Technology | Media | Telecommunications

Friday, May 01, 2015

Commercial Augmented Reality Apps will Reach $2.4B

Augmented Reality (AR) is defined as a technology that identifies and tracks data from the physical world, in combination with data drawn from digital sources, to present the user with a view of the physical world overlaid with relevant computer-generated information.

Or, put another way, AR applications tend to be limited by the developers own imagination. Creative designers will find new ways to apply this unique capability.

According to the latest market study by Juniper Research, augmented reality technology used in the enterprise and industrial markets will drive annual software application revenues of $2.4 billion in 2019, that's up from $247 million in 2014. This translates to a tenfold increase over the forecast period.

Juniper notes that enterprise interest in AR has reached new heights, due to improvements in software, wearable technology and the promise of significant efficiency gains. However, the varied individual needs of enterprises dictate that AR app costs will likely remain high, at least for the foreseeable future.

Despite a high revenue forecast for the sector, Juniper observed that the overall adoption of enterprise AR applications will remain relatively low until the end of the decade.

At present, the enterprise AR application ecosystem has not fostered any standards for software development across devices, giving rise to a level of risk with regards to security and integration.

"Most enterprise AR apps must be bespoke in order to comply with requirements," said Steffen Sorrell, senior analyst at Juniper Research. "That presents challenges -- entry costs are increased so a return on investment must be assured."


Commercial App Market Development

Additionally, the research study found that enterprise head-mounted devices (HMDs) -- such as Vuzix’s M100 and Daqri’s Smart Helmet -- will overtake smartphones and media tablets as the preferred AR device in terms of commercial app use beyond 2019.

The hands-free nature of these devices ensures that users will be able to maximise the benefits of AR technology. Nevertheless, display shortcomings must be corrected -- presently, wide field-of-views and low latency is lacking in most devices.

Other key findings from the study include:
  • The consumer HMD space will be ignited by at-home entertainment devices, such as Microsoft’s HoloLens.
  • Telecommunications operators will seize the opportunity of in-vehicle AR, with this market set to expand from 2019 onwards.