Let’s get real, and update this market outlook. What’s the overall size of the Augmented and Mixed Reality market, for both devices and the value chain? We have the answer. With investment and interest growing exponentially, the augmented reality market is set to grow at a significant rate over the next five years.
According to the latest worldwide market study by ABI Research, nearly 40 million Augmented Reality (AR) smart glasses will ship in 2027, with the total augmented and mixed reality market surpassing $220 billion in the same year.
According to the ABI assessment, much of this growth will stem from the consumer AR market on the back of new hardware and content, but the enterprise AR space will also continue to show strong growth.
Augmented Reality Market Development
“It is impossible to miss news surrounding the augmented reality market today, both from the fascinating metaverse side and the more grounded and short-term augmented reality opportunities and investment,” said Eric Abbruzzese, research director at ABI Research.
Massive, far-reaching rebrands — such as Facebook into Meta — alongside more traditional new devices, software, and services from big names like Google and Apple lend credence to the AR momentum.
Media and entertainment and sports and fitness lead in adoption and growth over the next five years, with 118 percent and 101 percent installed base CAGRs, respectively.
Tourism, healthcare, retail, and education are also growing significantly, thanks to cross-market opportunities and an increasing addressable user base of consumers.
Binocular, mixed reality devices dominate the forecast in terms of growth, powered by declining prices, increasing capability, and a greater selection of mixed reality content in all verticals.
However, what devices exactly end up pushing growth in the market is unclear, with lessening incumbent advantages meeting increasing startup competition.
Even with binocular focus, monocular devices are not to be discounted. They are still seeing steady growth and usage mostly in enterprise domains where environmental awareness precedes immersive content — RealWear, Vuzix, and similar devices will continue to see success here.
Much of the interest, and thus growth, will be seen in the consumer space. However, overlap with cross-market content and services and shared interest for consumer-targeted smart glasses devices in enterprise applications will drive the market from all directions.
Outlook for Augmented Reality Applications Growth
“Metaverse does play a role over the next five years, especially as a catalyst for interest and investment, but day-to-day usage will still be found in more traditional ecosystems powering augmented reality,” concludes Abbruzzese.
That said, I think the market is still in media hyperdrive mode, where the practical apps are vastly outnumbered by the more frivolous examples of the nascent technology in action. Therefore, let’s realign the forward-looking market view with the most recent past.
Augmented Reality is still somewhat of a ‘work in progress’ market, from my limited-vision perspective.