Is Apple, Facebook Or Microsoft The Future Of Augmented Reality?

Yet the enterprise smartglasses market could still remain in the hundreds of thousands of units through 2021, not reaching millions of units until 2024. This is partly because enterprise smartglasses are great for a specific range of tasks, but have yet to prove themselves as a comprehensive enterprise platform. Enterprise buyers also price compare smartglasses with cheaper productivity tools (i.e. PCs and mobiles) for many use cases.

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(Source: Digi-Capital AR/VR Analytics Platform)

Over the next 5 years, smartglasses revenue could continue to be driven by hardware sales and enterprise software/services (ex-hardware). In the consumer market, location based entertainment, eCommerce sales, adspend and apps (IAP, premium) revenue could accelerate in 2022, if Apple (and others) gain traction. However, unit economics and an installed base in the tens of millions might still see smartglasses consumer software revenue at a relatively low level through 2024.

What does this mean for the future of AR?

Adspend could remain the largest revenue driver for AR through 2024, driven by messaging based mobile AR’s active installed base. This is great for Facebook. If Apple launches smartphone tethered smartglasses in late 2022, it could drive hardware sales to become AR’s second largest revenue stream through 2024. This could be followed by mobile AR focused eCommerce, which saves a discussion of Amazon and Alibaba for another day. AR enterprise software/services (ex hardware) revenue also looks set to grow over the next 5 years, playing to Microsoft’s strengths. Lastly at a lower level, appstore IAP/premium revenues (games, non-games) and location based entertainment round out the mix.

So Apple (if it enters), Facebook and Microsoft could all be part of the future of AR. But they won’t be alone.

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Don T. Sloan 3 months ago Member's comment

I remember when everyone said Nintendo would be the future of augmented reality, whatever happened with that?