Analyst: 2018 marks inflection point for AR in enterprise applications

After a slower than expected start, the augmented reality (AR) market is poised for quick growth powered by enterprise uptake, according to analyst firm ABI Research.

Photo credit: Smart2Zero

Photo credit: Smart2Zero

ABI forecasts augmented reality in enterprise applications will hit an inflection point in 2018, with smart glass shipments growing to 28 million in 2021 with a 227% CAGR.

Driving the strong growth is a steadily increasing interest in how AR can benefit businesses, along with a progressively stronger understanding of available use cases and applications pertinent to customers.

“2016 was a year of discovery for AR, with the industry focusing on initial ROI metrics,” said Eric Abbruzzese, senior analyst at ABI Research.

“Pilot phases will continue into 2017, with early adopters moving to more substantial deployments. New AR customers will be excited by positive performance indicators across the market, with the promise of increased workforce efficiency and error reduction.”

ABI Research forecasts total market revenues — across devices, platforms, and licensing — to reach $96 billion in 2021. The energy, manufacturing, and logistics verticals look set to account for the largest market shares, but the healthcare and media and entertainment markets will be fastest growing, with 323% and 400% CAGRs respectively.

“2018 will be the year all verticals experience a significant jump in AR adoption rates,” said Abbruzzese. “This is due to a congruence of three factors: significant time in market for pilot phases and small deployments to provide success indicators, greater breadth and depth of use case support through platforms, and an overall more mature market in terms of deployments, integrations, and usage.”

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