A new report from Tractica states that growth of mobile-based Augmented Reality use is expected to increase within the next five years to a total of at least 1.9 billion active users each month. That's a huge step for a fledgling technology that is just now starting to get off the ground in the mobile space with phones like the ZenFone AR from ASUS as well as Lenovo's Phab2 Pro, both of which come equipped with Google's Tango technology inside. While that particular growth point isn't expected to hit until 2022 according to Tractica's estimates, that's a major jump from last year's numbers which are reportedly listed at a total of 342.8 million users each month, which means that in the next five years the monthly active users are expected to expand by roughly five and half times the amount from last year.
With the number of mobile AR users growing, revenue from mobile-based AR use is expected to grow as well, though this shouldn't come as a surprise as consumers will not only need to buy AR-ready phones but also purchase AR apps and games that cost money so they have actual content to consume. According to Tractica, the annual revenue for mobile AR use is expected to rise from $749 million to a whopping $18.5 billion. It's also worth noting that the time frame for this follows along the same lines as the expected growth for user numbers.
While you can already see some form of Augmented Reality technology in games like Pokémon GO and Tango apps that help you determine how a piece of furniture might look in your home, a big chunk of the mobile-based AR use is expected to be powered by visual search functions, where users could essentially point their phone's camera at a product and then be given a set of results right on the display with where to buy those products. This is of course just an example of visual search and how it could be used. In the chart below, you can see an example of the growth estimates for mobile AR use with unique monthly active users contrasted against apps that have embedded AR features and standalone apps with AR that have been downloaded, with the chart tracking the growth over the course of the 5-year time frame from 2017 to 2022.