 percent in 2022.

Ten industries are forecast to have AR/VR spending CAGRs of more than 100 percent on from 2017 to 2022, including state and local government (123.7 percent CAGR), resource industries (120.9 percent), and wholesale (120.9 percent).

Consumer spending on AR/VR will continue to be greater than any single industry ($7.2 billion in 2019) but will grow at a much slower pace (36.6% CAGR).

With a five-year CAGR of 119.2 percent, industrial maintenance spending will nearly overtake augmented reality gaming in 2022. Several other commercial use cases (lab and field, retail showcasing, anatomy diagnostics, and internal videography) are forecast to see CAGRs greater than 100% over the forecast period.

Type of Spending

Hardware will account for more than half of all AR/VR spending, followed by software and services, from 2017 to 2022. The largest category of hardware spending will be host devices, but AR viewers will make notable gains with a five-year CAGR of 128.3 percent.

AR software spending will make similar gains with a five-year CAGR of 121.8 percent, overtaking VR software by 2021.

Services spending will be bolstered by strong CAGRs for AR custom application development (133.0 percent), AR systems integration (130.4 percent), and AR consulting services (121.9 percent). The strong growth in AR hardware, software and services spending will push overall AR spending well ahead of VR spending by the end of the forecast.

Geographic Differences

The United States will deliver the largest AR/VR spending total in 2019 ($6.6 billion), followed by China ($6.0 billion). Japan ($1.76 billion) and Western Europe ($1.74 billion) will be the next two largest regions in 2019, but Western Europe will move into the third position in 2020.

The countries that will see the fastest growth in AR/VR spending from 2017 to 2022 are Canada (83.7 percent CAGR), the United States (77.1 percent) and China (76.2 percent). By the end of the forecast period, Canada is expected to become the fourth largest region for overall AR/VR spending.

Compound annual growth rate (CAGR) is a metric to smooth out the annual rate of change over a specified number of years as if the growth had happened steadily each year during that period.

Gartner

Twenty-five percent of customer service and support operations will integrate virtual customer assistant (VCA) or chatbot technology across engagement channels by 2020, up from less than 2 percent in 2017, according to Gartner.

Organizations report a reduction of up to 70 percent in call, chat and/or email inquiries after implementing a VCA, according to Gartner research. They also report increased customer satisfaction and a 33 percent saving per voice engagement.

20 percent of brands will abandon their mobile apps by 2019. Many brands have found that mobile applications aren’t delivering the level of adoption and customer engagement they expected. Brands are investing to build presence in consumer messaging apps, such as Facebook Messenger and WeChat, to reach customers where they spend more time.

Mulesoft / Deloitte

65 percent of consumers would like to use popular messaging services such as WhatsApp, Viber, Facebook Messenger or iMessage to securely interact with organizations. The percentage is higher among millennial consumers (ages 18 to 34) at 78 percent, according to survey by Deloitte on behalf of MuleSoft.

Consumers are willing to speak to a “robot” if it means they get a superior level of service compared with speaking to a human. About half (48 percent) of respondents cited 24/7 customer service as the biggest benefit of chatbots, followed by not having to wait on the phone (46 percent), having queries answered quicker (37 percent), hopping in and out of conversations (35 percent) and buying something or making a payment more quickly (22 percent).

79 percent of consumers think they will benefit from intelligent chatbots that can offer a superior level of customer service in the future.

43 percent of consumers have engaged with a chatbot when contacting an organization in the prior 12 months, most commonly when interacting with a retailer or a bank.

Geographic Breakdown of Consumer Interaction with Chatbot

Country Percentage
Singapore 64
U.S. 48
Netherlands 43
Australia 43
Germany 41
U.K. 29

When you engaged with a chatbot, what was the result?

My query was completely resolved/answered by the chatbot 38
I was asked to call a customer service representative directly 26
The chatbot was unable to resolve/answer my query as it didn’t have access to the necessary information/systems 19
I was directed to a web form 14

Global sales of smartphones to end users grew 1.4 percent to 389 million units in the third quarter from a  year earlier, according to Gartner Inc.

Worldwide Top 5 Smartphone Sales to End Users by Vendor in 3Q18 (Thousands of Units)

Vendor 3Q18Units 3Q18 Market Share (%) 3Q17Units 3Q17 Market Share (%)
Samsung 73,360.1 18.9 85,605.3 22.3
Huawei 52,218.4 13.4 36,501.8 9.5
Apple 45,746.6 11.8 45,441.9 11.8
Xiaomi 33,219.7 8.5 26,853.2 7.0
OPPO 30,563.4 7.9 29,449.2 7.7
Others 153,960.0 39.6 159,742.0 41.6
Total 389,068.2 100.0 383,593.4 100.0

Source: Gartner (December 2018)