The recent explosion of generative AI software has undoubtedly changed the collective focus. Yet major investments are still being made in mixed reality, notably Apple’s recently announced Vision Pro.
So the question remains—are buyers still interested in AR and VR?
What are AR and VR?
AR and VR stand for augmented reality and virtual reality, respectively. AR allows users to view computer-generated content integrated with the real world via cameras, sensors, and projectors. AR can be achieved on smartphone screens, laptops, and specialized hardware like headsets.
Conversely, VR is a fully immersive experience that requires the user to wear a headset or similar device to engage with fully digital content.
AR/VR hype is waning
While I personally enjoy taking VR mini golf breaks as much as the next hardworking analyst, G2 data shows that buyers have become less and less interested in mixed reality experiences.
As we get further from the lonely necessity of COVID-19 shutdowns, the idea of leaving reality behind in favor of the metaverse has become less appealing overall.
On G2, unique pageviews for the AR/VR categories have been on a downward trend.
As of June 2023, monthly pageviews had dropped 56% from their peak in September 2021. Pageviews did make a small comeback for a secondary peak in November 2022 but then quickly plummeted. That makes sense, considering some exciting tech was making big splashes around that same time.
G2 data supports the correlation between AI hype and a declining interest in AR/VR. The AI Writing Assistants category saw a 106% increase in unique pageviews from November 2022 to March 2023.
Just when AR/VR categories seemed to be picking up steam again at the end of 2022, OpenAI released ChatGPT to the public, and buyers became fixated on AI. But there’s more to this trend than a hype swap.
Pageview trends can be indicative of the kinds of topics people are generally searching for (including searches that start outside of G2 and land on our category pages). Alternatively, review counts tell us a little more about how many people are actually using these tools.
Review trends tell a more complex story
Looking at G2’s AR/VR review counts over the past two years, we can see that actual engagement with these tools appears to be on the decline as well.
The downward trend here indicates that, while there was a period with a wider pool of buyers trying out these solutions, the number of organizations getting persistent use out of AR and VR has perhaps narrowed. But this is likely a short-term cool off.
My take: Everybody wanted in on AR and VR when they were the shiny new toys, which inflated review counts. Now we’re getting a sense of how many buyers have found actual long-term value.
In fact, among the reviewers who continue to use these tools, we see that team-wide buy in is actually increasing.
It looks like the AR/VR hype resulted in a lot of buyers trying out the software, but that didn’t necessarily mean these tools were the right fit for every organization.
Over time we’re seeing fewer reviews but much higher adoption rates among teams. Essentially, we’re left with buyers who have found actual, viable use cases resulting in strong team-wide use rather than passing interest.
Steady growth ahead?
We’ve just seen pageviews and review counts trending down in G2’s AR and VR categories as the hype cools off. But that doesn’t mean that people are done with this software!
On the contrary, as time passes, we’re simply moving from generalized hype to tried-and-true value. And the simple fact is the number of buyers finding long-term value with these solutions is lower than the initial number of buyers who couldn’t wait to try them out.
I expect that once things level out, the next few years will show steady growth in these spaces. The hype has died down—now, the successful case studies for these tools can guide further evolution in this space.
Adam is a research analyst focused on dev software. He started at G2 in July 2019 and leverages his background in comedy writing and coding to provide engaging, informative research content while building his software expertise. In his free time he enjoys cooking, playing video games, writing and performing comedy, and avoiding sports talk.
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Wider Interest in AR/VR Seems to Decline Amid AI HypeThe metaverse may be experiencing rough waters as buyer interest in AR and VR wanes. Is AI stealing the spotlight?https://research.g2.com/insights/declining-interest-in-ar-vrhttps://learn.g2.com/hubfs/G2CR_B087_ARVR_V1b.png2023-07-31 16:52:31Z
Adam CrivelloAdam is a research analyst focused on dev software. He started at G2 in July 2019 and leverages his background in comedy writing and coding to provide engaging, informative research content while building his software expertise. In his free time he enjoys cooking, playing video games, writing and performing comedy, and avoiding sports talk.https://research.g2.com/insights/author/adam-crivellohttps://learn.g2.com/hubfs/_Logos/adam-crivelloUpdated.jpeghttps://www.linkedin.com/in/adam-crivello-992b758a/