Augmented reality (AR) is on the brink of transforming the entire industrial workplace as well as consumers’ lifestyle. As per latest studies, the global augmented reality market is expected to grow at a tremendous over the forecast period, 2020-2030.
The ability of AR technology to combine real world with super-imposed images is attracting a humongous user base, with the number of mobile AR users slated to reach 2.4 billion by 2023, globally, as per Statista.
While tech giants have been extensively focusing on R&D activities in AR technology, SMEs and start-ups are also showing good signs. Case in point, NTT Docomo has invested US$ 280 Mn in Magic Leap, an AR start-up. Furthermore, players identifying the untapped potential of augmented reality will be better placed for outsized returns.
The automotive industry has been the early adopters of augmented reality technology and continue to be a major driver in its capital performance. Majority of automobiles incorporate AR-based heads-up displays (HUD) that predict information such as state of the vehicles’ systems, speed and mileage, and navigation directions.
Several high-end car models - Toyota Camry, Chevrolet Camaro, and BMW 7 Series – come with AR-based HUDs. Studies find that the adoption of AR-based HUDs is poised to reach about US$ 7 Bn by 2027.
The automotive industry is a conducive ground for innovation and automobile giants are heavily investing in AR automotive technologies that rethink the driving experience. ABI Research reveals that the overall market revenue of AR automotive technologies will surpass US$ 5 Bn in 2022, expanding at 177% CAGR.
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While AR technology aids businesses in advancing their processes and services further, its implementation is cost-prohibitive, and requires methodical expertise. As such, application of AR is limited to large-scale enterprises.
AR technology helps in generating, analyzing, and gathering crucial data sets, thus, putting users’ privacy at risk. Moreover, AR systems that capture surroundings in real time raise legal concerns akin to that of shooting videos or pictures of casual individuals or their property, which is prohibited.
AR technology is highly addictive further leading to health problems such as lack of concentration, eye problems, and chronic pain.
While the augmented reality market has been following a positive growth trajectory, the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is providing further boost to market growth. Reduced on-site staff due to physical distancing regulations is hindering the operational efficiency of several companies.
However, AR is finding immense usage amid the pandemic, especially in remote assistance. AR-enabled remote assistance offers live video conferencing experience between multiple users.
In addition, it allows the users to add annotations that stick to the elements in the scene, and thus, remain in same place in the physical world as perceived by participants. Such use cases promote highly efficient collaborative between employees working from home, as such, help address the impacts of decreased staffing, travel restrictions, and physical distancing.
North America and Europe continue to hold leading share in augmented reality market, backed by presence of established technology pioneers. As per Statista, by 2021, the number of AR users is expected to hit 85 million in the US alone. Further, the International Data Corporation (IDC) reveals that the US and Western Europe will witness the fastest growth in AR/VR by 2023 – 104.2% CAGR, and 96.1% CAGR respectively.
Going forward, Asia Pacific (APAC) is slated to show robust growth in augmented reality market over the following decade. Subsequent development of AR devices and software for commercial sector in countries such as China is propelling the market growth in this region.
Regional players are investing in R&D to launch various smartphone applications to ensure huge consumer penetration.
Market leaders are investing in R&D activities to scout out the unexplored areas of application to remain ahead of the curve. For instance,
OrcaMD has launched a medical app named EyeDecide to detect cataract or AMD and, thus, help patients understand the disease clearly.
Augmedics has launched an AR guidance system named xvision spine system to help patients visualize 3D anatomy of spine during surgery.
KaviAR Tech has developed an AR teleportation app that allows users to explore exotic destinations across the world.
Google has rolled out the beta version of its AR walking directions feature for Google Maps that will available to AR-compatible Android and iOS smartphones.
Such initiatives are boosting the product of portfolios of market players, helping them reap bigger returns and reach larger user base.
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