Mobile augmented reality (AR) revenue will reach $732 million in 2014, according to Juniper Research (PDF), but there are some technological hurdles that need to be passed first. One of the obstacles to augmented reality consumer adoption is that not all devices have the requisite camera, GPS, accelerometer, broadband connectivity and digital compass. For vendors, there is also the problem of monetization. The fact that there are not a lot of AR-capable smartphones on the market right now means that adoption will be slow. Juniper predicts that the market’s 2010 revenue will be only $2 million. The increased adoption of Android handsets and iPhones will accelerate AR adoption in the medium term. The first real bumps in AR revenue will not come until 2012-13, when Juniper predicts a dramatic spike.
While AR has been floating around for awhile, it didn’t really start getting traction until last August, when the first wave of AR apps began appearing for the iPhone.
Juniper predicts that AR revenue will mainly be generated through point-of-sale purchases and incremental revenue, topping it off with some advertising spend. There are also possible revenue streams that can’t be as easily predicted, for example the value AR brings to AR-enabled phones at the time of sale.
Smartphones will be fully mainstream by 2014 (AT&T might even have decent SF and NY coverage by then), and with them AR applications will become increasingly common. This is not a technology that the market will resist – as soon as that market is fully mature.
Currently, there are about 20 AR apps available to the public.