Augmented and mixed reality app installs will reach 10 billion by 2024, estimates the latest report published by Juniper Research. Further, the report states that the key drivers for this growth are social media and gaming apps. However, the industry needs to reach certain milestones in this period, making the technology more accessible to consumers.
The Current State of Mixed Reality App Installs
The global augmented and mixed reality app market is currently worth a little over US$8,000 million, distributed as follows:
- $6,738.1 million – mobile consumer AR;
- $1,254.7 million – mobile enterprise AR;
- $29.3 million – consumer vehicles.
However, Juniper Research’s report estimates that 2019 will close with 3 billion global mixed reality app installs.
Moreover, the trends will stay within the same lines for the next five years, with consumer apps in the lead by a wide margin. But, this growth needs to be supported by an increase in the availability, performance, and convenience of hardware.
Key Milestones the AR and MR Industry Needs to Achieve by 2024
According to Juniper research, these are the five steps that the industry must take in order to achieve the growth rate predicted in the report:
1. 2020 – Computer Vision Embedded in MR Hardware
Computer vision is essential to a smooth and seamless mixed reality experience. By next year, this technology must be embedded in head-mounted devices. However, this requires miniaturization of the components, making the HDM comfortable to wear.
2. 2021 – Digital Assistants Will Enhance the MR Experience
Mixed reality app installs will increase as digital assistants, such as Amazon Alexa and Apple Siri, become an integral part of the MR ecosystem. Through voice interactions with these assistants, consumers will enjoy a higher level of interactivity.
3. 2022 – Artificial Intelligence Takes Key Role in Providing Services
AI will make its debut in the mixed reality world in three years from now, facilitating backend services. However, AI demands high computing power. Therefore, this means that only a limited number of consumers, who own powerful, high-end devices, will be able to enjoy this facility.
4. 2023 – 5G Will Improve Mixed Reality Mobile Experience
By 2023, all the developed areas of the globe will have 5G coverage. This means ultra-high-speed internet connection and very low latency. Mixed reality app installs will experience a further boost, as more complex interactions and immersive experiences become a reality.
5. 2024 – Mobile Cloud Computing Will Allow Anyone to Enjoy Immersive Experiences
As mobile cloud computing goes mainstream, consumers will no longer need powerful devices to enjoy complex mixed reality apps. This is the last necessary step towards mass adoption of immersive technologies.
Monetizing Mixed Reality App Installs
The growth in installs must translate into a growth in revenues for the app owners. According to the Juniper Research report, in-app purchases are the key to driving revenues from these apps.
Speaking of this aspect, research author Sam Barker said in a press release: “Despite temptations to continually grow the app user base, app developers must have a primary focus on retaining existing users.”
For example, Barker mentions Niantic and Snap, two mixed reality app creators that rely on constant updates and fresh content to keep their users loyal.
Advertising and Mixed Reality Apps – a Successful Match
Advertising revenues will also grow in the next five years in the augmented and mixed reality ecosystem. While 2019 will close with total global revenue of US$2 billion, by 2024 it will reach US$11 billion.
However, the authors of the research warn mixed reality app owners about two key issues. One concern is accurate ad attribution and developing fraud prevention tools. The other is connected to over-exposure to advertising within AR and MR apps, which naturally leads to consumer disengagement.
Leading Areas in Mixed Reality App Adoption Rate
There are no surprising changes in terms of the areas on the globe predicted to have the highest adoption rate of immersive technologies. According to the Juniper Research white paper, the top three areas are the Far East and China, North America, as well as Western Europe. Far behind these three areas are the Indian subcontinent, Central and Eastern Europe, and Latin America.