The total value of mobile augmented reality (AR) applications will approach $1.5 billion in 2015, up from just $1.5 million in 2010, according to a new white paper from Juniper Research. Data from “A New Reality for Mobile” indicates this will represent average annual growth of mobile AR app value during the forecast period of 295%.
The 2010 figure itself represents a more than 12-fold increase on the 2009 figure of just $130,000, but Juniper identifies the mobile AR market as being in its early stages. Only toward the end of 2010, with the entry into the marketplace of leading content publishers such as THQ Wireless and major brands such as H&M, Carlsberg and eBay, did the market experience a significant influx of what Juniper calls higher-quality, higher-profile content.
Games Become Leading Revenue Generator This Year
Despite the greater prevalence of location-based service apps, Juniper analysis indicates 2011 should see games generate the largest share of revenues, as more Tier 1 publishers seek to incorporate AR into their product lines.
However, Juniper Research believes that by 2014, the advertising revenues attracted to location-based services should mean that it will have overhauled games once more. Meanwhile, the significant deployment of AR enterprise apps towards the latter end of the forecast period should yield substantial revenues from 2014; indeed, it is conceivable that enterprise will be the largest contributor to mobile AR revenues by 2016.
Mobile AR Apps Draw Larger Players
At the outset, Juniper analysis indicates mobile AR apps were strictly the preserve of smaller development companies. However, as AR apps began to be rolled out, larger players became interested, both in creating AR apps, and in facilitating their creation. Furthermore, Juniper predicts those major players that currently lack AR capabilities are also considering the benefits of acquiring AR specialists to enable them to build a longer term strategy around AR.
While there are now several hundred AR applications available for end users to download to the mobile handsets, Juniper analysis suggests that the vast majority of mobile users, retailers, and brands are still either unaware of augmented reality or are uncertain as to its precise definition (and thus, how it may practically be applied to products and services).
However, by 2015, Juniper forecasts that globally there will be 950 million mobile handsets, 50,000-plus mobile AR apps, and mass retail/brand adoption of AR in ads and apps as AR becomes accepted by a mainstream smartphone audience.
Mobile Devices to Overtake PCs This Year
There will be a significant consumer and enterprise shift away from the desktop and laptop PC in favor of mobile devices like smartphones, tablets and netbooks in 2011, according to a recent white paper from Deloitte. “Technology, Media & Telecommunications Predictions 2011” forecasts that out of $815 million which will be spent globally on PC- and non-PC computing devices, $375 million (46%) will be spent on smartphones.