The augmented reality market is still on the rise. New numbers just out from Zion Market Research put the global augmented reality market at an estimated USD 133.78 billion in 2021. For reference, it clocked in at just 3.33 billion in 2015.
Why is AR’s star rising so quickly and what should we expect to see in the near future of this particular tech space? The answers reveal the constraints in how consumers adapt to new technologies.
AR Works on Our Current Infrastructure
Smartphones, laptops, and internet connections are what the modern world runs on. VR headsets, Snapchat spectacles, and wearables are in a different tech bucket: They’re curiosities that early adapters love but that will take forever to trickle down to the average layperson.
AR runs on any smartphone. VR — a form of tech that shares some similarities and is commonly paired with AR — requires more complex hardware. As a result, AR fads like Pokemon Go can take off immediately, while VR trends are far more limited.
AR Is a Small Step
When it comes to tech evolution, the big changes are flashier, but the small changes tend to stick faster and stay longer. Plenty of AR apps exist that are shedding a new light on everyday experiences, bringing to life everything from museum exhibits to wine bottles. Since a peering at new AR app is not as disorienting as donning a VR headset, it’s easier to introduce to a stranger. Pokemon Go might have been a fad, but AR is a new tech paradigm with easy to understand implications for industries from local broadcasting to dating apps.
With Apple’s release of the ARKit for iOS 11, AR is more accessible to developers than ever. VC investments are proving their interest, and after climbing $3.33 billion to an estimated $133.78 billion, augmented reality seems up to the challenge.