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People will spend a lot more on VR this year, IDC predicts

Sales of stand-alone and tethered headsets are expected to grow as screenless viewers begin to fade.


Lenovo's Mirage Solo headset might help VR sales rebound in 2018.

James Martin/CNET

This year a lot more of us will be spending time wearing augmented and virtual reality headsets.

Regardless of a growth slump in 2017, the AR/VR headset market is predicted to increase by 48.5 percent year-over-year to volumes of 12.4 million units, according to market research by IDC. The firm also says headsets will grow to 68.9 million units in 2022. 

Screenless VR viewers, those that require a phone to be used for playing and viewing AR/VR content, declined in shipments in 2017 and are expected to continue to shrink. The rebound in demand in 2018 will be driven by stand-alone and tethered headsets such as the Windows Mixed Reality headsets that launched late last year, and new headsets such as Facebook's Oculus Go, HTC's Vive Pro and Lenovo's Mirage Solo

Consumer interest in VR and AR has been slow to translate into sales. Facebook has cut the price of its Oculus headset twice and WMR headsets from Acer, Dell, Lenovo and HP have already seen hefty price reductions

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