A new report from Juniper Research has found that annual revenues from mobile augmented reality (AR) services and applications will reach $1.2 billion by 2015, up from just over $180 million last year.
The report, Mobile Augmented Reality: Smartphones, Tablets and Smart Glasses 2013-2018, found that games (which accounted for more than 40% of AR downloads in 2013) will continue to deliver the largest revenue stream for the foreseeable future.
However, it observed that with AR increasingly deployed within mainstream lifestyle, enterprise and general entertainment applications, each of these sectors should achieve annual mobile AR revenues in excess of $1 billion within five-to-six years.
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According to the report, consumer adoption of AR applications was being increasingly fuelled by the wider engagement of brands and retailers with mobile channels over the past 12-to-18 months. With mobile now recognised as a primary engagement channel, brands such as Unilever, Nestle and Heinz have identified AR as a key means of enhancing and increasing engagement within campaigns.
It also highlighted the fact that, while revenues would primarily be driven via smartphones, there was considerable potential for AR app monetisation through smart wearables: Google Glass will be launched later this year, while Samsung is rumoured to be showcasing its own smart glasses before the end of 2014.
However, the report cautioned that AR stakeholders needed to continue to increase consumer awareness of the technology, while the prospect remained for the introduction of legislation constraining or even prohibiting certain applications of AR on safety, privacy and libel grounds.