An increase in focus on incorporating augmented reality (AR) elements within mobile applications will lead to nearly 1.4bn annual downloads of such apps by 2015.
The ‘Mobile Augmented Reality’ report, from market-watcher Juniper Research, found that the number of AR capable apps on offer has already risen dramatically, while the breadth of products available has widened significantly from the initial wave of location-based search apps and browsers to cover games, social networking, education, lifestyle, and personal healthcare apps.
These developments have been accompanied by a surge in the installed base of AR capable-smartphones, the report notes. In addition, the report says that brand interest in, and awareness of, AR rose over the second half of 2010, with a number of leading brands either creating apps with AR content, or utilising existing mobile AR apps to enable end-users to access the AR elements of advertising campaigns.
“Companies such as Carlsberg are integrating branded AR apps into wider campaigns, while others – Time Out, Royal Mail, Coca Cola – are using B2C applications such as Junaio to facilitate AR content,” says the report’s author Dr Windsor Holden. “These initiatives are indicative of a growing desire amongst brands to use AR as a key tool to engage with the consumer.”
Other findings of the report include:
- Annual revenues generated by mobile AR applications and services are expected to approach $1.5bn by 2015, up from less than $2m in 2010.
- Enterprise apps with AR elements are expected to account for the third-largest proportion of revenues by 2015, after location-based search and games.
- Governments and mobile content regulators may need to revise or update existing regulations pertaining to privacy, libel, and copyright, to take AR applications into account.