A perspective on the Augmented Reality market

Last week the news hit the market that again one of the major augmented reality technology partners was swept up. This time Apple has entered the market by buying Metaio. What impact will this have for the 150k large community that were using Metaio’s services?

A perspective on the Augmented Reality market

Last week the news hit the market that again one of the major augmented reality technology partners was swept up. This time Apple has entered the market by buying Metaio. What impact will this have for the 150k large community that were using Metaio’s services?

Shakedown in Augmented Reality continues

While the major headlines in AR are taken up by Google Glass and other head-mounted devices the mobile AR market is shifting and changing as well. Since Augmented Reality based on image recognition grabbed our attention in 2012 we have seen disruptive changes every year: Aurasma multiplied their prices beginning 2013, by 20-fold. Blippar has taken over Layar in 2014. And now Apple has bought Metaio and taken its SDK and services off the market.

We think that you might get an inkling of what Apple could do using Metaio technology if you take 2 ingredients into account.

Ingredient 1: Market for AR/VR

For 2020 a $150 billion dollar market is predicted for Augmented and Virtual reality together.
150 billion dollar market divided into sub-markets
While a large chunk is reserved for AR hardware, a sizeable percentage is available for aCommerce, using augmented reality to identify a product on sight and directly connect to a store to buy it. Scan your best friends shoes to find out what they really cost, point your camera at Ariana Grande’s skirt and buy a similar one with one click.

Ingredient 2: AR vendor types

Currently we see several different app/business models for AR.
Augmented Reality Vendors

First we saw the Technology Apps, apps provided by the technology partner to provide easy access to the technology for anyone wanting to try, both from brand and from consumer perspective. Technology apps are the way an AR platform can showcase their features. We have seen Junaio for Metaio, CraftAR for Catchoom and apps for Layar, Blippar, Wikitude and DAQRI. Of the major players only Qualcomm’s Vuforia has no showcase app.

General purpose apps are apps that already have their own target audience who use the app for a specific purpose in a specific context. Content is king, but in app marketing context is everything. When and where will people be using your app determines, much more than before, what content people are looking for. Ad-hoc use, so use based on location, is on the rise.

Apple with Metaio

So what will Apple do with Metaio? #takesoutthecrystalball Since Apple can be classified as a player on Operating System level, they could integrate the technology directly on iPhone and iPad. This would open up possibilities to augment your Photos libraries or scan any content directly from the camera. Since many consider it a disadvantage having to download an app to use augmented reality this would be a great pro.

But Apple will take it further. Creating a technology lock-in with the integration of AR into the OS, they will probably try to grab the content market as well. Content is king, as they have noticed before with iTunes. Apple can tie together all large brands and offer a platform for aCommerce, like an aStore. And just as they do with in-app purchases they will take a share of everything sold.

How to prepare for Apple’s aStore?

If the market will indeed move towards the model of OS vendors opening up the AR stores, you will need to be able to publish to multiple channels, because Google and Microsoft will have to counter with their own aCommerce solutions. This means a new channel to manage your brand content, but also your product content on marketing and support level.

Other options in Augmented Reality aCommerce

If your brand has an existing mobile audience, another way to integrate aCommerce into your sales mix is to embed your own a-shop into your brand app. This will offer more personalization options and a deeper insight into your consumer’s use of your products.

Be on the lookout for new general purpose apps, like Shazam last week, that have a large audience and prepare so you can easily publish your content while they are on the rise (and leave when they get less interesting). Theirs will likely be a very volatile market for a while yet.

One more thing: Metaio for Android will never return to the market.

Shakedown in Augmented Reality continues

While the major headlines in AR are taken up by Google Glass and other head-mounted devices the mobile AR market is shifting and changing as well. Since Augmented Reality based on image recognition grabbed our attention in 2012 we have seen disruptive changes every year: Aurasma multiplied their prices beginning 2013, by 20-fold. Blippar has taken over Layar in 2014. And now Apple has bought Metaio and taken its SDK and services off the market.

We think that you might get an inkling of what Apple could do using Metaio technology if you take 2 ingredients into account.

Ingredient 1: Market for AR/VR

For 2020 a $150 billion dollar market is predicted for Augmented and Virtual reality together.
150 billion dollar market divided into sub-markets
While a large chunk is reserved for AR hardware, a sizeable percentage is available for aCommerce, using augmented reality to identify a product on sight and directly connect to a store to buy it. Scan your best friends shoes to find out what they really cost, point your camera at Ariana Grande’s skirt and buy a similar one with one click.

Ingredient 2: AR vendor types

Currently we see several different app/business models for AR.
Augmented Reality Vendors

First we saw the Technology Apps, apps provided by the technology partner to provide easy access to the technology for anyone wanting to try, both from brand and from consumer perspective. Technology apps are the way an AR platform can showcase their features. We have seen Junaio for Metaio, CraftAR for Catchoom and apps for Layar, Blippar, Wikitude and DAQRI. Of the major players only Qualcomm’s Vuforia has no showcase app.

General purpose apps are apps that already have their own target audience who use the app for a specific purpose in a specific context. Content is king, but in app marketing context is everything. When and where will people be using your app determines, much more than before, what content people are looking for. Ad-hoc use, so use based on location, is on the rise.

Apple with Metaio

So what will Apple do with Metaio? #takesoutthecrystalball Since Apple can be classified as a player on Operating System level, they could integrate the technology directly on iPhone and iPad. This would open up possibilities to augment your Photos libraries or scan any content directly from the camera. Since many consider it a disadvantage having to download an app to use augmented reality this would be a great pro.

But Apple will take it further. Creating a technology lock-in with the integration of AR into the OS, they will probably try to grab the content market as well. Content is king, as they have noticed before with iTunes. Apple can tie together all large brands and offer a platform for aCommerce, like an aStore. And just as they do with in-app purchases they will take a share of everything sold.

How to prepare for Apple’s aStore?

If the market will indeed move towards the model of OS vendors opening up the AR stores, you will need to be able to publish to multiple channels, because Google and Microsoft will have to counter with their own aCommerce solutions. This means a new channel to manage your brand content, but also your product content on marketing and support level.

Other options in Augmented Reality aCommerce

If your brand has an existing mobile audience, another way to integrate aCommerce into your sales mix is to embed your own a-shop into your brand app. This will offer more personalization options and a deeper insight into your consumer’s use of your products.

Be on the lookout for new general purpose apps, like Shazam last week, that have a large audience and prepare so you can easily publish your content while they are on the rise (and leave when they get less interesting). Theirs will likely be a very volatile market for a while yet.

One more thing: Metaio for Android will never return to the market.