In contrast to virtual reality (VR), which creates an artificial environment, AR simply makes use of the existing environment by overlaying new information on top of it. In AR, the information about the surrounding real world is made available to the user for information and/or interaction through the use of headsets. By 2023, it is anticipated that global AR headset shipments will reach over 30 million units, over 12 times the number expected to be shipped in 2020.
The number of mobile AR users globally is expected to reach 2.4 billion by 2023, fuelled in part by a growing desire for AR technology to enhance consumer experiences in media and entertainment. Music concerts and sports events are just two examples where AR technology is being used more commonly in order to help enrich the fan experience.
AR technology is being used across numerous industries such as: healthcare, public safety, gas and oil, tourism, marketing etc. Everyone from tourists to soldiers to someone looking for the closest subway stop is able to benefit from this ability to place computer-generated graphics in ones field of vision. Forecasts estimate that in 2023, spending on extended reality (XR) technology, including AR, by the manufacturing and construction industry alone will reach 35 billion U.S. dollars.
As the technology improves further, there is no doubt that the use cases of extended reality (XR) technologies, including AR, will widen and develop as businesses and consumers alike realize the full potential, with the technology becoming as prominent as mobile devices are in today’s market.