About Futuresource Consulting

Futuresource Consulting, the specialist research and consulting company, is delighted to be the official knowledge partner for CEATEC. The company can trace its roots back to the 1980s and provides market insights into consumer electronics, digital imaging, entertainment media, broadcast, optical manufacturing, storage media, professional IT and education technology.
With more than 70 full-time employees providing in-depth analysis and forecasts across consumer and professional electronics categories, Futuresource is able to advise on market, competitive and technological developments, providing clients with access to the information that helps produce the best possible results.


Mobile Augmented and Mixed Reality - The Race Is On

Augmented reality (AR) and mixed reality (MR) presents many opportunities for application enhancement and new monetisation opportunities, but the technologies are still a long-way from being an everyday feature of consumers' lives, according to Futuresource's latest industry tracking report for AR and MR in mobile.

The report, which synthesises fieldwork drawn from vendors, content creators and service providers, along with mobile device forecasts and existing research, finds that the race is on to develop the essential killer application and, ultimately, to establish the dominant platform for mobile AR/MR content.

"Although the mobile AR/MR proposition is very much in its infancy today, the end-game is clear for Facebook, Apple, Google, SnapChat, Microsoft et al," says Michael Boreham, Market Analyst at Futuresource Consulting. "AR/MR is considered to be the next major computing platform, offering a revolutionary technological leap that has the potential to evolve and enhance our digital interaction across industries such as communication, utilities, entertainment and e-commerce."

While the majority of attention has been focussed on the drive to establish virtual reality as the next 'must have' consumer device, 2017 has seen an increasing amount of activity in the AR and MR space, with an increasing number of industry heavyweights throwing their hats into the ring.

The value of the overall consumer mobile AR/MR market reached US$1.7 billion in 2016, spearheaded by applications like Snapchat and Pokémon Go. Futuresource finds the market overinflated as a result of the rapid short-term success and subsequent loss of momentum of Pokémon Go, and expects market contraction to US$1.4 billion this year.

However, the longer-term outlook is for a startling 77% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) between 2017-2021, with mobile AR/MR soaring to $14.1 billion market valuation by the end of 2021.

Social media networks are predicted to play a major part in this growth by capitalising on their device agnostic approach, huge user reach and ability to innovate. The key challenge is to develop the range of essential applications that will drive consumer adoption.

Advertising will be the other key component of the consumer AR/MR market, driven by search and social media, as Google, Apple and Facebook all incorporate more AR functionality into current utility services.

"In reality, it may be the best part of a decade before the emergence of a killer AR/MR app appears. However, as technology develops and affordable devices come to market, AR/MR will be pushed into the mainstream for everyday use, especially for entertainment and utility tasks," states Boreham.

"The key battle is not which platform is the most innovative, as the social media networks are looking over each other's shoulders and mirroring their ideas, but which ecosystem will win out. Ultimately, the end-game is who will own the customer and where will they conduct their mobile computing needs whilst utilising AR/MR?"