With smartphone adoption reaching record levels across the United States and the world at large in 2013, it’s no great shock that mobile applications also enjoyed a banner year. In particular, mobile augmented reality apps were hot commodities across iOS and Android. And the trend is expected to not only continue, but accelerate throughout 2014 and beyond.
Juniper Research now projects that annual revenues from mobile augmented reality (AR) services and applications will reach $1.2 billion by 2015, substantially more than the $180 million generated last year.
Juniper’s latest report finds that games (which accounted for more than 40% of AR downloads in 2013) will continue to deliver the largest revenue stream for the foreseeable future. But with AR increasingly deployed within mainstream lifestyle, enterprise and general entertainment applications, each of these sectors should achieve annual mobile AR revenues in excess of $1 billion within 5-6 years.
“Consumer adoption of AR applications was being increasingly fueled by the wider engagement of brands and retailers with mobile channels over the past 12-18 months,” a report summary reads.
By 2018, AR app user numbers will approach 200 million. Not surprisingly, marketing-savvy brands aren’t expected to drag their feet on capitalizing on this ripe market opportunity.
With mobile now recognized as a primary engagement channel, Juniper says that shrewd brands including Unilever, Nestle and Heinz have already identified AR as a key means of enhancing and increasing engagement within campaigns.