Like many analyst firms, market sizing is one of the ongoing practices of AR Insider’s research arm ARtillery Intelligence. A few times per year, it goes into isolation and buries itself deep in financial modeling. One such exercise zeroes in on mobile AR revenues.

This is one of the main subdivisions of spatial computing – others including headworn AR and VR. They’re all related and share technological underpinnings, but are driven by separate market forces such as their respective hardware bases (see methodology and inclusions).

So what did the mobile AR forecast uncover? At a high level, global mobile AR revenue is projected to grow from $15.1 billion in 2022 to $39.8 billion in 2027, a 21.35 percent CAGR. This sum consists of mobile AR consumer and enterprise spending and their revenue subsegments.

Drilling down, our latest Behind the Numbers installment looks at the forecast’s outlook for mobile AR’s use in enterprise productivity. How much is spent on mobile AR software that enables line-of-sight guidance in use cases ranging from IT field support to industrial maintenance?

Mobile AR Global Revenue Forecast: 2022-2027

Addressable Market

Jumping right in, spending on mobile AR enterprise productivity is projected to grow from $7.39 billion in 2022 to $10.52 billion in 2027. This includes live guided support in industrial settings (e.g., assembly, maintenance) and collaboration in corporate settings (e.g., design, training).

These use cases cut across several industry verticals, which means a sizeable addressable market. But it’s also limited in that we’re talking about mobile AR-only. The above spending estimates track software but not hardware, as existing smartphones are deployed for mobile AR.

This is contrasted with headworn AR (tracked separately), which utilizes devices like Hololens 2 and Magic Leap 2. This is where enterprises stand to benefit most… however, the technology has greater adoption barriers and organizational inertia given complex and expensive hardware.

Mobile AR meanwhile leads as an enterprise AR form factor because it piggybacks on an installed base of 3 billion+ global smartphones. Enterprises are also more comfortable with the mobile form factor, including key stakeholders like front-line workers and the IT department.

Historical Sequence

Sticking with the theme of enterprise comfort levels, it’s a big gating factor in AR. Like many technologies, AR faces cultural resistance to change. But if anything will overcome that force, it’s a business case that can counteract common patterns of organizational inertia.

As this happens, adoption could follow similar steps as enterprise smartphone adoption 10-15 years ago, including a tipping point, followed by accelerated adoption. This is a historical sequence that could play out, though on a smaller scale due to AR’s complexity and unfamiliarity.

Meanwhile, an adoption accelerant looms: the economy. AR lets companies be more effective with fewer resources using things like remote support in assembly and maintenance. This has already gotten the chance to shine, given the remote work needs of the COVID era.

Speaking of macro factors, retiring baby boomers cause a skills gap, which AR helps fill. It does this by placeshifting subject matter experts (e.g., remote support) while transferring institutional knowledge through immersive training. That need is pronounced in the “Great Resignation.”

We’ll pause there and circle back in the next behind-the-numbers installment with more numbers and narratives. 

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