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Thursday, February 13, 2014

Marketers are Exploring Mobile Augmented Reality Apps

The mobile software apps industry has continued its creative evolution; as an example, adopting better image recognition. This is a positive advancement for the mobile platform, as it will enable a greater range of applications. In particular, savvy digital marketers will benefit from the new capabilities.

Juniper Research has found that annual revenues from mobile augmented reality (AR) services and applications will reach $1.2 billion by 2015 -- that's up from just over $180 million last year.

Juniper's latest global market study found that games -- which accounted for more than 40 percent of AR downloads in 2013 -- will continue to deliver the largest revenue stream for the foreseeable future.

However, it observed that with AR increasingly deployed within mainstream lifestyle, enterprise and general entertainment applications, each of these sectors should achieve annual mobile AR revenues in excess of $1 billion within 5-6 years.


How Brand Engagement is Boosting Adoption

According to the study findings, consumer adoption of AR applications was being increasingly fueled by the wider engagement of brands and retailers with mobile channels over the past 12-18 months.

With the mobile internet now recognized as a primary engagement channel, packaged goods brands -- such as Unilever, Nestle and Heinz -- have identified AR as a key means of enhancing and increasing engagement within marketing campaigns.

It also highlighted the fact that while revenues would primarily be driven via smartphones, there was considerable potential for AR app monetization through smart wearable devices.

The Google Glass collection will be commercially launched later this year, while Samsung is rumored to be showcasing its own smart glasses before the end of 2014.

However, Juniper also cautioned that AR stakeholders needed to continue to increase market awareness of the technology, while the prospect remained for the introduction of legislation constraining or even prohibiting certain applications of AR on safety, privacy and libel grounds.

Other findings from the market study include:
  • AR app user numbers will approach 200 million by 2018.
  • Developers must be aware of device limitations when scoping out AR software applications.