Augmented Reality Statistics: Better Than Real Life

AR technology uses specialized hardware and software to blend the virtual world with real-world settings. With AR, users interact with both virtual and real objects.

Augmented reality is easy to dismiss as a watered-down version of fully immersive virtual reality, but that is misleading. AR systems let users access digital information while working in the real world. Builders use AR to look at buildings while they’re being built, adding a blueprint overlay to assess work in progress. Doctors access medical diagrams and compare them to conditions on the operating table. It’s no wonder augmented reality statistics paint the picture of a technology whose time has come.

Top Augmented Reality Statistics: Editor’s Choice

  • 35% of augmented reality users are aged between 16 and 34.
  • As of August 2019, there were 1,816 augmented reality startups with an average valuation of $5.4 million.
  • By 2020, 100 million consumers will shop using AR both online and in retail stores.
  • The number of AR mobile app installations reached 900 million in 2018 and is expected to exceed 15 billion by 2022.
  • A Forrester report estimates that 14 million American workers will use smart glasses regularly for their jobs by 2025.
  • You will soon be able to experience AR in Audi, Mercedes-Benz, Tesla, Toyota, and Volvo cars.

Augmented reality provides a live view of the physical world overlaid or augmented by computer-generated graphics, video, sound, haptics, or GPS augmented reality data. It gives us new ways to interact with digital information within a user’s field of view, including voice control, head motion, hand gestures, and touch. Some AR smart glasses have front-facing cameras that let users share what they see with others in “see what I see” video conference calls.

Augmented reality trends

1. 70% of consumers believe AR can help them learn new personal and professional skills.

(ISACA)

A recent ISACA study of nearly 12,000 consumers and IT professionals illustrates the benefits of adding augmented reality into private and work life. Most respondents say they believe that using AR-enhanced devices on a daily basis can help them acquire new skills. As many as 67% believe AR devices can bring healthcare benefits. Similarly, 64% of consumers think AR will make shopping easier. Workplace training, safety guides, and product demonstrations have been voted the top potential benefits of the augmented reality industry.


2. 35% of augmented reality users are in the 16-34 age group.

(GlobalWebIndex)

Augmented reality demographics paint a youthful picture. GlobalWebIndex discovered that in addition to the 35% of AR users aged 16 to 34, another 35% are in the 25-34 age group. Users aged 35 to 44 account for 27% of the total, while only 3% of users are aged 55 to 64.


3. A GlobalWebIndex survey found that 29% of male respondents had engaged in AR over the previous month, as had 17% of women.

(GlobalWebIndex)

Of course, not all respondents are even aware they’ve used AR. A broad definition of AR includes such everyday activities as using filters on Facebook and Instagram or taking 360-degree photos with your smartphone. Either way, research like this gives us a better understanding of current augmented reality market statistics.


4. ARKit-only apps were downloaded 13 million times during the six months following ARKit’s release.

(Sensor Tower)

ARKit is Apple’s AR platform for iOS devices. ARKit lets developers make apps that use the device’s sensors and cameras to interact with the real world. Its widespread success has mostly come from games, lifestyle aids, and utilities apps.


5. The global market for augmented and virtual reality headsets grew 27.2% from the first quarter of 2018 to the first quarter of 2019.

(IDC)

AR worldwide is on the increase. In Q1 2019, global shipments of AR and VR headsets reached 1.3 million. The top AR headset manufacturers are Epson, Lenovo, Vuzix, Google, and RealWear.


6. Google’s 2019 2G Glass Enterprise Edition costs $999. Because of its high price, it will be aimed at enterprises.

(The Verge)

Workers in a variety of industries, including manufacturing and logistics, can easily access tools and data using Google Glass. The hands-free mode is super-useful for companies that want to increase efficiency and make everyday tasks easier. The many potential augmented reality uses are becoming increasingly obvious to companies such as DHL, Boeing, GE, and Volkswagen.


7. Porsche and Hyundai have invested $80 million into AR startup WayRay.

(ZDNet)

AR technology can be of great use when integrated with existing consumer products. WayRay is one of the augmented reality companies looking to augment the driving experience with holograms. WayRay’s projector turns your car’s windshield into an AR hologram that displays information such as instructions, navigation maps, speed, and gasoline usage rates. The future of augmented reality in our everyday life is looking bright, as AR-augmented vehicles will soon make roads safer than ever.


8. As of August 2019, there are 1,816 augmented reality startups worldwide with an average valuation of $5.4 million.

(Angel.co)

According to Angel.co, there were 2,137 investors in the augmented reality market in August 2019. Virtual and augmented reality differ here as well; the VR sector included 2,160 companies but only 975 investors.

Augmented reality shopping statistics

9. By 2020, 100 million consumers will use AR to shop both online and in retail stores.

(Gartner)

AR technology is transforming the retail experience for an ever-larger number of consumers. One example is Ikea’s AR technology. Together with its Place app, it lets users put full-size virtual objects in their living rooms. Ikea’s Place app is one of the most popular augmented reality applications in retail today. The AR-enabled app and the IKEA catalog let users make informed shopping decisions without setting foot in the store.


10. 48% of consumers would rather buy from an AR-enabled retailer.

(BRP Consulting)

According to a BRP report, consumers are more likely than ever to look for AR when shopping. AR and VR allow us to experience products and services in an entirely new way. You can now get a pretty good idea about how a piece of furniture might look in your home with the help of augmented reality apps.


11. Only 15% of retailers are currently using AR.

(BRP Consulting)

BRP’s retail augmented reality statistics indicate that not many retailers have tapped into augmented reality so far. Despite the obvious advantages and interest from customers, only 32% of retailers say they plan to use AR technology within the next three years.


12. 70% of media planners want to use AR to boost advertising and customer engagement.

(Deloitte)

Researchers behind a 2019 Deloitte report focused on companies with annual revenues of $100 million to $1 billion found that AR is a popular business growth tool. Augmented reality advertising statistics show that more and more companies are looking to engage customers and users with AR. These companies are in a frantic race to meet and exceed the expectations of their business partners, workers, and, most of all, customers. They employ augmented reality growth statistics to gain a competitive edge, educate employees, and seamlessly integrate humans and machines in the workforce.

Augmented reality challenges

13. 69% of tech executives cite slow adoption among consumers as the most common concern about AR.

(Perkins Coie)

A 2019 Perkins Coie survey of 200 respondents came up with these results. The respondents come from a variety of high-tech industries, more than half of them holding C-level or VP titles.


14. 26% of respondents to a Perkins Coie survey found technical glitches and bulky hardware to be the top reasons for concern regarding the mass adoption of AR. (Perkins Coie)

The Perkins Coie survey provides additional AR statistics regarding mass adoption. For instance, 24% of respondents blamed a lack of quality content as the chief obstacle slowing the augmented reality trend.

Augmented reality mobile stats

15. 95% of US adults own a cellular telephone, with 77% of those phones being smartphones.

(Pew Research Center)

This should help you understand what the future may hold for smartphone-based AR. Smartphones are a viable platform for augmented reality games, apps, and advertising.

Additionally, a high percentage of Americans (77%) use smartphone-based AR/VR devices, according to 2018 augmented reality statistics. A much lower percentage (35%) of respondents use AR or VR for PC or consoles. Finally, only 19% of Americans are using dedicated AR/VR devices.


16. Mobile AR ad revenue is expected to exceed $2 billion by 2022.

(The Manifest)

The Manifest suggests that this sort of success is to be expected sooner rather than later. The reason? Snapchat and Facebook, which can’t wait to add AR capabilities to their menu for advertisers. Android-based smartphone augmented reality devices have grown from 100 million to 250 million users, mostly due to Google’s ARCore software development kit.


17. The number of installations of AR mobile apps reached 900 million in 2018 and is expected to hit 15 billion by 2022.

(DigiCapital)

The combination of AR and mobile smartphones has proven effective. Within five years, it’s possible that mobile AR and smart glasses could reach $85-90 billion in annual revenue. In fact, consumer spending on Google’s Play Store and the Apple’s App Store will reach $156 billion by 2023, according to our latest app download statistics.


18. Mobile AR ad revenue is expected to exceed $2 billion by 2022.

(The Manifest)

There’s a good chance annual mobile AR revenues will top $2 billion soon, mostly thanks to Snapchat and Facebook augmented reality marketing. Mobile augmented reality keeps devloping as we speak, both in its popularity and in its different uses. In early 2018, Google launched a campaign into the AR space, while Apple augmented reality updated its tools several months later. AR’s popularity will surely grow as more industries realize the technology’s unique potential.


19. iOS is leading Android in the AR race, with more than 2,000 apps on offer.

(VentureBeat)

How many augmented reality apps are there? As of right now, augmented reality software is enabled on over 500 million devices. While the iOS app store has the best selection of AR apps, there are only around 200 Google augmented reality apps available on Google Play. The huge difference in numbers shows that Apple is more confident about the bright future of this new technology and hopes to cash in on it.


20. Apple’s ARKit and Google’s ARCore doubled mobile AR app creation and tripled the number of AR-enabled devices in 2017.

(MobiDev)

One of the most striking augmented reality facts is the sharp turn the technology took in 2017. Indeed, it seemed the whole industry changed overnight.

The introduction of ARKit and ARCore has delivered a set of standardized tools to developers. These tools have helped AR technology spread like wildfire. People are getting accustomed to interacting with the world differently, which makes them more receptive to future AR applications.


21. The number of installations of ARCore-compatible Android devices rose from 250 million in December 2018 to 400 million in May 2019.

(MobiDev)

Apple secured its control of the AR market when it unveiled ARKit version 2.0 at its 2018 Worldwide Developers Conference and version 3.0 at the 2019 conference. Advanced mobile AR has now become at least as viable as headset-based alternatives. ARKit beats ARCore in terms of shipping volume and usage. Still, the ARCore base has grown by a factor of 10 and the technology is advancing at breakneck speed.

Augmented reality vs. virtual reality

22. In 2019, 68.7 million Americans used AR and 42.9 million used VR at least once a month.

(eMarketer)

AR is becoming increasingly popular among Americans in particular. The technology has been growing faster than virtual reality, and the eMarketer report predicts this trend will continue through to 2021. After in-depth analysis of the forces shaping the current mixed reality market, AR seems to take the cake as augmented reality smartphone use increases.


23. 70% of technology leaders anticipate that the AR market will surpass the VR market in revenues.

(Perkins Coie)

When asked when this will happen, 81% of respondents predicted it would take place within five years.


24. Currently, C-suite executives are equally interested in both AR and VR, according to research by CB Insights.

(CB Insights)

Since Facebook bought Oculus Rift in 2014, the rest of the tech world has started paying more attention to the emergent VR market. In the following year, mentions of VR at board meetings swelled, peaking in 2016 with 140 board meeting discussions. Since then, the interest in VR has been steadily falling. On the other hand, mentions of AR have risen.

The future of augmented reality

25. Sales of Augmented reality glasses will reach 22.8 million units by 2022.

(Tractica)

AR is not only dominating the smartphone world, but it has also set down strong roots in the smart glasses market. By 2022, the AR glasses market is expected to reach 22.8 million sales per year.


26. IDC says stand-alone AR holds 53.9% of the market, up from 47.8% in 2018.

(IDC)

Tethered and screenless AR captured 27% and 19.1% of the market in 2019, according to IDC analysts. While the tethered segment is small today, based on augmented reality users statistics, IDC expects it to play a larger role in the future, as it’s likely the first truly consumer-oriented products will use tethered AR.


27. You will soon be able to experience AR in Audi, Mercedes-Benz, Tesla, Toyota, and Volvo cars.

(Roadshow)

There are many other augmented reality examples out there. For instance, AR will soon become an essential feature in automobiles, starting with high-end sedans. In-car AR was one of the biggest trends of 2019, and Nvidia’s Drive AR platform was the biggest success. The company’s dashboard-mounted screen overlays graphic representations on camera footage, and it can detect anything from hazards to historical monuments. Pretty much all the giants in the automotive industry (Tesla, Toyota, Audi, Volvo, and Mercedez-Benz) have expressed interest in working with AR technology.


28. According to ABI Research, AR-based training in enterprise will be a $6 billion industry by 2022.

(ABI Research)

Current statistics about augmented reality indicate that enterprises might be the first to receive some serious AR-enabled apps. Indeed, training programs that make use of VR and AR have become much more popular in recent years. This has proven effective for workers in all manner of jobs, helping them improve both technical and interpersonal skills.


29. By 2025, the expected revenue of AR video games is expected to hit $11.6 billion.

(Entrepreneur)

Augmented reality games are already going strong, but predictions say we haven’t seen anything yet. While gaming will remain dominant in terms of revenue, more practical industries such as healthcare and engineering are expected to pick up steam. In the near future, advances in AR technology will bring new software, hardware, and use cases to the market.


30. Pokémon Go has been downloaded more than 1 billion times.

(Screen Rant)

Pokémon Go usage stats suggest that 14% of the world’s population has downloaded the game (though it’s unlikely these were all unique downloads). For many consumers, Pokémon Go served as a gentle introduction to the concept and potential of AR.


31. The use of AR and VR in healthcare is expected to generate more than $7 billion by 2026.

(GlobeNewswire)

The healthcare sector is eager to use AR, as augmented reality demand statistics show. Innovative diagnostic techniques and treatments can benefit a great deal from this technology, both in the classroom and the operating theater.


32. 14 million American workers will use smart glasses on the job by 2025.

(Forrester)

While Google Glass fizzled in the consumer realm, it made an impact on enterprises by introducing the concept of smart glasses. Feature-rich, sophisticated smart glasses are solving business problems today. Augmented reality contact lenses might also be an option in the future.

Final thoughts

If we take a step back to evaluate AR statistics from recent years, it becomes clear that augmented reality is on track to become a big part of our everyday lives. More and more industrial enterprises are looking to provide augmented reality glasses to make their workers’ job easier. Automobile companies are investing in augmented reality technology companies in search of a safer, more enjoyable driving experience for customers.

People are eager to integrate AR into the shopping experience, and companies are employing AR digital transformation strategies to optimize the workforce. And while this is happening, we’re all adding AR dog ears to selfies with Facebook and Snapchat augmented reality filters.

AR and VR technology generated about $7.4 billion in 2017. In 2018, the figure increased to $21 billion. Within the next three years, augmented reality stats will confirm that mobile AR is becoming the dominant platform in the industry. Augmented reality statistics make it clear that the companies that invest early in this technology will be most likely to reap massive gains over the competition.

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