The data doesn’t lie: the mixed and augmented reality markets are on a constant growth path and are expected to reach a value of $198.17 billion (AR) and $3.68 billion (MR). This is the forecast made by BIS Research in its latest Global Augmented Reality and Mixed Reality Market-Analysis and Forecast (2018-2025). This means a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 65.1% from 2018 to 2025.
Industry Led Growth for Augmented Reality Technology
The significant growth of the augmented reality market is mainly fueled by the interest shown by various industries in adopting it to improve their work as well as the user experience. Also, the technology is becoming more available to individual users as smartphones become more powerful. At the same time, various startups are working on AR development platforms which will bring augmented reality experiences to mid- and low-tier phones as well.
Another factor which influences and nurtures the adoption rate of mixed and augmented reality markets is the development of Internet of Things (IoT) connected devices. These devices use augmented reality technology and 5G wireless internet to help professionals work better, faster, and more accurately. In this respect, IoT and fast mobile internet may represent the same breakthrough as the rise of personal computers at the beginning of the 1980s.
Head Mounted Displays Generate the Largest Share of Sales
Augmented reality and mixed reality technology involve both hardware and software, but the driving force behind sales is the hardware side–more precisely, head mounted displays. Of the global regions, North America generated the most sales in 2017 and will continue to represent one of the driving forces of sales growth for the reviewed period.
Rishabh Sinha, one of the Research Analysts who worked on the BIS report, stated that “the competitive landscape for the Augmented Reality (AR) and Mixed Reality (MR) devices is shifting towards a more aesthetically pleasing form factor which can be incorporated in day to day lives of the consumers. The mass appeal of these headsets when combined with features such as gesture control and 3D mapping, have the potential to make these headsets as omnipresent as smartphones.”
The Road Ahead: Overcoming Vulnerabilities and Technological Limitations
Each new technology creates new challenges in terms of security and privacy protection. This is also the case for mixed reality and augmented reality. Smartphones used for work or personal life store lots of valuable and sensitive data. Personal and business data are now carried in our pockets and briefcases and cyber criminals know it.
As AR and MR technologies are used in sensitive domains like healthcare, product manufacturing, training and education and the corporate realm, they become the target of hackers, just as websites became such targets as soon as they become a major part of our lives.
At the same time, there are technological limitations which need to be dealt with, such as battery draining and image latency. These are being corrected, one step at a time, by innovative companies who constantly improve headsets and implement new technologies, such as the Simultaneous Localization and Mapping (SLAM). With this continuously improving infrastructure for developments, together with expanding consumer demands, we can expect to see a boost in AR and MR markets not only in North America, but also in the Asia Pacific region in the near future.