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Augmented reality (AR) in Europe - Statistics & Facts

Augmented reality (AR) is a technology that will turn the real life environment into a digital interface by creating virtual objects in the real world, in real-time. There are three main ways to experience AR at the moment. The first method is through an AR viewer which places life-size 3D objects in the environment. The second method is an AR browser which would, for example, give you information about a certain monument if you were to point the camera at it. The third method is AR gaming which will create objects of the game in real-life surroundings. The most well known example of AR gaming so far is Pokémon Go. The most commonly used form of AR at the moment is through mobile devices. However, head-mounted displays, glasses, and lenses, as well as PC and connected TV players can also be used.

Businesses are hoping to reap the benefits from AR as much as anyone. The vast majority of organizations in Europe are optimistic that new business models can be created through AR. Improvements in collaboration and marketing are also seen as high potential areas by European business and IT professionals. Industries that are expected to get the most out of AR are entertainment, education, and marketing/media. However, many businesses are worried about their privacy being at risk, with a total of 86 percent of organizations claiming to be concerned on some level.

The general public in the United Kingdom views some aspects of AR as having potential to improve their daily lives, mainly for healthcare emergencies, training guides or home decoration. The aspect of AR gaming also seems to be intriguing for European consumers, as seen with the Pokémon Go app that was released in July 2016 in Europe. The Netherlands had the highest share of Android users who had installed Pokémon Go on their phone as of July 11, 2016, with a total of 6.83 percent. Reasons for playing the game varied. Swedes, for example, stated that their main reason for playing Pokémon Go was to exercise while playing.

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