The long-term potential for AR and VR devices remains strong despite economic uncertainty, research from CCS Insight showed, with investment in immersive content and the metaverse across the technology industry fuelling greater adoption.

In a report, CCS estimated 14.3 million AR and VR devices will ship in 2022, reflecting a 30 per cent rise year-on-year.

VR headsets are set to comprise the bulk of demand, accounting for 93 per cent of shipments, with Meta Platforms’ Meta Quest 2 leading the way.

Meanwhile CCS also believes the launch of a raft of new smart glasses will “kick-start” the consumer AR segment. The company predicted AR shipments will spike 100 per cent in 2022 and 300 per cent in 2023.

Despite the optimism, James Manning Smith, senior analyst at the research company noted the adoption of VR and AR devices in 2022 is “lower than previously forecast” due to macroeconomic pressures.

Yet, despite the strain on consumer budgets, the company predicts that early adopters and enthusiasts will pave the initial success of the technology. Notably, the rise of work-from-home culture during the Covid-19 (coronavirus) pandemic has also attracted investments from enterprises.

Enterprise sales of the headsets are expected to spike to 2.6 million in 2022.

Ultimately, device shipments are forecast to reach 87.7 million in 2026, driven mainly by VR headsets. “Although the size of the market will be modest in the next few years, early adopters will pave the way for wider uptake and use,” Smith added.