Major Retailers Driving Growth In Mobile Augmented Reality Apps

Major Brands and Retailers Driving Growth In Mobile Augmented Reality Apps

More Than 2.5 Billion Mobile Augmented Reality Apps to be Installed by 2017, according to Juniper

UNITED KINGDOM — By 2017, more than 2.5 billion mobile augmented reality (AR) apps will be downloaded to smartphones and tablets each year, according to Juniper Research. This represents 3.5 times the number of downloads achieved by Angry Birds in 2011,

Major Retail and Entertainment Brands to Fuel Interest

Augmented reality apps combine reality with a digital overlay allowing, for instance, consumers to virtually try on glasses or items of clothing using their mobile phone. Usage of augmented reality in the retail area can enable retailers to bring an internet-like experience into their stores, allowing consumers to see more information on a product simply by pointing their camera at it.

However, this is only possible if AR apps can recognize large numbers of items as retailers will typically have thousands or even tens of thousands of items in stock. With image-recognition transferred to the cloud, the number of images that can be identified will increase dramatically enabling retail brands to develop apps for use in-store. Usage by entertainment brands will also drive usage by driving consumers to download AR apps and try them out with products that they are familiar with.

The Consumer Awareness Problem

While tech-aware consumers may already know what mobile augmented reality is, and what can be done with it, the average consumer does not. Without an increase in consumer awareness, it will be difficult for the mobile augmented reality industry to reach critical mass and without critical mass, many AR apps will not be able to find the size of audience they need to break even and advertisers may find that they are unable to reach their target demographic.

Key findings from the report include:

  • Purchases made using AR apps, such as physical goods purchased after accessing AR advertising content, to become a key revenue stream for the mobile AR industry.
  • We will see an increasing number of playsets, such as those produced by WowWee, which combine physical toys with a game on a smartphone or tablet.

“Familiarizing the average consumer with the concept of AR and what it can do for them can only come from its use in everyday situations. Adding AR to a magazine and encouraging readers to download and try it is a great way of educating consumers about what AR can offer them but we won’t see an explosion in user numbers until major retail brands embrace and adopt AR in their own apps,” said Charlotte Miller, Report Author.

More Than 33 Million Americans Use Their Mobile Phone for Shopping-Related ActivitiesThe ‘Augmenting Reality ~ Enhancing Mobile’ whitepaper is available to download from the Juniper website together with further details of the full study, ‘Mobile Augmented Reality: Entertainment, LBS & Retail Strategies 2012-2017.

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