We hear a lot about the Gartner Hype Cycle in VR industry conversations and events. The “trough of disillusionment” is often invoked to characterize AR & VR’s current state of disappointing sales — or at least their inability to live up to the previous “peak of inflated expectations.”

But according to Gartner’s latest analysis, VR is past the disillusionment stage, onto the “slope of enlightenment.” This stage is characterized as healthy growth that’s on an upslope, and beginning to slow as it approaches greater maturity and ubiquity (plateau of productivity).

This also puts VR two to five years away from that final stage of industry maturity and health. We believe it will be closer to the latter end of that range, as discussed last week. In fact, it’s arguable if VR is currently in the slope of enlightenment at all, as opposed to still stuck in the “trough.”

Meanwhile, AR is in the trough stage, which means it’s five to ten years from maturity. We believe that’s a realistic timeline, with the distinction that it’s glasses-based AR. Mobile AR of course is here and will really start to scale over the next few months due to ARCore and ARkit.

Gartner’s full graph is below, which also lists several other emerging tech sectors as a point of reference. There will be a lot to watch in the coming weeks and months to evaluate AR & VR progress as they track to this timeline, or deviate from it. We believe there will be a little of both.

Source: Gartner, July 2017

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