AR vs VR – Who Will Win The Race Between Augmented & Virtual Reality?

Earlier this week Mark Rosner wrote an article for VentureBeat titled, Why AR Will Be Bigger Than VR. He opens the piece by conceding the fact that when VR is done right, it’s an incredibly compelling experience with enormous upside. As an agency that creates custom virtual reality experiences, we couldn’t agree more. There is very little that can compare to the complete immersion that VR brings and, personally, we see a lot of opportunity with respect to immersive training and education, therapy, and a host of other verticals.

After touting the VR positives, in his piece, Rosner raises a legitimate question.

“What about VR’s less hyped sibling augmented reality (AR)?”

With all of the current hype surrounding VR, it may seem as though AR has, well, sort of taken a backseat to the VR market. Don’t fall for this. We share Rosner’s sense that this just isn’t true. If you look at the numbers, AR isn’t in the back seat at all.

As a matter of fact, it’s driving.

The article sources Business Insider to point out that through the combined efforts of AR and VR the market is estimated to be around $162 billion by 2020! Some other numbers we’ve read land the number closer to around $150 billion. Either way, it’s big.

Here’s the kicker! AR will be leading the monetization charge between the two of them.

How can this be? Simply put, VR is still in the early development stages and AR is ready to succeed right now. Look, we love VR as much as the next digital agency, but the hardware can be clunky (like the size of your family’s computer in 2004). Not to mention, it can be expensive. On top of that, users can only spend a fraction of their time in a virtual world. By a ‘limited time’ we mean that you’ll potentially lose lunch.

Compare that to apps that are using AR like Snapchat and Pokemon Go which already have a cult-like following with millions of users. The numbers for these apps speak for themselves, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. We anticipate consumer AR will even arrive at the party shortly after a number of other industries. Augmented reality is exploding into the healthcare, manufacturing, and defense markets. From digital cadavers in a laboratory to heads-up displays (HUDs) in fighter jets — the use cases keep coming, and are effectively endless.

Back in 2009 when Gravity Jack was founded (for reference, that was before the first iPad existed) we knew that AR was going to be the tech of the future. In his article, Posner points out that major corporations like Microsoft feel the same way. Its no secret that they doubled down on their augmented reality efforts through countless acquisitions and the development of incredible hardware, like HoloLens. As companies like Apple continue to feed the autonomous auto industry, there’s already plenty of conversation regarding the integration of AR technology into self-driving cars. Here at Gravity Jack, we are beginning to talk about the next major advancement in augmented reality. It’s called Adroit, and it gives anyone, in any industry the ability to Augment Anything™. Expect more information in the coming days!

If your interest has been piqued and you would like to speak to someone on our team about the up and coming tech, simply fill out the Contact Us form on our site. We also highly recommend you take the time to read Mark Rosner’s full article on Why AR Will Be Bigger Than VR.

Keep a close eye on our website as we continue our big announcement of Adroit.


  • Snapchat Lens Provides New AR Advertising Opportunities
    Snapchat recently made a significant announcement that is set to shake up the world of digital advertising. The popular social media platform is now offering augmented reality (AR) advertising opportunities...
    We will be the first to admit it. Augmented reality (AR) was a novelty –WAS being the imperative word here. The year was 2009, Gravity Jack was founded, words like...
  • Why WebAR Is Better For Your Business
    Augmented reality may be a powerful tool to engage customers, enhance marketing efforts, and drive sales, but many businesses can’t afford to front the cost of a custom AR application....