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Will Apple, Facebook or Microsoft be the future of augmented reality?

Will Apple, Facebook or Microsoft be the future of augmented reality?
 

Apple is seen by some as critical to the future of augmented reality, despite limited traction for ARKit so far and its absence from smartglasses (again, so far). Yet Facebook, Microsoft and others are arguably more important to where the market is today.

All of this could see the augmented reality market growing from an active installed base approaching 900 million and over $8 billion revenue in 2019, to an augmented reality forecast over two and a half billion active installed base and nearly $60 billion revenue by 2024. 

 

Facebook: The messaging play

Facebook has talked about its long-term potential to launch smartglasses, but in 2020, its primary presence in the AR market is as a mobile AR platform (note: Facebook is also a VR market leader with Oculus). Although there are other ways to define them, mobile AR platforms can be thought of as three broad types:

  1. messaging-based (e.g. Facebook Messenger, Instagram, TikTok, Snapchat, Line)
  2. OS-based (e.g. Apple ARKit, Google ARCore)
  3. web-based (e.g. 8th Wall, Torch, others)

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