Microsoft HoloLens and RoboRaid

ABI: Augmented Reality Industry to Hit $96 billion by 2021

After a slow start, the AR market is set to explode thanks to more licensing and platform expansion, according to a new report

Thanks to a growing interest in the benefits of augmented reality (AR) among businesses, and more consumer applications of the technology across devices and platforms, ABI Research has the market for AR hitting $96 billion by 2021.

That forecast is mostly thanks to a 227% growth in shipments in AR-enabled “smart” glasses, with 28 million being shipped in 2021.

However, it’s the industrial sector that’s causing most of this growth: ABI has energy, manufacturing and logistics verticals accounting for the bulk of the AR market in 2021, but with the healthcare and media and entertainment sectors growing the fastest (compound annual growth rates of 323% and 400%, respectively).

“2016 was a year of discovery for AR, with the industry focusing on initial ROI metrics,” says Eric Abbruzzese, senior analyst for ABI Research. “Pilot phases will continue into 2017, with early adopters moving to more substantial deployments. New AR customers will be excited by positive performance indicators across the market, with the promise of increased workforce efficiency and error reduction.

“2018 will be the year all verticals experience a significant jump in AR adoption rates. This is due to a congruence of three factors: significant time in market for pilot phases and small deployments to provide success indicators, greater breadth and depth of use case support through platforms, and an overall more mature market in terms of deployments, integrations, and usage.”