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The U.S. virtual reality market will grow gradually in the next two years, but then growth will kick in and the industry will hit $38 billion in revenues by 2026, according to a forecast by Greenlight Insights.

The forecast was released as part of a larger 10-year market forecast at the Virtual Reality Strategy event in San Francisco.

“The Playstation VR launch and Microsoft’s entry are important events, but we’ve identified a number of pivotal changes that we expect will alter the trajectory of the entire VR industry,” said Clifton Dawson, CEO of Greenlight Insights, in a statement. “A clear shift from tethered to standalone head-mounted displays (HMDs), a timeline for 5G across several global markets, and the viability of VR for non-entertainment will fuel the market beyond 2020.”

VR hardware will be about 61 percent of the revenues in 2026, and revenues for the 360-degree spherical camera (or VR camera) segment will build to nearly $4.6 billion by 2026, according to Greenlight’s estimates.


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Greenlight Insights’ forecasts include nine top-level and 26 sub categories, including HMDs, VR cameras, other hardware, consumer-oriented content, enterprise content, commercial production, tools, services, and location-based experiences.

“Many observers have made predictions about the VR industry that are highly optimistic,” said Stephen Marshall, senior vice president of Greenlight Insights. “In this rapidly developing industry, the most useful forecast is one that reflects the very different VR, AR, and MR modalities, as well as distinctive use cases and market drivers. This is the approach Greenlight has taken with this new forecast.”

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