VR vs. AR Barriers.

VR vs. AR adoption barriers to entry.

First, I will start this post with a simple definition of Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality.


VR: Fully immersive visual, audio, 3D, spatial computing.

AR: Data over layed on our reality. (Not necessarily visual)

I’ve been being asked how I feel about VR vs. AR a lot recently and which will gain mass adoption first.

The fun part about this question is that it always assumes that both are going to work, and that it’s a “which and when” question. Here are the concepts that I think about when looking at both industries as far as adoption:


Virtual Reality:

The number of headsets in the world is the conflict here. There are probably around 2 million high end headsets (not enough). The inflection point for this product is going to be when the Oculus Quest launches in Spring of 2019. I believe that we will go from roughly 2 million high end headsets to 10-15 million. This is a game changer.


(Visual) Augmented Reality:

Can run on hundreds of millions of phones (iPhones and Androids), but most interactive Augmented Reality requires some major habit change. Pulling your phone out of your pocket to show someone augmented reality on a tiny phone screen is often a barrier enough to not do it more than once. Persistent AR is a game changer for this industry (glasses the we wear all the time that augment the world).

So the question of which hits the mass market first: is it harder to manufacture and sell more headsets before you can change someones habits with a device they already have?


It’s not an either/or situation either, it’s a matter of figuring out which one works first, to help the other one gain mass adoption 🙂 Win/win.


There is a whole topic that I should explore in another post, which is Non-visual augmented reality. I think that the first example of persistent AR is going to be using Apple’s AirPods as a platform.

By Adam Draper

I ponder as a VC.

It's a quick one minute read to make you think, smile, or laugh.

Tweet Share

If you don't want these updates anymore, please unsubscribe here

If you were forwarded this newsletter and you like it, you can subscribe here

Powered by Revue