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Augmented Reality Propels the Internet of Everything

There's an emerging application that could be a significant driver of new and exciting cloud services. According to the latest global market study by ABI Research, developer investment in Augmented Reality (AR) applications will be a key component -- and it will total $670 million in 2013.

The annual amount is expected to exceed $2.5 billion by 2018, as AR becomes a more everyday part of mobile experiences -- especially in the domain of the retail industry and commercial marketing.

This application segment accounts for 68 percent of the developer spend in 2013, with product enhancement and standalone apps contributing 22 percent and 10 percent of the total, respectively.

The most imminent growth driver for AR is cloud computing.

"The cloud is a natural fit for AR developers, considering how big benefits cloud-based content libraries present for image recognition technologies," said Aapo Markkanen, Senior analyst at ABI Research.

The leading SDKs, Qualcomm’s Vuforia and Metaio, introduced cloud recognition capabilities last year, and it’s exactly moves like those that will help bringing AR to the mainstream.

Meanwhile, the cloud has always been at the core of Aurasma -- HP’s innovative visual browser that is starting to see traction also as a platform for third-party apps.

Going forward, ABI Research believes that AR will become a significant enabler for the Internet of Everything (IoE), and namely big-data analytics. This is an area where AR and data visualizations will have a close connection to the emergent wearable computing products.

ABI practice director Dan Shey predicts, "In a world where a countless number of physical objects and structures will be connected by sensors, AR can serve as a visualization medium that will make the sensor data situational, bridged to the real-world surroundings."

The consumer aspect is unsurprisingly making most of the headlines here, but ABI says that they expect smart eyewear to initially make more waves in transforming the enterprise.

Google Glass, like the smart-glass pioneer Vuzix, will find various use cases in industry verticals -- such as engineering, logistics, and healthcare.

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