Spatial computing – including AR, VR, and other immersive tech – continues to alter the ways that we work, play, and live. But there have been ups and downs, characteristic of hype cycles. The pendulum has swung towards over-investment, then towards market correction – leaving us now in a middle ground of reset expectations and moderate growth.
Beyond that macro view, the spatial spectrum holds greater nuance in the varied growth curves of its subsectors. Those seeing the most traction include AR brand marketing and consumer VR. Meta continues to advance the latter with massive investments, loss-leader pricing, and new hardware launched this year.
Driving this investment is Meta’s vision for the metaverse. Disproving our prediction last year, “metaverse mania” hasn’t receded… In fact, it has gained steam. “Steam” is perhaps the right term, as the metaverse continues to be mostly vapor. It has immense potential as an interconnected 3D web… but is currently more about unfocused punditry than real products.
Stepping back, what is the metaverse? By some definitions, you’re in the internet instead of on the internet. This manifests in 3D virtual spaces that host time-synchronized interaction between place-shifted participants. Today’s metaverse-like fiefdoms include multiplayer games like Fortnite and Roblox. They’re not THE Metaverse (uppercase M), because they exist as silos that aren’t interoperable.
But it’s not just about 3D gaming. Beyond the common metaverse connotation for online 3D experiences, there’s a second track. We’re talking about a potential physical-world metaverse. The idea is that geo-anchored data can trigger devices to evoke digital content, including AR, where and when it’s relevant.
This metavearth as we call it is built on a multi-dimensional data mesh – sort of like Google’s search index but for the physical world. This metaverse track is potentially more valuable than its online 3D counterpart. It’s also truer to the Greek root meta, which means “beyond.” We’re talking about digital content that evokes meaning beyond a given entity’s physical state.
But enough about the metaverse. While its theoretical endpoints are pursued, its building blocks are creating standalone value today. That brings us back to VR and AR, which happen to map to these online and “real-world” metaverse tracks. With both technologies, we continue to see traction and value through the work of Snap, Meta, Google, and others.
Beyond user-facing products, a spatial tech stack lies beneath. This involves a cast of supporting parts. We’re talking processing muscle (Qualcomm), experience creation (Adobe), and developer platforms (Niantic). These are the engines of AR and VR growth.
So how is all of this coming together? Where are we in spatial computing’s lifecycle? And where are there gaps in the value chain that signal opportunity for AR and VR players? We dive into these questions and others through numbers and narratives. The goal, as always, is to empower you with a knowledge edge.
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This report highlights ARtillery Intelligence viewpoints, gathered from its daily in-depth market coverage. To support narratives, data are cited throughout the report. These include ARtillery Intelligence’s original data, as well as that of third parties. Sources are linked or attributed in each case.
For market sizing and forecasting, ARtillery Intelligence follows disciplined best practices, developed and reinforced through its principles’ 17 years in tech-sector research and intelligence. This includes the past 7 years covering AR & VR exclusively, as seen in research reports and daily reporting.
This approach primarily applies a bottom-up forecasting analysis, secondarily vetted against a top-down analysis. Together, confidence is achieved through triangulating figures in a disciplined way. More about our methodology can be seen here, and market-sizing credentials can be seen here.
Unless specified in its stock ownership disclosures, ARtillery Intelligence has no financial stake in the companies mentioned in its reports. The production of this report likewise wasn’t commissioned. With all market sizing, ARtillery Intelligence remains independent of players and practitioners in the sectors it covers, thus mitigating bias in industry revenue calculations and projections. ARtillery Intelligence’s disclosures, stock ownership and ethics policy can be seen in full here.
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