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Virtual reality apps market set to explode

26 May 2015

Augmented Reality (AR) apps in the mobile games market will generate 420 million downloads annually by 2019, up from 30 million in 2014, according to Juniper Research’s research titled Augmented Reality: Consumer, Enterprise and Vehicles 2015-2019.

The emergence of Head Mounted Devices (HMDs) used in the home, such as Microsoft’s Hololens, will bring a surge in interest for AR games over the next five years, according to Juniper.

For the time being however, most AR downloads will occur via smartphones and tablets.

The research observed that there had been little traction in the consumer AR market over the past two years.

This limited level of interest in the wider market was largely due to the lack of compelling cutting-edge apps that captivated consumers, according to Juniper.

“The app market has stagnated somewhat, with the industry struggling to move beyond AR marketing tools,” says Steffen Sorrell, research author. 

“I do see a shift though – Blippar, for example is moving into visual search, which will open the app to a far wider potential audience,” he says.

Furthermore, the research found that mobile devices continue to come up short where graphic-intensive AR applications are concerned.

It cites various reasons for this, including the fact that bottlenecks in the object tracking and image rendering pipeline are still hampering the progression of mobile AR.

Nevertheless, all major System on a Chip (SoC) vendors have shown interest in introducing dedicated circuitry for AR, which should spur on the overall app ecosystem, says Juniper.

Other key findings from Juniper's research includes:

  • Interest in Enterprise AR has gathered pace over the past year, driven by software and hardware improvements.
  • HMDs will be key in this space, enabling hands-free AR.
  • In-vehicle AR systems offer tremendous safety benefits to drivers. This technology will become available to a wider audience towards the end of the decade.

ReportLinker, the market research solution, says the development of new technology helps to enrich our lives and as a consequence, virtual applications are gradually incorporated into our lifestyles.

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