The augmented reality (AR) market in industrial industries, particularly logistics and manufacturing, will hit an inflection point in 2017 and grow by more than 400% over the previous year, forecasts ABI Research. This momentum will continue into 2018 with shipments expected to jump from 440,000 in 2017 to more than three million. This will occur as large multi-national companies like Boeing, DHL, GE, and Shell complete trials of the technology alongside the support of device manufacturers and platform companies. Given the current growth trajectory, industrial AR shipments are forecast to reach 16 million by 2021.
“Many companies see the potential value of AR within the space, and while a level of misunderstanding surrounding the technology and its capabilities can cause challenges, trials will allow workers to test and understand the benefits of the technology,” says Shelli Bernard, Research Analyst at ABI Research. “Industry players are collaborating to improve education surrounding the technology’s current capabilities, which will ensure that implementations meet organizations’ expectations in utilizing the technology.”
The benefits to AR applications in the workforce are substantial. Such applications can improve worker safety, streamline workflow processes, and significantly cut company travel costs through remote expertise implementations. As application and platform providers like APX Labs, Ubimax, and Vital Enterprises work alongside device manufacturers like Epson and Vuzix to deliver a wider array of solutions, AR application awareness will continue to grow through successful trials and end user education. Driving the majority of today’s AR implementations in industrial industries are larger, multi-national corporations with aggressive R&D budgets and substantial ROI potential.
“As the technology continues to prove its worth, this will lead to the development of additional programs in vertical markets,” concludes Eric Abbruzzese, Senior Analyst at ABI Research. “In the near future, AR will show the most value in specialized fields in which workers are distributed over large geographic areas. The hands-free support and communication enablement also makes the technology valuable for workers involved in manual tasks, such as maintenance and construction.”
These findings are from ABI Research’s Augmented Reality in Field Maintenance and Servicing report.
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