Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) are powerful educational tools that can significantly enhance the learning journey and outcome by providing interactive and engaging content, immersive storytelling experiences, and flexibility and independence to students. AR and VR educational content will continue to expand in the coming years covering numerous topics and addressing the learning needs of all age groups, ultimately bringing education further into the digital age. According to ABI Research, a market-foresight advisory firm providing strategic guidance on the most compelling transformative technologies, by 2023 the total value of AR in education will be approximately US$5.3 billion. At the same time, total revenues from VR Head Mounted Displays (HMDs) used in education are expected to grow beyond US$640 million.
“AR and VR educational applications shift the learning process from passive to active, allowing students to interact with content and practice their knowledge in real-time conditions,” said Eleftheria Kouri, Research Analyst at ABI Research. “Learning by experience leads to better understanding, enhances knowledge recall, and strengthens retention. Immersive and interactive experiences stimulate student’s motivation and increase their engagement level, which are fundamental factors for achieving learning goals.”
Funding is one of the primary barriers for massive adoption of AR/VR solutions within educational systems, due to the high cost of headsets along with the limited financial resources in many schools. Mobile device-based solutions are a cost-efficient option due to the existing large install base, although fully immersive experiences aren’t possible. Head-mounted experiences provide the most immersive experience possible but also can be challenging when it comes to price and implementation. Average Selling Prices (ASPs) both for AR glasses are expected to significantly decrease in the next few years, reaching US$733 for monocular and US$347 for binocular by 2023, which will help bring more AR to space. VR does win out with device costs, though, with standalone headsets trending down toward US$200 ASP by 2023 and mobile-based VR housings far less. Ease of setup and use with standalone devices make it a favorite for educational purposes.
“AR and VR solutions can significantly enhance learning experiences for all age groups and assist educational efforts through greater student interest and interactivity, leading to objective improvements in learning efficacy,” continued Eric Abbruzzese, Principal Analyst at ABI Research. “In an ongoing quest to maintain student’s attention, new visualization and interaction tools are a natural fit. Greater visualization capabilities fit in upper learning and research efforts as well, so AR/VR can address the entire education ecosystem from Kindergarten through to post-graduate research. Add to this the flexibility of digital updateable and customizable content in a curriculum, and AR and VR are set up to play a catalytic role in education system going forward, provided the lowering prices and increasing content creation continue.”
These findings are from ABI Research's Augmented and Virtual Reality in Education application analysis report. This report is part of the company’s Augmented and Virtual Reality research service, which includes research, data, and Executive Foresights. Based on extensive primary interviews, Application Analysis reports present in-depth analysis on key market trends and factors for a specific application, which could focus on an individual market or geography.
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