Augmented reality picks up speed, but barriers remain: Juniper

Low consumer awareness and technology limits restrain growth, research firm finds.

Augmented reality (AR) could raise $300 million in global revenue next year, according to Juniper Research. The research firm also found consumer awareness about AR remains low.

Juniper predicted more than 2.5 billion AR apps, mostly games, will be downloaded per year by 2017.

Retailers increasingly see AR as a way to increase consumer engagement, Juniper said, and they can it use it to provide additional product information or for branded virtual games.

However, consumer awareness and lagging technology is a barrier to AR growth, the research firm found. Technology limitations including phone cameras, GPS, digital compasses and markerless tracking means a less-than-optimal consumer experience for AR, Juniper said.

Even some high-end smartphone cameras can lack “sufficient sensitivity to trigger an AR experience unless light conditions were optimal," Juniper said. Poor GPS connections indoors can also undermine AR functionality, it said.

Those problems will likely limit enterprise adoption in the short term, Juniper said.

Interest in augmented reality has appeared to accelerate in recent months. Google-owned Motorola Mobility last month acquired Viewdle, while Nokia launched a City Lens app for its Lumia devices. In addition, last month’s insideAR conference in Munich saw a jump in attendance.

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