AR Apps to Spur Consumer Adoption: Suite 48 Analytics

AR Apps to Spur Consumer Adoption: Suite 48 Analytics

Augmented Reality Poised to Change How Consumers View the World


San Francisco, CA—Consumer AR apps are here now and empowering how augmented reality is changing the way we interact with our environment. These apps include those that control noise-canceling headphones to remove unwanted sounds. And shopping apps that show how a couch would look in a specific room. They even include apps that embed videos onto the pages of a child’s storybook.

According to Suite 48 Analytics’ just-published Consumer AR App Trends study, these AR apps are no longer future promises waiting to be developed when the ideal AR hardware comes to market. In fact, the first wave of consumer AR apps is already here. Moreover, new AR tool development platforms nearly guarantee this is just the beginning, the research firm asserts. These platforms are being offered by offered by the large OS, social media and cloud storage providers.

Suite-48-AR-compositeThe new study analyzes 87 consumer AR apps and classifies them into 20 distinct categories. Consumer wearable AR solutions (AR glasses for overlay experiences or headsets for viewing the world with immersive virtual content); spatial AR systems that project holograms onto a view of the world; and synthetic AR (such as AR contact lenses) are not yet ready for mass consumer adoption.

However, despite this, the current state of AR hardware is not a bottleneck that prevents today’s consumers from using AR apps, according to the study’s coauthor, Floris van Eck.

“While we keep hearing that VR is not taking off due to a lack of compelling content, that is simply not the case for AR. Many consumers are already familiar with viewing the world through their smartphone camera by looking up content from QR codes or playing with Pokémon GO. Therefore, handheld AR apps are not a paradigm shift for them,” said van Eck.

Coauthor Hans Hartman added: “We are impressed by the variety and depth of AR apps already on the market. And also the variety of use cases they address. Since e-commerce is one of them, we’re all but guaranteed that venture-funded start-ups as well as e-commerce incumbents will continue to invest in AR apps and platform development tools.”

AR Apps Study Details

The app trends study recommends that industry players grow the nascent AR market by establishing an industry-endorsed AR icon. It could be similar to those that exist for QR codes, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, for instance. Furthermore, an AR icon would enable consumers to easily notice when there is AR content available.  suite48a-logo-with-artboxIn addition, the study stresses the importance of enabling consumers to view AR content in a frictionless and consistent manner without needing to download vendor-specific apps each time they encounter AR content. This would serve to encourage the ubiquitous use of AR as well as grow the market, asserts the study’s coauthors.

The 124-page report also contains overall AR industry recommendations and specific recommendations for: cloud storage providers; photo- and video-sharing platforms; camera vendors; photo and video app developers; and also photo print product vendors.