ABI Research Technology Survey Finds Augmented Reality Interest is High, but Adoption Remains Low

Scottsdale, Arizona - 21 Jun 2017

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In a recent B2B technology survey of 455 U.S.-based companies across nine vertical markets, ABI Research finds that only 25% of respondents actively operate augmented reality (AR) technology; yet, 75% of respondents show varying levels of interest in future implementations. This is in line with the firm’s market forecast, which shows a major inflection through 2018 and 2019. Survey results show that the state of the enterprise AR market—with high interest but low operating level—is prime for this inflection.

“AR adoption has been aggressive in limited cases, but it continues to be slow when viewed across all markets,” says Eric Abbruzzese, Principal Analyst at ABI Research. “Early adopter and pilot phases are ongoing. While these implementations are beginning to scale, they are still small. True AR scale will be seen in the next one to two years, with a greater foundation for growth in enterprise and compelling consumer products coming to market.” 

While overall adoption has been unhurried, certain markets have been quicker to adopt AR. More than 40% of respondents in manufacturing state that they are in operation with smart glasses, with only 4% citing no interest in eventually implementing smart glasses. This is in line with ABI Research’s forecasts, in which manufacturing makes up nearly 20% of the entire AR market through 2021.

“Industry verticals are served best in today’s relatively young AR market, and this early adoption is critical for later adoption as use case potential expands and device capability grows concurrently,” concludes Abbruzzese. “A confluence of factors, built on top of an early enterprise foundation, spurs future growth: more capable mixed reality devices reaching the market, mobile augmented and mixed reality application growth, and more established content development tools and ecosystems pushing content to these devices. Although today familiarity and active usage is low overall, we now see the beginnings of growth.”

These findings are from ABI Research’s Industry Survey: Transformative Technology Adoption and Attitudes – Augmented and Mixed Reality report.