Study: Mobile AR poised to skyrocket as use cases multiply
- The mobile augmented reality (AR) market will hit 1.9 billion unique monthly active users worldwide by 2022, up from nearly 343 million last year, according to a report from Tractica. During the same period, the market intelligence firm projects annual mobile AR revenue globally will climb to $18.5 billion from $749 million.
- Tractica outlines that AR is spreading across social media platforms, e-commerce apps, maps and business applications this year. The spread is a turnaround from AR’s rocky beginnings from 2008 to 2015 when Tractica suggests it was mostly a gimmick, and suffered from technological limitations, smart glasses hype and weak use cases.
- Tractica asserts mobile AR will be impactful in the enterprise spheres of education, plant maintenance, field service and business-to-business sales as well as for consumer uses. “While it was once imagined that mobile AR, using smartphones and tablets, would be the strict purview of consumer use cases, the slow development of smart glasses married with the practicality and the ubiquity of mobile devices has opened legitimate, sustainable markets for enterprise use cases as well,” said Tractica principal analyst Mark Beccue.
So far, 2017 is shaping up to be the year that seemingly everyone boarded the AR bandwagon. AR was the star of Facebook’s F8 developer conference, and Snapchat Spectacles appear to be the start of AR-fueled smart glasses being embraced by consumers after Google Glass’ stumbles. Following the success of Pokemon Go, AR is also being woven into other apps to enhance user experiences in fun and meaningful ways.
Tractica’s AR forecast concurs with rival bullish prognosticators. Assessing the AR and virtual reality (VR) market, the International Data Corporation (IDC) projects it will surge at a compound annual growth rate of 198% between 2015 and 2020 to reach $143.3 billion in global revenues, up 97% from an estimated $13.9 billion this year. Worldwide spending on hardware, software and services is expected to total $6.2 billion in 2017, an increase of 130.5% from 2016.
Tractica analyst Beccue zeros in on visual search as “one of the next great user interface interactions…[that will] play a central role in determining the future success of internet giants.” AR-driven visual search could enable mobile device users to direct their devices at an object in order to pull up information about the object and where to buy it. Writing in Marketing, Paul Korber, regional vice president, customer success at Marin Software APAC, conjectured visual search will slowly ramp up in application this year as shoppers hunt for deals from online retailers. While only 4% of advertisers indicated that visual search is a top priority for their business in 2017, before too long voice and visual search may be considered an inseparable part of the overall search marketing landscape," he speculated.