Annual investment on augmented reality (AR) applications is expected to surpass $2.5bn in 2018, according to a report from the ABI Research.
According to the report, the investment in AR applications is anticipated to reach $670m in 2013, driven by the increased mobile user experiences in the retail and marketing domain.
The retail and marketing application segment is estimated to account for 68% of the spending in 2013, while the product enhancement and standalone apps would account for 22% and 10%, respectively.
ABI Research senior analyst Aapo Markkanen said that the cloud is a natural fit for AR developers, considering the benefits cloud-based content libraries present for image recognition technologies.
"The leading SDKs, Qualcomm’s Vuforia and Metaio, introduced cloud recognition capabilities last year, and it’s exactly moves like those that will help bringing AR to the mainstream," Markkanen said.
"Meanwhile, the cloud has always been at the core of Aurasma HP’s innovative visual browser that is starting to see traction also as a platform for third-party apps."
AR is also expected to become an important enabler for the Internet of Everything and big-data analytics, due to close connection with the increasing wearable computing products, the report added.
ABI Research practise director Dan Shey said that AR can serve as a visualisation medium that will make the sensor data situational, bridged to the real-world surroundings in a world where a countless number of physical objects and structures will be connected by sensors.
"The consumer aspect is unsurprisingly making most of the headlines here, but we’d expect smart eyewear to initially make more waves in transforming the enterprise," Shey added.
"Google Glass, like the smart-glass pioneer Vuzix, will find various use cases in verticals such as engineering, logistics, and healthcare."