Developer interest in AR booming, says Juniper

New research report says AR to top 2 billion apps, $5bn market by 2021

The popularity of Pokemon GO is a factor in growing interest in AR.
The popularity of Pokemon GO is a factor in growing interest in AR.

Interest and investment in Augmented Reality apps is booming, at least in part due to Pokemon GO, according to Juniper Research.

The analyst company reports a rush to develop augmented reality applications as companies look to emulate the popularity of the Pokemon mobile app, which has gained an estimated 500m downloads since its launch in July.

Juniper predicts that the number of AR apps will increase from 482 million in 206 to 2.3 billion by 2021, while the enterprise AR market will grow in value from $515m this year to $5.7bn in 2021.


The company’s new research report Augmented Reality: Developer & Vendor Strategies 2016-2021, says that there is a boom in developer interest in AR, partly driven by Pokemon’s success and partly because of maturing technology and greater consumer acceptance. Investments by both Apple and Microsoft in AR-related technology have also increased confidence.

The report found that despite smartphones already being capable of this level of AR, the success of applications were down to desirable content, such as Pokémon GO and Snapchat.

“The current crop of AR offerings is a taste of its future. Soon, the technology will be commonplace in fields such as medicine, manufacturing and training,” said research author, Sam Barker.

Additionally, the report found that AR opportunities will be further boosted by releases of other devices. HoloLens, manufactured by Microsoft, is expected to be launched in 2017, adding to competition for Vuzix and ODG. Although, consumers will initially be discouraged by high costs and lack of content, the devices’ superior specifications will lead to improved content over smartphone applications.

The increasing confidence in AR technology as demonstrated by large investments into smaller AR specialists such as Magic Leap. The company has attracted over $1.3 billion of investment to continue the development of their hardware. Shrouded in secrecy, Magic Leap has made no public announcement, however has convinced large companies such as Google and Qualcomm Ventures to invest. Furthermore, Apple’s inclusion of 2 rear cameras its latest flagship iPhone, indicates their belief that AR content will further penetrate the smartphone ecosystem.

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