I think its safe to say that the honeymoon is over… In a world of increasing technical demands, AR for the sake of AR just isn’t a leading strategy anymore. So where are things heading then? Taking stock of some recent not-so-subtle events and stats, all signs are pointing to the bottom line & putting AR back in the black rather than at the center of gimmicky attention grabs.
In 2013 augmented reality apps generated half a billion dollars in global revenue, and with that number expected to grow to 5.2 billion in the next 3 years on the back of an estimated 2.5 billion AR app downloads1; it is clear that AR has firmly rooted itself in industry and commerce with huge growth potential.
Daqri’s recent hire of ex-Rayethon exec Andy Lowery is a strong affirmation of this percieved trend, and a summary action of AR industry thought leaders. Andy’s background at Rayethon was as their director of engineering, and continues even further back to his time at Tyco where he oversaw a commercial electronics product line. At AWE 2014 I saw Andy speak during the complex manufacturing seminar during which he provided compelling cases for the application of AR in defense and aerospace, particularly with reference to discovering defects early in the production process.
In a similar vein, an e-fulfillment company in the Netherlands called Active Ants has demonstrated a great case study for emerging augmented reality technologies such as Google Glass. After equipping some of their warehouse workers with custom AR software, the company saw error rates reduce by 12%, and increased stock picking productivity of 15%.
The profitable application of AR technology extends well beyond industry however. Inline with the findings of the recent collaborative report between Google and InternetNZ, furthered adoption of technology has visible benefits to brick & mortar retail, tourism and business services. Augmented reality retail campaigns continue to surface from brands such as Acer, Audi, Starbucks, and Dominos. Their perseverance with AR is no doubt a tribute to the fact that the likelihood of a purchase after a consumer sees a product in AR increases 135%.
1 Bodhani, A (2013), ‘Getting a purchase on AR’