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The near Future of Augmented Reality – I

Our “screens” are going to double up as magic lenses to let us explore the world of bit mixed with the world of atoms. Image credit: Mobidev

I read an interesting article on 9 trends in Augmented Reality in 2019 and 2020 and here I elaborate a bit on them adding a 10th one. Let’s start with a look at the market.

  1. AR is changing the show and stealing the market
    VR was the main focus of researchers, and then of business, in rendering of bits into images. In a way VR is easier than AR since in VR you can have full control of what you are creating. In AR, on the contrary. you need to add a coherence between the world you are creating, the augmentation, and the physical one. If the two of them are not in synch you get a very poor result. Additionally, real time processing becomes even more important since you have to react in real time to any changes in the physical world to ensure you remain in synch.

    The number of devices that can potentially deliver AR experience has reached 900 millions (the number of smartphones and tablets with installed AR platform software is around 630 million) and the number of AR apps available is over 3,000. Image credit: Superdata Nelsen

    In these last 3 years sensors technology and processing capabilities have progressed significantly making it possible to create an ever more convincing Augmentation.
    At this point AR gets the upper hand, basically because of the potential market it can reach. As of 2019 there are 250 million smartphones enabled with ARCore (Android) and 380 million smartphone enabled with ARKit (IOs). This is a huge market and we have seen many AR Apps on the market. As of March 2019 there were more than 3,000 apps on the Android and IOs stores (see the picture).
    If you think that’s big (and it is) consider that Juniper foresee the number of AR apps used in the market by 2022 (instances of apps, Juniper is counting the number of users per app) to reach 9.1 billion (with AR social apps taking the lion’s share with over 6 billion apps instances). By 2022 there should be over 1 billion unique active AR users (hence each one on average using 9 apps AR enabled).
    This figures are mostly based on the consumer market. Consider that the professional market is also making greater and greater use of AR. ARtillery Research is expecting the AR market in industry to reach 35.2 billion $ in 2021 (out of a total market of 39 billion $ for XR). Bain&Company survey on industry pointed out that whilst only 13% on industry was using AR in 2018 this percentage will grow in the next three years (2012) to 42%, expanding both in number of industries as in number of sectors.

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 Industry Advisory Board within the Future Directions Committee and co-chairs the Digital Reality Initiative. 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.