Mobile AR: Market growth, challenges, and opportunities

Definition of Mobile Augmented Reality

Mobile augmented reality is an AR service intended for mobile devices that allows individuals to interact with virtual things on their screens, which is a mixed display of the actual world and virtual 3D objects. Integrating this technology into smartphones and tablets is essential for businesses to follow as it is imperative to keep up with the different trends in the digital era we currently are in. 

Benefits of Mobile Augmented Reality

There are many benefits that come along with mobile augmented reality such as being less expensive, enhancing user experiences, strengthening trust relationships between customers and brands, and engaging audiences with products and services that companies provide; thus, increasing sales and profits. To date, this technology has proved its success with major brands adopting it like IKEA, L’oreal, Samsung, and Disney, and has been divided by three main factors:

  • Application industries (i.e. tourism, marketing and advertising, gaming and entertainment, education, healthcare, and army training).
  • End-users (i.e. enterprise and consumer).
  • Geographical locations (i.e. North and South America, Europe, Middle East, Asia-Pacific).

Mobile Augmented Reality Market

In 2020, the global mobile augmented reality market size was estimated at $12.61 billion and is expected to increase by $153.62 billion in the time between 2022 and 2026, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 46.46%, with an approximate expectation of a Year-Over-Year (YoY). One of the key drivers of mobile AR’s market size is the increasing reliance on apps and the spread of apps that integrate this technology for a variety of activities. Mobile apps are designed with the expectations and limitations of device categories in mind, while also utilizing the unique capabilities of a wireless computing device. In addition, the retail business is rapidly expanding and retailers are under pressure to show the value of items while maintaining their quality. These retailers are also active in seizing control of the product exchange process. Therefore, mobile AR is adopted in the industry to provide customers with an exceptional experience.

However, mobile augmented reality still faces some challenges with having a limited user interface quality due to the tiny screen size of mobile phones. In addition, AR is a relatively new technology. Some mobile AR applications have capabilities that allow users to view data about any individual across all social media networks. As a result, the widespread usage of mobile augmented reality applications is predicted to drastically diminish levels of personal privacy. 
On the other hand, an opportunity that AR in smart devices make use of is the ability to act as a distinguished value proposition through social media applications like Snapchat and Instagram that will create demand for richer content in mobile AR for social media. Particularly, big companies are adopting this technology to increase sales through various campaigns on social media platforms.
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