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Augmented reality apps predicted to generate $300M in 2013: study

A mixture of revenue from advertising, paid application downloads and post-download content will contribute to approximately $300 million in revenue for augmented reality next year, according to a new study from Juniper Research.

In Juniper?s ?Mobile Augmented Reality: Entertainment, LBS & Retail Strategies 2012 ? 2017? report, the research company looks at which types of content will be impacted by the increase in augmented reality technology. Additionally, the study examines how augmented reality is moving closer to tying into real-world data and events.

?I would say that based on our research and interviews with players across the value chain, the primary implications for marketers is that if they?re not already considering incorporating augmented reality into a campaign, then they should be,? said Dr. Windsor Holden, principal analyst at Juniper Research, Hampshire, England.

?While the optimal business models for augmented reality have yet to fully crystallize, it?s clear that many marketers recognize the potential that it has to enhance brand engagement,? he said.

Mobile engagement
Revenue from augmented reality apps will hit $5.2 billion in 2017, which is an increase from the predicted $82 million in 2012 according to Juniper?s predictions.

The report predicts that more than 2.5 billion augmented reality apps will be downloaded by 2017. The large majority of these apps will be games that use augmented reality to add an additional layer of interaction to content.

Other growing uses areas for augmented reality growth include multimedia and entertainment, enterprise and lifestyle and healthcare uses.

Augmented reality is also becoming tied closer into real-world scenarios. Take Google?s work with creating augmented reality glasses, for example. The technology lets consumers interact with digital content as an extension of things that do every day, such as walking down the street.

Augmented marketing
Key drivers in the growth of augmented reality will include growing smartphone ownership, increasing bandwidths and more brands using mobile to drive commerce.

However, there are still challenges with augmented reality. For instance, general consumer awareness about the technology is still low. Additionally, fragmentation causes the technology to render differently across devices.

Experts also have many different takes on what augmented reality is. Juniper classifies augmented reality as digital goods such as games or video that is added to a mobile device?s built-in camera and is triggered from the user doing something in the real world.

Additionally, privacy concerns will be an issue and could stall the technology from fully taking off.

?There are potentially a host of issues regarding copyright, privacy and libel,? Dr. Holden said.

?For example, service providers need to ask themselves, ?Does this service have the potential to be used to infringe the privacy of an individual or company?? he said. ?Could the application of this service result in physical injury either to the user or to other members of the public???

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is associate reporter on Mobile Marketer, New York