2015 Gartner Hype Cycle for Emerging Tech: VR & AR

A press release on Gartner’s 2015 Hype Cycle for Emerging Tech published on 18 August 2015 recently caught my attention.

The technology research & advisory firm has placed Augmented Reality in “The Trough of Disillusionment” and Virtual Reality in “The slope of Enlightenment” in their latest hype cycle which is “a graphical view of the maturity, adoption and business application of specific technologies”.

According to Gartner, people generally get over-excited about new technologies in the early days followed by a period of disappointment (after it fails to deliver to the heightened expectations). Beyond that phase some solutions mature and deliver on the initial promise, rebuilding hype/excitement and acceptance of the technology.

Gartner believes that both AR and VR will still take 5 to 10 years to reach the “Plateau of Productivity” (mainstream adoption). Perhaps this may be true for widespread adoption in the enterprise market. However, I think we’ll be seeing adoption in the consumer market much sooner. VR headsets are readily available (with more to be released soon). With AR we don’t have commercially available AR headsets in the market yet. We have AR smartphone solutions and some people managed to get their hands on a Google Glass headset when the programme was still running.

Different industries are experimenting with AR and VR at different rates. At the moment the gaming industry seems to be in the lead with VR solutions, whereas marketing & advertising firms are experimenting with AR as a new medium to increase brand awareness.

It’s quite possible that the predictions for how soon VR and AR will reach the “Plateau of Productivity” will be shortened in the next year or two with the release of new immersive technologies to the consumer market.

Image Credit: Gartner Inc.