When will everyone use augmented reality?

In his keynote address at Sensors Expo 2017, Ori Inbar, co-founder and CEO of AugmentedReality.org predicts that at some point in the near future augmented reality (AR) sales will surpass those of smartphones. (Excerpt from “Superpowers to Change the World: How Augmented Reality Helps Advance Humanity.”)

When will everyone use augmented reality to experience reality in a more meaningful way? Inbar says that at some point in the near future there will be an inflection point where more smart glasses are sold than smart phones. With smart phones selling in the billions today, even Inbar says this is a pretty tall order. It took smart phones 10 years to get from initial introduction to 1 billion units shipped. With technology, the adoption cycles appear to be accelerating over time, so smart glasses could reach one billion units shipped even sooner. As a result, Inbar predicts that the inflection point will occur within the next seven years. So, before the mid 2020’s, augmented reality will surpass the sale of smart phones. Inbar says this is inevitable because humans want to look straight ahead instead of down at smartphone or tablet when we interact with the real world. “It’s in our bones,” he says. Hunching over a smartphone and bumping into things is not natural. In a few years, today’s process will be viewed as awkward.

Today, the United States is the largest market worldwide for Smart AR Glasses and the fastest growing market (with a projected CAGR of 122%) according to Global Industry Analysts, Inc., a worldwide business and market intelligence source. Their projection for the 2020 global market is 3.4 million units.

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