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Augmented Reality: Developers experiment with the next mass market opportunity
Emerging technologies are often a hype haven for media pundits. All the talk of Augmented Reality has been no exception and as with anyone who’s paid attention to the talk of flying cars or trips to Mars, one wonders if there’s fire to all the smoke.
Is there a signal amidst all the noise? If yes, how does one come by that knowledge? Fortunately, there’s a method known to man and it’s feasible: ask the architects of the digital age themselves, developers as we call them, wherever in the world they might be.
Augmented Reality: What Are Developers Working on?
In our global developer surveys, we’ve asked developers about their involvement in Augmented Reality (and of course it’s siamese twin Virtual Reality), what devices or platforms they use, what market categories they are targeting and several other questions about their development experience. Their responses tell us how they are engaging with this emerging area of tech. Said engagement has given us a window into what their perspective on Augmented Reality might be: let’s take a glimpse.
Data from our Q4 2017 survey shows that only 21% of developers are involved in Augmented Reality as professionals. The remaining large majority of developers identifying as hobbyists suggests that most developers are tinkering and experimenting with AR via side projects. They could be doing so in search of use cases that will resonate with the masses of the consumer market or the behemoths of the enterprise world. Once the opportunity in these use cases is realised developers may give the area their full attention.
Our data also reveals that 50% of developers involved in Augmented Reality see smartphones & tablets running iOS or Android as the primary device to develop for. This is far more than the figures for competing devices like the Microsoft Hololens (8%) or Google Glass at Work (2%). One reason could be that developers are going after the mass consumer market that is served by mobile devices today.
This is also confirmed by our data: 56% of developers involved in Augmented Reality told us they are targeting consumers as against 25% targeting the enterprise audience. As headset devices haven’t reached critical mass yet developers are using the ubiquitous mobile platforms to test their ideas and prepare for the world of mass-market Augmented Reality headsets as well.
These data points show that developers consider Augmented Reality a viable candidate for the next mass market opportunity. Companies looking to engage these developers must dive deeper: knowing the size of the developer community so as to get a hint of the addressable market for Augmented Reality technologies is a good first step.
If you are interested in more data points and deep insights from our AR/VR developer research, please see our just-released AR/VR Developer Population Forecast 2018 report or talk to us at firstname.lastname@example.org