In short: The 3D mapping industry is on course to more than triple its value over the next half a decade, largely thanks to contemporary smartphones, according to a new study from Research and Markets. The analytics firm is predicting a compound annual growth rate of 21.75-percent for the industry, hence forecasting three-dimensional mapping technologies will be a business worth some $17.29 billion by 2023, a massive jump compared to the $5.3 billion estimated last year. Smartphones and tablets with augmented reality capabilities are expected to be a major growth engine behind the trend, especially once AR apps become more numerous.
Background: The authors of the study believe 3D mapping will soon become a much more lucrative endeavor across a variety of industries, ranging from healthcare to entertainment. Regarding the former, the company says the growth of aging population in the Western world is likely to increase the demand for solutions aimed at treating chronic diseases with such three-dimensional technologies designed to assist surgeons and other medical professionals. The model behind the study encompasses both 3D mapping and modeling, so virtually any application of depth-sensing solutions has been accounted for. That includes accurate facial recognition which is still in its infancy and has only truly been embraced by Apple. As far as Android manufacturers are concerned, Xiaomi is the only company that commercialized a depth-sensing biometric tool inside one of its devices, having done so earlier this year with the Mi 8.
Impact: 3D imaging systems are among a small number of technologies that are predicted to go mainstream in the mobile industry over the course of the next several years, together with in-screen fingerprint readers and foldable display panels. AR is one of the most promising areas of growth of the new technology, primarily due to the fact that it currently enjoys support from the world's largest electronics giants such as Google and Apple.