Before we jump to some fascinating augmented reality stats, let’s start from the beginning.
The augmented reality concept first appeared in 1968. It was nearly half a century ago that a Harvard associate professor and computer scientist Ivan Sutherland invented the first head-mounted display called the Sword of Damocles. We’ve come a long way since then, and today, we’ve become so familiar with augmented reality that it’s only a matter of time before we stop making the distinction between where digital reality ends and physical reality begins.
Some Astonishing Augmented Reality Stats
- the current value of the AR market stands at $3.5 billion
- By 2020, there should be 1 billion augmented reality users
- 70% of consumers believe AR can bring them benefits
- AR revenues will surpass VR revenues by 2020.
- 67% of media planners and buyers want AR/VR ads in digital marketing campaigns
- Augmented reality users fall into the 16-34 age group
- The UK holds a 9% share of the immersive reality global market
As technology advances, we are starting to unlock the potential of augmented reality. At this point, we can mostly wonder what it would look like when we’ve managed to get the most out of this technology. We’ve prepared AR statistics to answer this, and many other questions related to augmented reality, so read on.
1. AngelList currently lists 1,684 augmented reality companies.
At the time of writing, the leading US platform for startups, AngelList lists nearly 4.6 million companies. Out of those 4.6 million companies, 1,684 companies are under the category of augmented reality startups. Additionally, the augmented reality sector counts 2,113 investors, and 436 job positions.
For comparison, according to the the AngelList virtual reality stats, in 2019 there are currently 2,048 virtual reality startups on the platform, as well as 970 investors and 375 jobs.
2. Leap Motion released a prototype of the AR headset that could cost around $100 to mass-produce.
(Source: The Verge)
The AR company with the highest number of followers on AngelList is Leap Motion. They’ve designed an augmented reality headset that has the potential to deliver AR functionality to the mainstream user. If we take a look at Microsoft’s HoloLens headset with a price range between $3,000 and $5,000, it’s quite transparent how Leap Motion’s headset design could win over a large community of augmented reality enthusiast and dramatically change the augmented reality market.
Last year, Leap Motion open sourced the AR headset project, and it is now up to companies from the augmented reality world to bring this project to life. We cannot expect Leap Motion’s AR headset to surpass the quality and capabilities of Microsoft’s HoloLens or Magic Leap One, but it could help bring augmented reality closer to a wide audience.
3. Skrite survey reveals that 70% of Americans are not sure what AR is.
While discussing the option of bringing AR closer to a broader audience via Leap Motion’s AR headset, we started to wonder how close augmented reality is to people today. Augmented reality stats from Skrite showed that nearly two-thirds of Americans are not even sure what augmented reality is.
Namely, in 2017, Skrite interviewed around 2,000 Americans to discover that only 37% of interviewees were familiar with the concept of augmented reality. The highest percentage of those who knew what AR is came from Delaware (67%), while the second and third place among the AR literate states went to Colorado (59%) and Maine (58%). However, the national average AR literacy rate is 30%, which indicates that the AR adoption rate should significantly increase to reach its uncovered potential.
4. The percentage of AR knowledgeable Americans decreases over the years.
According to augmented reality statistics from ISACA, with the spread of new technologies come gaps in consumers’ knowledge. A perfect example of this claim is ISACA’s survey about the Internet of Things (IoT) and Augmented Reality (AR).
The primary focus of the 2016 ISACA study was to identify the percentage of people who can recognize and are knowledgeable about IoT devices. The results have shown that in 2016 73% of Americans said they are familiar with IoT, while in 2015, that number was slightly higher at 83%.
What’s even more interesting about ISACA’s research is that the percentage of IoT spotters decreases when another layer of technology is added. Namely, ISACA asked interviewees about their ability to recognize IoT devices that have been enhanced with AR. With AR in the equation, the percentage of Americans who could identify such IoT devices was only 43%.
5. There are 208 different meanings for the acronym AR.
(Source: The Free Dictionary)
As we’ve seen from the ISACA survey, the more technology advances, the more room there is for confusion. The acronym AR itself makes no exception. The Free Dictionary lists 208 different things that this acronym can stand for. These range from the US postal abbreviation for Arkansas and the chemical element Argon to the term “aspect ratio” and the record label Atlantic Records.
AR also stands for “autoregression”, a statistics term, which is why sometimes Google can suggest the question “What is AR in statistics?” if you’re researching augmented reality.
6. Nearly half of Americans are using augmented reality without realizing it.
One of the impressive stats we’ve retrieved from a 2017 Skrite survey is that 46% of Americans have used an AR app. However, as GearBrain explains, many people are using AR apps without being aware of that. The source pointed out that one of the everyday life uses of augmented reality is Facebook’s AR tool Camera Effects. Snapchat also adds a touch of augmented reality to their users’ everyday lives with the Snap Camera and Lens tools.
Snapchat also reports over 70 million people use their AR lenses every day. So, is augmented reality the future? While the answer to this question depends on the rate, at which technology evolves and is being adopted, augmented reality is already here. Moreover, if we take a moment to think about the NFL yellow line, we can realize augmented reality has been part of our lives since the late 20th century.
7. In 2016, Pokémon Go started the augmented reality hype.
As opposed to all augmented reality examples that seamlessly wove themselves into our everyday lives, Pokémon Go made quite an entrance in 2016. Most sources credit the Pokémon Go app for increasing awareness of AR apps. Today, the game has over 800 million downloads, and it has generated $2 billion in revenue over the last two years. Plus, it certainly helped increase the augmented reality market size.
8. Nearly half of all Apple ARKit app downloads are games.
Just a year after the Pokémon Go craze started, Apple released ARKit, a software development kit that allows developers to created augmented reality apps. From September 2017 to March 2018, ARKit-only apps had 13 million downloads with the highest number of downloads coming from AR games (47%).
In March of 2018, Google released the Android version of ARKit – ARCore. Last year, the App Store counted around 2,000 augmented reality apps, while the Google Play Store is somewhat falling behind with fewer than 100 AR apps. Nevertheless, we expect these figures to go up soon.
9. Facebook acquired 11 AR/VR companies.
Tech giants are battling for their share of the augmented reality market, and to support this claim, we’ve prepared some interesting augmented reality facts. Facebook is one of the biggest investors in augmented reality. The company acquired 11 AR/VR companies including Oculus VR (2014), Surreal Vision (2015), and Pebbles (2015).
Next is Google that made two significant AR investments in 2018 alone – CTRL-Labs and Ubiquity6. In 2014, Google acquired Quest Visual and incorporated Quest Visual’s product, Word Lens with Google Translate. On the list of Google’s virtual reality acquisitions, we’ve found Skillman & Hackett, Eyefluence, and Owlchemy Labs.
Browsing through numerous augmented reality statistics, it didn’t came as a surprise that Apple was also featured heavily. In 2015, the tech company acquired Metaio, the creator of a free mobile AR browser. Next on Apple’s list was Flyby Media, followed by Vrvana and SensoMotoric Instruments. The latest Apple acquisition was Akonia Holographics, a company that creates lenses for AR glasses.
10. User experience is a primary obstacle for AR mass adoption.
(Source: Perkins Coie)
According to a 2018 Perkins Coie survey, user experience, or more precisely, technical glitches and technology limitations are the top concern when it comes to AR mass adoption. 39% of survey participants believe that technical limitations and bugs in user experience are standing in the way of adopting AR on a large scale. Taking into account virtual reality statistics from the same study, the user experience is the biggest obstacle for VR mass adoption too. 41% of survey participants are concerned about bulky hardware, as well as technical hiccups, and their effect on VR mass adoption.
The second obstacle for adopting AR technology is the lack of augmented reality content, according to 25% of survey participants, followed by cost (14%). Lastly, financing and investment (4%) and regulation and legal risks (2%) are at the bottom of the list.
11. 70% of consumers believe AR can help them learn new personal and professional skills.
A 2016 study from ISACA illustrates the benefits of incorporating augmented reality into everyday life and work. So, what are the benefits of augmented reality according to ISACA survey participants? The highest percentage of consumers (70%) believes that using AR-enhanced devices in their everyday lives could help them learn new skills. 67% of consumers think that using AR devices could result in healthcare benefits, and 64% of them sees shopping benefits.
When it comes to AR work benefits – product demonstrations, workplace training, and workplace safety guides take the top three spots.
12. 95% of US adults own a cellphone, and 77% of said phones are smartphones.
(Source: Pew Internet)
The reason we decided to look into the mobile phone statistics is that these devices are an ideal candidate for large-scale adoption of augmented reality. You may be wondering which augmented reality stats go in favor of this claim. Well, if you think about it, today almost everyone owns a cellphone. Plus, mobile phones have the required hardware for AR technology including CPU, sensors, and GPU.
On the other hand, Microsoft HoloLens headset is priced at $3,000, Magic Leap One at $2,300, and Meta 2 headsets sell for $1,495. So, the steep price of augmented reality products is an obvious obstacle for AR mass adoption.
Additionally, the highest percentage of Americans (77%) used smartphone-based AR/VR devices, according to augmented reality statistics from 2018. A significantly lower percentage of them (35%) opted for PC and console-based AR/VR devices, with only 19% of Americans using standalone AR/VR devices.
13. By 2020, there should be 1 billion augmented reality users.
(Source: New Gen Apps)
A 3G strategy consultant, Tomi Ahonen forecasted that the number of augmented reality users would reach 1 billion by 2020. The mobile industry analyst also believes that AR will become the 8th mass media. So, the question is – are the projections about AR users correct?
Well, projections are based on a wealth of data about the use of apps and sites that allow users to experience augmented reality. So, Facebook Messenger has 1.2 billion monthly active users. Instagram counts 1 billion monthly users as of 2018, while Snapchat has 267.4 million monthly users. We should also add mobile users with devices running on iOS 11+, or Android 7+ to the equation (though, granted, there’d be a lot of overlap here), as these operating systems support augmented reality apps. All these numbers support predictions about the AR user base reaching one billion just a year from now.
Before we move on to the augmented reality revenue projections, let’s take a glance at the age demographics of augmented reality users.
14. Augmented reality users fall into the 16-34 age group.
Last October, Global Web Index published a survey of nearly 4,000 Internet users. The goal was to find out the percentage of people who used a VR headset in the past month, as well as the percentage of people who experienced AR in the same timeframe. The survey showed that the same percentage of survey participants (23%) has used a VR headset and experienced AR in said time period.
We were more interested to find out about augmented reality demographics. According to Global Web Index, 35% of participants that experienced AR in the previous month were in the 16 to 24 age group. Just as many survey participants (35%) are in the 25-34 age group, while people between the ages of 35 to 44 accounted for 27% of those who experienced AR during the previous month. The lowest percentage of AR users comes from those in the 55-64 age group (3%). Another interesting piece of information from this study is that more men (29%) engage with AR compared to women (17%). Taking all of these stats into account, we can better understand the AR audience.
15. How much is augmented reality worth? $3.5 billion, says Statista.
More often than not, market projections for augmented reality include virtual reality market projections as well. However, we found one market projection for augmented reality alone. The source estimates that the current value of this market stands at $3.5 billion and that it will increase to $198 billion by 2025.
When it comes to predictions for the augmented and virtual reality markets combined, Statista gave us valuable insight into the fast growth of these markets. In 2016, the AR/VR market was valued at $6.1 billion, and the following year, it more than doubled ($14.1 billion). Last year, revenues from the AR/VR market managed to reach $27 billion, and they should skyrocket to $209.2 billion by 2022.
16. The UK holds a 9% share of the immersive reality global market.
(Source: Immerse UK)
According to Immerse UK’s augmented reality statistics, UK companies that specialize in virtual, augmented, and mixed reality market (immersive market) are numerous with about 1,000 of them. The source estimates that nearly half a million people in the UK work in companies that contribute to the immersive economy in one way or another and that the UK’s share of the immersive global market stands at 9%.
17. AR revenues will surpass VR revenues by 2020.
Another interesting forecast about the AR/VR market size comes from Digi-Capital. The source estimates that this market will generate $120 billion by 2020. What’s even more interesting is that Digi-Capital believes next year the AR revenue ($90billion) will be three times higher than the VR revenue ($30 billion).
18. Consumer hardware accounts for 15.6% of AR/VR spending.
At the end of 2018, IDC published a report that suggested the worldwide AR/VR spending for 2018 amounted to $12.1 billion. According to Statista, 15.6% of the total sum went to consumer hardware. Augmented reality games spending accounted for 5.1%, while virtual reality games took a slightly bigger share at 6.6%.
Additionally, AR and VR statistics from IDC highlight that the total spending for the AR/VR market will reach $20.4 billion in 2019. The company also believes that training will become one of the four largest AR/VR use cases alongside AR gaming, VR gaming, and video/feature viewing.
19. Augmented reality glasses sales will reach 22.8 million by 2022.
In 2016, about 150,000 units of smart AR glasses were sold. The number of smart AR glasses units doubled in 2017(340,000), compared to 2016. Last year, the number of shipments grew to 3.7 million, and this year, it should jump to 6.5 million. There should be 10.7 million units sold in 2020, followed by 16.6 million units in the year that follows. In 2022 it is expected that 22.8 million of AR glasses will be sold worldwide.
20. 67% of media planners and buyers want AR/VR ads in digital marketing campaigns.
(Source: Vibrant Media)
According to research from Vibrant Media, media planners and buyers (67% of them) want to incorporate more AR/VR ads into their campaigns. The ultimate goal of this type of marketing is to enhance user experience. Apart from the high demand for AR/VR advertising, Vibrant Media discovered that 49% of media agency executives believe this new approach to marketing could prevent ad blocking.
Now, we’ve already seen a myriad of companies that recorded great success with augmented reality advertising. 2018 saw L’Oreal YouCam Makeup app counting 3.5 million downloads only a year after its initial release. The IKEA Place app, which allows virtual placement of around 3,200 IKEA products into homes, is another successful AR app. There are numerous other AR apps that prove augmented reality advertising has just begun to gain momentum.
With these quick stats about AR advertising, we’ll be signing off. We covered many augmented reality stats ranging from the number and demographics of AR users and market size to how big companies are preparing for augmented reality to enter the mainstream waters. We hope you had an interesting read!