With retail uses as a top driver, International Data Corporation (IDC) projects that worldwide spending on virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) will reach $27 billion in 2018. The estimate marks a 92 percent increase over 2017 spending on the technology, Retail Dive reported.
Overall, the market for AR and VR products and services is expected to reach a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 72 percent for the years 2017 to 2022. IDC’s research comes as a Colliers International report showcased uses for extended VR and mixed reality technology in the commercial real estate market.
In the residential real estate market, Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC announced the launch of a real estate-branded AR app called Curate by Sotheby’s International Realty in May. With the app, potential buyers can visualize a home as their own by taking virtually staged images from a flat, 2-D screen into the house itself through the power of AR.
“There are nearly 1 billion active iOS devices worldwide,” said John Passerini, Sotheby's global vice president of interactive marketing, in a press release. “Making the app available on this platform was a high priority for us, increasing the reach we have to our core audience.”
The app, originally built with Google’s AR Software platform ARCore, was launched in the Google Play Store earlier this year. It is now available for Apple iOS-enabled devices, iPhone and iPad. In addition to expanding to iOS, Sotheby’s has partnered with luxury furniture and accessories marketplace Viyet to launch shoppable AR scenes within the app. New, custom-created scenes will be added to the app regularly to reflect the marketplace’s current inventory.
In 2017, Airbnb gave the world a preview of its new AR and VR features. Through digital explorations, Airbnb noted, could include 360-degree photographs that allow more detailed virtual tours of properties and locations that potential guests are considering for travel.
The company noted in a blog post, “Virtual reality gives us an opportunity to reshape where inspiration is drawn from and takes travel planning to the next level."