According to PwC, VR and AR are projected to add £62.5 billion to the UK economy, and a 2.4% boost to GDP, by 2030. Globally, the figure is £1.4 trillion by the same year.
According to the company, the bulk of the increase will come from AR (£44.4 billion) with VR providing £18.1 billion.
VR and AR will also impact 400,663 people in the future, as they use the technologies.
Globally, AR will proceed to give the most significant benefits to global GDP, accounting for £985 billion of the £1.4 trillion total.
Jeremy Dalton, Head of Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality, PwC UK says: “VR and AR are finally coming of age and have the potential to provide a significant boost to the UK economy. They will also improve the way organisations operate, make processes faster and more effective, and create incredible new experiences.
“However, the technology needs the full support of key stakeholders in order to fully prosper. Government assistance through financial incentives and funding for research and development is required, as is support for forums that handle regulatory issues as the technologies mature. Research groups will need to provide the advancements that drive the technology forwards. And businesses will need to build a better understanding of the technology by getting started and using VR and AR to help solve business problems their organisations face.”
On the face of it, the analysis is sound. Businesses will benefit from AR and VR in the future, and the range of industries impacted is widespread. The question is how much.
What concerns me about these reports is their legitimacy. How do they substantiate their claims? I approached the team with their methodology:
“PwC have used a three step approach to estimating the economic impacts associated with AR and VR technologies. Firstly, we developed a list of potential use cases of AR and VR technologies that could realistically be implemented by 2030.
“We then excavated existing studies from ABI and used expertise across the PwC network to assign each use case with the likely productivity shocks and adoption rates across global economies.
“Finally, PwC’s economics team fed these assumptions into a dynamic Computable General Equilibrium (CGE) model which captures the economic interactions across global economies and estimated the likely GDP, productivity and employment impacts.”
At a current political climate in the UK where politicians are discussing what is best for the UK, any arguments about GDP is relevant. Over 2% can be substantial when Brexit may contract the country.
While AR and VR will benefit the UK economy, the extent is still up in the air.