As I’ve said before, VR and AR are such inter-linked technologies, they might as well be classified by the same name. One day, your AR glasses will also be your VR glasses. lol
But AR is a FAR more challenging/difficult technology, and requires advancements in mobile processing, optics and screen technologies, as well as better camera sensors and computer vision recognition software for interpreting what it sees of the real world.. All of these technologies will need to be greatly improved before AR can become a practical consumer device, as you say. And the only way we’re going to improve those technologies.. The only economic/consumer drive to push those technologies into R&D to improve them, is VR.
We need to start with VR, because we can already do it, very well, with today’s technologies. And it’s pretty much our only option right now. HoloLens is a laughable joke, and no where near a consumer device. If AR were to try and sell a consumer device, anytime in the next few years, without VR being around first, it would fail like VR did in the 90s.. It’s just not anywhere ready, or good enough yet.. and it can’t be without VR creating a good strong market for these things first.