Enterprise is set to fuel growth in the augmented reality (AR) market, with the technology adding functionality previously not possible to workplaces, according to ABI Research.Remote assistance will be the primary use case, according to ABI, which, combined with increased safety and efficiency, will see applications across a number of industries.
ABI states this will “drive investors and project managers to explore AR, with smartglasses applications in the healthcare, industry and government market segments forecast to hit 27 million shipments by 2021”.
“Google Glass was just the beginning of a massive market shift for augmented reality,” Eric Abbruzzese, ABI senior analyst, commented. “For 2016, initial tests and low-volume implementations will be expanded to higher-volume investment and rollout, creating a more mature and disruptive marketplace for 2017.
“Devices with more powerful processing and hands-free input methods, such as ODG’s R-7 and Daqri’s Smart Helmet, stand best suited for industrial and healthcare usage.”
Display quality, field of view, processing power, battery life, input options and price differentiate devices currently on the market, with ABI noting the benefit of prior experience in the market’s early stages.
Interest surrounding AR tech has been highlighted by early AR adopters, such as Boeing and GE, with ABI noting that the “market continues to see an influx of new competitors”.
New competitors include Daqri, Meta, ODG and Vuzix, while major hardware OEMs, such as Epson and Microsoft, will also strive to meet enterprise demand.
“2017 is shaping up to be an important inflection point for AR,” Abbruzzese commented. “While growth is already promising, true AR ubiquity will require large-scale implementations and an increase in supporting software and content.
“The timing is right for this to occur throughout next year, as devices mature and early adopters prove the efficacy of their initial AR investments to those who were more passive.”