Augmented reality (AR) apps will see a 380 per cent increase in downloads from an estimated 482 million in 2016 to 2.3 billion by 2021, according to Juniper Research, thanks in part to the popularity of Pokemon Go.
The company said Pokemon Go “sparked a worldwide phenomenon that has created a greater interest in the technology, leaving developers ‘champing at the bit’ to recreate its global success”.
This follows a report from the same firm last month which said revenue from AR apps will reach $5.7 billion by 2021, increasing tenfold from around $515 million in 2016.
Back in August, a survey by Vasona Networks found that of the 11 per cent of US online consumers who played Pokemon Go, half would play other, similar AR games if available.
It also noted that AR content has “evolved past its ‘gimmicky’ reputation”, and consumer attitudes have become more positive towards the technology, adding that the success of apps is down to desirable content.
Juniper said AR opportunities will also be boosted by devices like Microsoft’s HoloLens in 2017, which will rival smart glasses makers Vuzix and ODG.
Consumers may initially be discouraged by high costs and lack of content, but the devices’ superior specifications will lead to improved content compared with smartphone apps, the report predicted.
What’s more, increasing confidence in AR technology is demonstrated by large investments into specialists like Magic Leap, which has attracted over $1.3 billion of investment by the likes of Google and Qualcomm.
The study also claimed that Apple’s inclusion of two rear cameras in its latest flagship iPhone is an indication that AR content will further penetrate the smartphone ecosystem.