Augmented reality demand set to leap, says Juniper Research


Augmented reality demand set to leap, says Juniper Research

Bill Goodwin

The demand for augmented reality technology - which offers virtual reality pictures superimposed on real images seen through a camera view finder - will take off over the next four years, telecoms analyst firm Juniper Research predicts.

Major brands, including Coca Cola, and Carlsberg, which developed the "Catch Can" app for the iPhone, are using augmented reality (AR) to advertise their products, prompting growing interest in the technology.

The installed base of smartphones capable of augmented reality has grown from 8 million in 2009 to more than 100 million in 2010, said Juniper, with an increasing number of large organisations developing AR applications.

Click here to download Juniper's report on mobile augmented reality technology (requires registration)

Qualcomm has released an AR software development kit for Android. Samsung has preloaded AR browsers on several handsets.

The number of AR-enabled apps has grown from 20, 14 months ago, to over 500 by 2010. The majority of apps are designed for Android or iPhones, but a growing number have been launched on Symbian and Windows Mobile.

"Even if consumers don't necessarily understand how it works, they can see real life examples of AR in action," said Windsor Holden, Juniper analyst. "It serves to generate wide interest amongst brands and developers who can see potential applications for AR technology."

Juniper predicts global revenues from augmented reality applications and services will approach $1.5 billion by 2015.

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