Developers will invest as much as $2.5 billion in augmented reality (AR) applications in 2018, compared with just $670 million this year, as AR becomes a significant enabler for the Internet of Things (IoT) and big data analytics.
Such is the finding of a new study from ABI Research, which reckons AR will become a more everyday part of mobile experiences over the next few years, especially in the domain of retail and marketing.
The study’s authors point to cloud computing, however, as the most imminent growth driver for AR.
“The leading SDKs, Qualcomm’s [San Diego, CA, USA] Vuforia and Metaio, introduced cloud recognition capabilities last year, and it’s exactly moves like those that will help bring AR to the mainstream,” said Aapo Markkanen, a senior analyst at ABI Research.
“Meanwhile, the cloud has always been at the core of Aurasma – HP’s [Palo Alto, CA, USA] innovative browser that is starting to see traction also as a platform for third-party apps,” said Markkanen.
ABI Research expects AR to play a critical role in the future IoT market and particularly in big-data analytics, where – it says – AR and data visualizations will have a close connection to emergent wearable computing products.
“In a world where a countless number of physical objects and structures will be connected by sensors, AR can serve as a visualization medium that will make the sensor data situational, bridged to the real-world surroundings,” said Dan Shey, a practice director at ABI Research.
“The consumer aspect is unsurprisingly making most of the headlines here, but we’d expect smart eyewear to initially make more waves in transforming the enterprise,” he said. “Google [Mountain View, CA, USA] Glass, like the smart-glass pioneer Vuzix [Rochester, NY, USA], will find various use cases in verticals such as engineering, logistics and healthcare.”