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Industry is going to lead in AR evolution in the next decade

Augmented reality is growing fast in industrial and business environment leading the way to evolution in the next decade. Image credit: Mobile World Live

Augmented Reality, the possibility of over-imposing artefacts on reality took an upward swing in 2016 with Pokemon Go a game that caught the attention of many people, in a broad range of ages. Partly on the wave of that success many other games have taken advantage of augmented reality and more recently the release of libraries by Apple (ARKit) and Google (ARCore) have provided further steam to the development of AR applications.

The consumer market, so far, has been in the lead, but now there are several signs indicating that AR is being adopted by the Industry and by Business as a way to make workers more efficient, i.e. leading to cost decrease and we know that something decreasing production and delivery cost is going to win the market.

Whilst the consumer market is likely to keep accessing AR through the smartphone (this is the device that is in their hand at any time) the business market is more likely to make use of AR through specialised devices, like glasses.

The Google Glass Enterprise Edition designed with the industrial use in mind. There are now several AR glasses on the market. Credit Image: Google

According to ARtillry Insight the global AR revenues will grow from the 0.829B$ of 2016 to 47.7B$ in 2021. This growth is much higher than the one expected in the consumer market (0.975B$ in 2016 – 15.8B$ in 2021). Hence we can expect the industry to take lead in AR evolution in the coming years.

Notice that according to ARtillry the market for VR will remain dominated by the consumer market in the next 5 years, reaching 11.5B$ value in the consumer market vs a 4.4B$ of the industry market (projection of revenues in 2021).

There are some rumours that Appel is working on their version of AR glasses, and some are expecting to see their product in 2019, others in 2020. We’ll see.

For sure the AR is going to become more and more part of our everyday reality and it will act as a bridge to see the digital twins of many objects around us. Electronic tagging, visual recognition and IoT are all going to play a significant role in this evolution.

About Roberto Saracco

Roberto Saracco fell in love with technology and its implications long time ago. His background is in math and computer science. Until April 2017 he led the EIT Digital Italian Node and then was head of the Industrial Doctoral School of EIT Digital up to September 2018. Previously, up to December 2011 he was the Director of the Telecom Italia Future Centre in Venice, looking at the interplay of technology evolution, economics and society. At the turn of the century he led a World Bank-Infodev project to stimulate entrepreneurship in Latin America. He is a senior member of IEEE where he leads the New Initiative Committee and co-chairs the Digital Reality Initiative. He is a member of the IEEE in 2050 Ad Hoc Committee. He teaches a Master course on Technology Forecasting and Market impact at the University of Trento. He has published over 100 papers in journals and magazines and 14 books.