Advertising, Search and Commerce Drive Augmented Reality From Fun to Function

Three main segments – advertising, search and commerce will drive the expansion of Augmented Reality (AR) beyond its current initial success stories, Snapchat and Pokémon Go, according to Strategy Analytics Wireless Media Strategies (WMS) service report “ Advertising, Commerce and Search Move Augmented Reality From Fun to Function .”

The report evaluates and assesses the strong momentum building across these three use-cases as advertisers, brands and publishers experiment with AR to deliver improved user-experience, drive engagement among consumers, and improve monetization prospects.

As a new form of media AR remains a nascent and untapped opportunity. With Apple’s ARKit and Google’s ARCore SDKs only recently opening up access to AR development for developers on the two major global smartphone platforms, Strategy Analytics expects significant AR experimentation to occur primarily on smartphones over the next three to five years.

Brice Longnos, Industry Analyst, Strategy Analytics, states that “with AR now accessible to virtually all developers, the focus will be on creativity to identify key use-cases for success. AR is a powerful enabler for engagement and immersion making it ideal for advertising, convenient to search and visualization key in retail for certain products.”

However, from a consumer perspective awareness of AR remains low. Nitesh Patel, Director, Wireless Media stated “Greater exposure in mainstream TV shows and films combined with a universal identifier, like the Bluetooth, NFC and Wi-Fi symbols, would build AR awareness.”

Competition is already heating up, with physical retailers facing ecommerce giants head-to-head as they implement their digital strategy into and from physical locations through AR “magic mirrors” and “virtual stores” such as Alibaba’s online-to-offline (O2O 2.0) strategy. David Kerr, Senior VP, Strategy Analytics, confirms that “while Snapchat is a currently a leader in AR advertising with its AR lenses and Shopping AR feature, it will face fierce competition from Facebook and other internet giants looking to leverage AR in their apps. Search and ecommerce giants Google and Amazon are also aggressively pushing to become the central place for AR objects with Poly and Sumerian respectively.” As competition heats up, Strategy Analytics expects AR to become more prominent in consumers’ daily lives and business models to mature.

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