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The global augmented reality (AR) market size was USD 4.16 billion in 2020. The global impact of COVID-19 has been unprecedented and staggering, with AR witnessing a slightly negative impact on demand across all regions amid the pandemic. Based on our analysis, the global market exhibited a significant growth of 46.8% in 2020 as compared to the average year-on-year growth during 2017-2019. The market is projected to grow from USD 6.12 billion in 2021 to USD 97.76 billion in 2028 at a CAGR of 48.6% in the 2021-2028 period. The rise in CAGR is attributable to this market’s demand and growth, returning to pre-pandemic levels once the pandemic is over.
Augmented reality offers interactive experiences through multiple sensory modalities, including haptic, auditory, visual, somatosensory, and more. The technology has a wide range of applications in entertainment, training, and educational areas. Industries such as manufacturing, healthcare, logistics, among others, are more focusing on adopting this technology for training, maintenance, assistance, and monitoring. Increasing adoption of smartphones and integration of apps is expected to boost the market growth in the near future. The increasing collaboration of the market key players with the 5G providers to reduce the latency issue is likely to fuel market growth. For instance, in February 2021, Qualcomm announced a collaboration with Bharti Airtel to demonstrate 5G and lower latency issues.
AR-based Remote Assistance Across Industries to Boost Market Growth During COVID-19
The COVID-19 pandemic has severely impacted global industries. It has resulted in restricted traveling, social distancing, fewer on-site staff, lack of training tools, and much more. However, the AR technology can offer massive support during the crisis and fuel the market potential. According to IBM’s U.S. Retail Index report of 2020, the retail businesses and its customers have shifted to digital shopping during the pandemic. For instance, brands like IKEA, Home Depot, Louis Vuitton, and Gucci and more implemented augmented reality (AR) to offer virtual “try-before-you-buy” experiences. Similarly, as per Shopify, products with AR content interaction gained 94% conversion compared with the others without technological assistance during the crisis.
Similarly, in industries, the on-site laborers can get supervised expertise from the engineer working from home to rectify faulty machines and more. For instance, to assist the on-site worker during the pandemic crises, PTC Inc. provided an AR remote assistance solution named Vuforia Chalk for free of cost. The software offers safety during production and maintenance work. Similarly, the UK-based hospitals implemented augmented and virtual reality-based platform Virti, to deal with mental health and support training during the pandemic. Thus, during pandemic the demand for AR software witnessed significant growth.
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Increasing Demand for Enhanced Customer Experience to Propel Augmented Reality Market Growth
In today’s world, maintaining customer relationships has become the most important factor for business expansion. The decreasing number of loyal customers and fast switching between products and services are demanding innovative customer engagement solutions. Many companies are experimenting with AR to create a long-lasting impression on their customers as it offers a personalized and interactive experience that helps maintain enriched customer satisfaction. For instance, as per the Virgin Holiday study 2018, the company’s AR-powered emails campaign witnessed a 75% and 40% increase in click-through ratio and email rates, respectively. According to a white paper by Infosys, the brands offering customized products are witnessing six to ten times higher growth in revenue generation. Thus, the technology can vastly support marketers to provide a personalized customer experience.
Additionally, the technology can offer online customer support systems, where the customers can see and interact with agents as visiting a store. For instance, in April 2018, a coffee processing company, Nespresso, integrated AR capabilities in its coffee machine to provide step-by-step instruction. This is expected to provide a seamless experience to the customers. Thus, the adoption of augmented reality technology is increasingly catering to deliver better customer experiences.
Increasing Adoption of AR Technology in Healthcare Industry to Drive Market
The healthcare industry is witnessing the rising adoption of immersive technologies to support healthcare workers. The technology provides a real and virtual environment that helps in performing tasks efficiently. The increasing availability, accessibility, and affordability of devices boost its adoption across the industry and patients. Earlier, with the limited information, conducting complex surgeries was exhausting. However, now with AR adoption, the potential risk in surgeries is reduced, as the technology offers real-time alerts to the surgeons. In 2020, hospitals across the globe adopted AR devices such as Hololens for tracing and aid patients amid coronavirus pandemic.
Similarly, the technology offers the capability of interactive and engaging medical learning experiences. For instance, in the year 2017, LV Prasad Eye Institute collaborated with Microsoft HoloLens to develop a learning app Holo Eye Anatomy. The app helps medical students to learn eye anatomy with a 3D effect using Microsoft’s ARHoloLens. Thus, the increasing application across the healthcare industry is likely to drive the AR market growth.
Long Term Impacts of Augmented Reality on Mental Health May Impede Growth
The users of the technology are facing issues owing to the excessive usage of smart devices. According to Stanford University research, users react to the immersive environment the same as the physical environment, which affects their psychology and behavior. The study can even cause an extreme case of post-traumatic stress disorder for some users. Similarly, wearing the devices can affect the user’s ability to social interaction. This might lead to loneliness and depression. Thus, the rising concerns regarding the impact of excessive AR usage on users is likely to hamper the market growth.
Hardware Segment to Dominate the Market
Based on components, the market is categorized into hardware and software. The hardware segment is expected to lead the market. The increasing demand and application of AR devices across industries are boosting the hardware segment growth. Companies such as Apple Inc., Google LLC, and Microsoft Corporation are investing in developing advanced AR products.
The software segment is likely to witness rapid growth during the forecast period owing to the rising demand for apps. The rising adoption of smartphones is boosting this market segment. Also, the companies are focusing on integrating AR software with tablets, smartphones, and computers to offer real-time interactive solutions. This is likely to surge the demand for this technology.
Increasing Adoption of Head Mounted Devices to Propel Market Growth
Based on device type, the market is categorized into the heads-up display, handheld devices, stationary AR systems, smart glasses, and others. The heads-up display is expected to gain maximum market share during the forecast period. The adoption of the heads-up display is increasing in the automotive industry. The increasing implementation of advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) in cars is boosting the growth of this segment. Also, the vast presence of AR-based mobile games is also fueling the market growth.
The smart glasses segment is expected to gain traction due to its increasing application across manufacturing, logistics, and operations. It offers hands-on experiences and guidance to the workers. For instance, in 2017, to boost productivity, General Electric adopted smart glasses for its factories. The company witnessed a 34% jump in productivity at its plant after the adoption of smart glasses. Similarly, various companies are investing in the research and development of smart glasses. This is likely to boost the market in near future, as per the augmented reality market forecast.
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Gaming and Media & Entertainment Industry to Lead the Market
The industries covered in the market are gaming, media & entertainment, automotive, retail, healthcare, education, manufacturing, and others. AR plays a vital role in boosting the gaming industry. The technology offers an immersive and interactive experience that is likely to raise its adoption in the gaming industry. With Pokemon Go's success, the gaming companies are extensively expanding the technology for its other games and applications.
The technology offers vast scope to the media and entertainment industry for providing real-time experiences. For instance, in November 2019, Samsung Electronics launched Samsung TV True Fit with an augmented reality mobile application. This is expected to drastically change the AR experience for the customers in gaming, shopping, entertainment, AR-based journalism, and more. Additionally, AR offers a promising role in the retail industry. Its ability to provide the customers' details of any product and services through smartphones with a 3D effect is likely to fuel the market growth. Also, the AR-based gamification trend is gaining traction in the e-commerce and retail industry.
Healthcare is also witnessing the increasing demand for AR, as it aids surgeries and patient treatment. As per the augmented reality market analysis, the growing demand for assistance and monitoring the information in real-time is boosting the adoption of the technology in the industry.
North America Augmented Reality Market Size, 2020 (USD Billion)
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Geographically, the market is fragmented into five major regions including North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and the Middle East & Africa.
North America is expected to gain maximum revenue share during the forecast period. Increasing investment in immersive technologies is boosting the demand in the region. Similarly, the US government is keen on boosting the adoption of immersive technology, strengthening the region’s hold on the augmented reality industry share. For instance, in 2019 US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has shown interest in IMT Atlantique and contacted the company for developing similar smart contactless lenses for the US military.
Asia Pacific is expected to show rapid growth during the forecast period. The booming automotive, manufacturing, logistic, and gaming industries are likely to fuel the regional market growth. China is expected to dominate the market owing to the presence of low-cost hardware manufacturers. India is also anticipated to offer growth opportunities for the market due to increasing demand from the consumers.
Europe has vast potential to boost the market. According to the Ecorys VR Report, the European production value for AR/VR is expected to reach USD 40 billion by 2020. The UK is expected to lead the market due to the presence of numerous AR/VR companies.
Latin America is expected to grow steadily owing to the collaborations and partnerships with US-based companies. For instance, in October 2020, Brazil’s cosmetic company, Grupo Boticário, collaborated with Vuzix Corporation to deploy AR smart glasses at its manufacturing unit.
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The Middle East & Africa is likely to gain traction in the forthcoming years. The implementation of the technology across learning, travel & tourism, media & entertainment, healthcare, and other industries is expected to boost the market. For instance, in September 2020, Kellogg Company collaborated with Blippar for its product launch campaign across GCC countries. With new WebAr technology, the company aims to interact with customers and open new AR market opportunities.
VR Companies Are Converging on the AR Technology and Smart Glasses
The companies in the global market are receiving huge funds and investments across the globe. Companies such as Facebook and Google are acquiring start-ups in the market to gain expertise. Similarly, companies such as Microsoft Corporation, Vuzix Corporation, and Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., among others, are collaborating with different industries to expand their businesses. Apple is aiming to develop smart glasses similar to Google LLC. The company offers technology apps such as ARKit for developers to build augmented solutions.
June 2020 – Apple Inc. announced new updates in its ARKit 4. The company updated the app with LiDAR Scanner depth API, location anchors, and expanded face tracking support using AR capabilities. The users can experience the videos and pictures in the immersive environment.
March 2020 – Apple Inc. announced a partnership with Dent Reality. The partnership aims to offer AR-based indoor apps and navigation solutions. It is the only official partner of Apple in Indoor Maps documentation.
An Infographic Representation of Augmented Reality (AR) Market
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The market report highlights leading regions across the world to offer a better understanding to the user. Furthermore, the report provides insights into the latest industry trends and analyzes technologies deployed at a rapid pace at the global level. It further highlights some of the growth-stimulating factors and restraints, helping the reader gain in-depth knowledge about the market.
Value (USD Billion)
Component; Device Type; Industry; and Geography
By Device Type
The market is projected to reach USD 97.76 billion by 2028.
In 2020, the market size was USD 4.16 billion.
The market is projected to grow at a CAGR of 48.6%.
The hardware segment is likely to lead the market.
The increasing adoption of AR technology across the healthcare industry is driving market growth.
Microsoft Corporation, Apple, Inc., Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., Upskills.io, Vuzix Corporation, Facebook, Inc., and Google LLC are the top players in the market.
North America is expected to hold the highest market share.
Smart glasses are expected to grow at the highest CAGR.
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