Revenues from consumer augmented reality (AR) apps will trail those in the enterprise sector until at least 2021 despite the high visibility of games such as Pokémon GO, according to a new study from Juniper Research.
The company forecasts that revenues from enterprise AR apps will reach $5.7 billion by 2021, raising ten fold from an estimated $515 million in 2016.
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The researchers also found that enterprise interest in AR technologies has continued to grow, fuelled by improvements in field of vision and latency on Head Mounted Displays (HMDs). Future releases of these units, such as Microsoft HoloLens (pictured above), are set to drive AR content revenues in the enterprise sector as businesses opt for HMDs over smartphones and tablets.
According to the study, Augmented Reality: Developer & Vendor Strategies 2016-2021, the bespoke nature of content in the enterprise AR sector, such as DAQRI’s partnerships with Hyperloop and Siemens, will lead to higher app prices. The combination of higher content pricing and hardware will initially hamper adoption and only the earliest tech-adopters in the enterprise space will implement the technology over the next two years.
The report found that enterprise AR revenues are set to remain on smartphone and tablet devices for the foreseeable future. But enterprise focus from manufacturers such as Microsoft and Vuzix will see the largest revenue opportunity for content developers on HMDs from 2020.
Consumer AR’s Biggest Obstacle
While the ubiquity of the smartphone will give an immediate audience and distribution channel, the report advised developers to focus on continued innovation in order to keep users engaged.
Research author Sam Barker said, “The nostalgia of Pokémon has worn off for most users and there are reports about a drop in app usage. This means that the majority of consumer applications will only have limited revenue opportunity and are likely to have a short shelf-life akin to the current wider app ecosystem.”
Additionally, the high cost of HMDs and consumer hesitancy around public usage will deter consumers from purchasing AR glasses in the short-term.
The whitepaper, Augmented Reality ~ Not Just Fun and Games, is now available to download from the Juniper website together with further details of the full research.