Pokémon Go became the first mobile gaming platform to cross $950 millions revenue at the shortest period of time. Being one of the best-augmented reality games, this news item might be on the expected lines but the impact it created on augmented reality apps development is enormous. Contrary to other gaming companies’ apprehensions, Pokémon did not eat into others turnover and had created a niche segment itself for augmented reality games in 2016.
There are roughly 2,50,000 enumerated AR app developers who use glasses or smartphones to augment reality in the real world (UploadVR.com,2016). According to Caudell, the famous researcher of Boeing, accomplishments of Augmented Reality games like Pokémon Go which got downloaded in excess of 100 million times in the first month of launch was reportedly earning $10mn per day and has engrossed extensive attention and flow of investment into the field.
These kinds of unexpected success stories may attract venture capitalists initially based on speculative pitching as they gamble on the first in line approach to start with. In fact, VC outlay for AR/VR in the 12 months period of 2015-16 has surpassed $1.7bn (Digi-Capital, 2016). However, euphoria is paving way for reality and it is time for players in the Augmented Reality VR apps to justify the kind of investments pumped in. Biggest beneficiary of anything happening in AR front will be Vuforia. Nearly 30,000 apps have used Vuforia platform for game development.
Apart from this, there are 37,000 AR apps in the making which are geared up by Pokémon Go success. People have started realizing AR application is not merely subjected to gaming and are tried in Real Estate, Retail, Medical, industrial etc., to name a few. Couple of years back they called AR a simple marketing gimmick and has no potential at all. Oh! The story is completely different now with AR taking over the lead from VR as there is burden of holding onto a headset any more. If the statistics are proving right, the mob/herd mentality is slowly subsiding and reality concurrence is in motion with VC’s as well as developers coming to a consensus on the fact that AR and VR is going to stay and requires only short strides to achieve stable growth.
Good news is that a recent study published by wearable.com projects 1.30 billion…. yes you read it right; 1.30 billion mobile AR apps are to be in use by 2019 worldwide. Not to forget it was just 1.84 million in 2014.
Their forecast predicts smartphones to the number one carrier of AR followed by tablets. Apart from the above, it is going to be head mounted displays including smart glasses and vehicle Augmented Reality to play an important part in the development.
Let us have a look at the following chart which portrays apps in various app stores.
It is quite important not to give only the rosy picture as more the opportunity, the more pitfalls will be. As further more VC’s are entering AR/VR investment bandwagon and initial sustainable funding requirements are growing, various studies are being conducted to understand the challenges facing the industry. Almost all the studies pinpointed the challenge or obstacle as “Lack of proper content”. It might be surprising that the cost was not the prime concern for the users. One of the significant studies on this aspect is that of the survey conducted jointly by Upload and Perkins Coie in which more than 650 participants were interviewed and their responses are summed up in the following chart:
Apart from the above, there are some other challenges which need to be addressed. Of this the first one is camera quality. In other sense, the quality of camera sensors need to improve drastically to capture augmented images as API’s can provide only high level of contact to the sensor whereas the rest lies with the camera. Another frequently raised challenge is battery draining and heating up issue. This is a common challenge seen in most of the even latest gadgets as these phones are not yet geared up for meeting the AR requirements. Result of the above issues is people tend to lose excitement and insist on uninstalling AR apps.
The projected number game might have definitely caught the attention of phone makers and all eyes are on iPhone 8 since Tim Cook has expressed his interest on Augmented Reality many times in recent interviews. However, there lies a great future for AR which is cemented by various researches and initiatives.
Smacar Solutions team has proven track record of creating Augmented Reality games for Apple as well as Google Play. You may contact firstname.lastname@example.org for any queries or support in this regard.
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