The (Yet Untapped) Potential of Augmented Reality

This chart shows a forecast of AR and VR device shipments in 2018 and 2022.

Apple’s acquisition of Akonia Holographics, a small Colorado-based company specializing in smart glass lenses, has added fuel to the rumors that Apple is working on augmented reality glasses that could complement and eventually replace the iPhone in the future. Apple’s CEO Tim Cook has often expressed his interest in augmented reality and his belief that the technology would eventually shape our everyday lives. Plus, in 2017, his company introduced ARKit to facilitate the development of AR applications for iOS devices.

Tim Cook is not the only one to see huge potential in augmented reality. While still in its infancy, many believe that AR will eventually become bigger than virtual reality because it has the potential to blend seamlessly into the real world. According to latest estimates by market research firm IDC, AR device shipments will increase more than 30-fold between 2018 and 2022, outpacing the growth of the VR market, which starts at a much larger base though, to be fair.