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Survey: AR Technology Brings Concrete Benefits to the Services Industry

Using AR technology in the services industry is not just trendy – it already has measurable benefits.


AR technology is on the path of becoming an integral part of the service industry, with most of the key players already experimenting with it at various levels. Decision makers are aware of the benefits the technology brings for the key activities in their industry and will continue to invest in AR, doubling the enterprise spending at global level by next year.

These are some of the most relevant findings of a recent report prepared by the International Data Corporation (IDC). IDC surveyed IT decision makers, enterprise executives and line-of-business managers in the United States with a focus on the adoption rate of augmented reality technology in their organizations.

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The Vast Majority Is Already Familiar with AR Technology

A large percentage of the decision-makers surveyed by IDC – 77% – stated that their organization is already experimenting with AR technology at a certain level. Out of these:

  • 36% are in the initial testing phase;
  • 15% are running the pilot phase;
  • 17% are moving towards the early deployment phase;
  • 9% are already in the late state of deployment.

A further 6% of the survey respondents stated that their organization will begin testing AR within the next 6-12 months.

A Small Shift in Current and Future Perceived Benefits of AR

When it comes to the reasons for the interest in augmented reality technology, the respondents have similar expectations now and for the next year. For the year 2018, the top five perceived benefits, in decreasing order are:

  • Increased efficiency, including improved first-time fix rates,
  • Increased safety,
  • Training and improved knowledge transfer between employees,
  • Enabling hands-free work,
  • Enabling collaboration between teams and team members.

For 2019, the top five perceived benefits of AR are:

  • Increased efficiency, including improved first-time fix rates,
  • Improved client-facing interactions,
  • Enabling hands-free work,
  • Driving better remote access processes,
  • Training and improved knowledge transfer between employees.

The Key Areas Where  the Use of AR Is Most Beneficial

The IDC report identified four key use cases where AR technology is a driving force for transformation and adaptation to the requirements of the digital age.

For the services use case, the decision-makers indicated that the number one activity which benefits from the use of AR is the knowledge transfer between seasoned employees and new hires. This is followed by the ability to use 3D, interactive digital service instructions, displaying information and service details for machines, “I see what you see” live video conferences, and the display of interface options inaccessible on a physical machine.

For the training use case, the respondents stated that augmented reality technology helps organizations achieve a faster learning curve for trainees, and reduce travel expenses and downtime.

For the sales and marketing use case, the respondents indicated that the use of AR can help with cost savings in five ways: through higher win rates as clients can visualize products in an enhanced manner, through reduced travel expenses, through reduced costs for building prototype, through the reduced complexity of sales motion and through a reduced sales cycle.

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For the manufacturing use case, the AR technology is primarily used in production line training, planning and service, team collaboration, and product iteration.

An Ascending Spending Curve

The IDC report also noted an increasing global annual expenditure on augmented reality hardware, software, and services at the enterprise level. For 2018, the prediction for the end of year is $8 billion global expenses. Next year, this amount will double reaching an estimated $19.2 billion.

Onwards, corporate expenses on AR technology will increase in a spectacular manner:

  • Over $40 billion in 2020;
  • Over $80 billion in 2021;
  • $120 billion in 2022.

These findings indicate one thing: augmented reality technology has stopped being a trend and is growing into a basic requirement for the service industry in order to maintain their market share and fend off the competitors.

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