According to a new market research report by MarketsandMarkets, the total augmented reality applications market is expected to reach $5,151.74 million by 2016, growing at a compound annual rate of 95.3 percent from 2011 to 2016.
This should be good news for technophiles who love the promise of AR -- and for companies like Mercedes (see above) that are investing in the tech.
According to the report, the "Global Augmented Reality Market Forecast by Product for Gaming, Automotive, Medical, Advertisement, Defense, E-learning & GPS Applications (2011 - 2016)," three areas will see the greatest use of AR: gaming applications, GPS applications and online advertisement applications.
Geographically, countries such as Japan andare on the forefront in the adoption of AR applications. The European region has a number of start-up companies contributing to the augmented reality applications. The market is expected to grow exponentially in the next five years.
However, the report found that the AR market still has a long way to go in the next five years. There are some shortcomings with respect to the technology used to view the augmented image on a mobile phone and tablet PCs. However, a number of research institutes such as MIT are working toward achieving high-quality images and giving the user a far better experience.
Products such as smartphones, tablets, and eye wear are still in the introduction stage for augmented reality applications to be viewed, the report determined. A number of augmented reality enabled gaming and e-learning applications can be downloaded on them for an enhanced view. The other two products--head-mounted displays and head-up displays that are used in the military and aerospace applications respectively--are mature products in the augmented reality applications market. Don't be surprised if military innovation leads the push to AR between now and 2016.
In the meantime, it'll be interesting to see what interesting new uses emerge for AR technology. Come 2016, the world is going to have a whole new look.