By 7 November 2012 | Categories: news


While augmented reality (AR) apps are amongst some of the most interesting app developments we have seen this year, a new report from Juniper Research has indicated that there is also considerable revenue potential for the technology as well.

More specifically, the company predicted that AR applications will generate in the region of $300 million (R2 600 million) in revenues globally next year.

This, apparently, is due to the fact that brands and retailers were increasingly keen to deploy augmented reality (AR) capabilities within their apps and marketing materials, according to the report.

Moreover, the report elaborated that many retailers perceived AR as a key means of increasing engagement with general users, both as a means of providing additional product information, as well as via branded virtual games and activities.

Obstacles ahead

However, this otherwise rosy picture still had its obstacles to overcome. A key hurdle, and somewhat obvious one, is the lack of user awareness of the technology. However, it is not the only challenge facing the AR app adoption.

The report indicated that the technological limitations of AR-enablers such as the phone camera, GPS, digital compasses and markerless tracking meant that in many cases, the AR experience was failing to live up to user expectations.

And, while we have been advised that high-end smartphones should cope more ably with AR, apparently not all high-end smartphones are created equally, as the report claimed that even some higher-end smartphone cameras lacked sufficient sensitivity to trigger an AR experience unless light conditions were optimal.

Additionally, the need to recalibrate digital compasses – allied to poor in-building functionality of the GPS – meant that, under certain circumstances, the level of location accuracy would not be sufficient for many potential corporate applications.

Potentials and pitfalls

This does not bode well for enterprise adoption of AR technology in the medium term. However, that does not mean that AR apps would be confined to the benchwarmer section of the playing field. Indeed, according to the report, more than 2.5 billion AR apps are expected to be downloaded to smartphones and tablets yearly by 2017, with games accounting for the largest share of downloads.
What’s more, AR is also expected to be increasingly deployed in prototype wearable devices, with the most obvious example being Google’s Project Glass.
To the point

Nonetheless, we must admit that augmented reality has certainly captured our imagination each time we have seen it as work. The technology has transformed otherwise dull ads into 3D interpretations of products, and has also breathed life into content consumption and comic reading. For a look at the latter at work, take a peek at the duo of videos below.


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