The Augmented Reality (AR) market will continue to grow at an astonishing pace between now and 2022. New AR based technologies continue to garner widespread consumer and enterprise interest, with the value of the AR market tipped to reach in excess of $170 billion by the year 2022. Rapid growth within the AR sector is being driven across a wide range of industry verticals including entertainment, retail, construction, health and care, utilities and oil and gas. We recently explored everything your business needs to know about blockchain and AR, today we’re exploring the key augmented reality market trends between now and 2022 and what your business can do to stay ahead of the innovation curve.
For many years, both Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) have been positioned as the future of visual technology, with many analysts predicting rapid industry uptake and growth in terms of adoption and spending. The market for VR technologies successfully passed the $1 billion over two years ago, largely driven by $300 million of sales in VR video games. It’s now estimated that sales of VR headsets will surpass the 200 million unites mark in the next two years. This emphasises the fact that to date, much of the emerging technologies industry has, to an extent, been driven by games and entertainment. However, as the market continues to mature in the next three to five years, much of this growth will be driven by other industry verticals.
The meteoric rise of AR and VR will be driven by much more than entertainment and games. Manufacturing, banking, retail, utilities and oil and gas are just some of the adjacent industries that’re driving uptake and adoption of AR and VR technologies. Engineering is just one sector whereby AR is having a profound impact, as workers can process information faster when presented in 3D, enabling them to make informed decisions relating to crucial tasks in the shortest possible timescale.
One of the biggest announcements to impact the ongoing evolution and mass-proliferation of AR technology has been the launch of ARKit and ARCore. Prior to the launch of ARKit and ARCore, the technology was largely restricted by the fact that you needed a HUD device such as the Microsoft Hololens to experience its full capabilities. Apple and Google have now changed the game completely in terms of the commercialisation of AR, as brands and businesses can now develop highly immersive AR apps that can be deployed to hundreds of millions, if not billions of existing iOS and Android users. In terms of calculating augmented reality ROI, brands can now see the value of investing in the development of software for ARKit and ARCore due to its widespread usage and market penetration.
Fundamentally, the AR industry in particular will be driven by enabling businesses to deploy the technology as a means of underpinning wider commercial goals and objectives. Increased safety, cost reduction, the creation of new revenue streams and process efficiency are some of the commercial benefits that can be driven through adoption of AR. The AR application being developed by Aberdeen based Return To Scene (R2S) is a fantastic example of how the technology can fulfill real commercial challenges. Return To Scene’s head of product development and support Martin Macrae, explained: “Offshore oil and gas assets are complex, adaptive structures with a constant flow of actions being undertaken by international teams. The systems which enable these actions are underpinned by asset registers which are represented by physical tags attached to equipment. The location of these tags and the ability to visualise data in a certain way, is crucially important. This is where AR technology, and specifically Mozenix unique software delivery capability, can solve a myriad of challenges.”
These new, highly innovative examples of how AR technology is currently being deployed recently became the focus of an industry study by international technology M&A advisory firm Hampleton Partners. In the companies latest report on the latest global trends, the firm discovered that AR and VR in healthcare are among the hottest technological trends of 2018. Some of the healthcare focused use cases involving AR and VR involved emergency room management, drug discovery, virtual nurses and genetic research. The core focus of each initiative was to provide a higher level of patient experience and to lower the overall cost of care. One example of the advancements being made in healthcare via the deployment of emerging technologies is the MindMotion product developed by a company called MindMaze. MindMotion utilises the world’s first virtual environment neurorehabilitation system to support motor rehabilitation and improve the recovery time of patients.
In terms of manufacturing, companies such as Boeing are leading the way when it comes to the deployment of new and emerging technologies. The company has been using AR HUD’s (heads up displays) to assist in the wire assembly process of its commercial airliners. Through the use of AR, the company’s workforce can see digital information overlaid on top of complex wiring, combined with video streaming and voice activated control. Through the deployment of AR, Boeing has streamlined the manufacturing process, speeding up production and making sure that tasks can be completed with the employees comfort and safety in mind.
As the usage of AR technology begins to proliferate multiple industry sectors, Hampleton Partners suggest that the global market size of the VR sector will surpass $17 billion by 2022. Rewind to 2016 and the VR industry was worth only $2 billion, which represents a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 44.5%. However, the real growth in emerging technologies, as previously forecasted, will be driven by AR, as the size of the market grows to $161 billion by 2022. Historic growth data also suggests that AR more lucrative than VR in terms of overall value, but it’s growing much faster too. The overall AR market was previously estimated to be worth in the region of $4 billion but is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of 85.4%. This means that not only is the AR market anticipated to grow 10X larger than the value of the market for VR, but it’s growing at nearly twice the rate in terms of speed.
The report from Hampleton Partners indicates that whilst emerging technologies are rooted in the design principles of games and gaming technologies, it’s liable to be other industry sectors that fuel rapid growth. Heiko Garrelfs, a Sector Principal at Hampleton Partners, said that “The new reality for many businesses will involve augmented, virtual and mixed reality technologies to increase efficiency and improve customer service and employee engagement. Progress is slower than the optimists had hoped, yet it seems to be stronger and more sustainable than the pessimists predicted. The reality is that many businesses now need to have a full AR/VR strategy to ensure they are not left behind.”
If you’re a business or brand thinking about emerging technologies, there’s never been a better time to get started. Here at Mozenix, we’re working with amazing clients to deliver AR technology that delivers against commercial goals. From innovation workshops to proof of concept development and prototyping, to full production and ongoing support and optimisation, Mozenix can help you at every stage of your journey. If you’re thinking about how to kick-start your emerging technologies initiative, Mozenix would love to hear from you, contact us today to kick-start the conversation.