5 Statistics about AR that You Should Seriously Consider Before an Investment
Updated: Sep 25
This post was las updated on July 11th, 2021
In the past decade, we’ve witnessed so many changes in the world of technology that have had a strong impact in every sphere of life. The number of devices owned by the average consumer has exploded. Recently, brands and retailers have realized the power of mobile devices and are trying to implement a mobile strategy in the customer journey.
Today, we can’t imagine our lives without our smartphones - phone, alarm clock, music player, social media, all our favorite apps - our life in our pocket.
However, today when we talk about mobile devices, we are not just talking about responsive web design and mobile apps. Brands and retailers are constantly looking for ways to utilize the power that these devices hold.
AR and Smartphones - a Match made in Heaven
The term augmented reality was born in the early 90s, but that doesn’t mean that the idea wasn’t around before. Despite the fact that there were a lot of experiments with AR that started in the late 50s, it was more of a scientists’ toy until smartphones arrived.
In 2013 Google launched smart glasses, but they were never broadly adopted due to the high price, safety concerns, and unattractive design. Even though the expectations were high, Google Glass didn’t live up to the hype. But tech companies are not giving up on AR glasses, as time passes by we are reading more about a Google Glass comeback, Facebook plans to build AR glasses and Amazon’s startup North, that is also working on their own version of wearable tech.
With all this information in perspective, we can definitely say that the future of AR is quite exciting. Tech companies are experimenting with other means of introducing augmented reality experiences, but for now, when we talk about AR, brands and retailers are focused on leveraging the potential of smartphones to help them enhance the shopping experience.
AR in smartphones mostly come as apps until recently. This is quite good for user experience because native app based AR can be packed with many options and sophostications. Users can avail large numbers of different 3D AR experience at their fingertips.
At the same time, with latest technological advancements, AR can be played using smartphone's web browsers too. This is much faster way for a new user to experience AR.
Both type of AR experiences have their own pros and cons. Before you decide to invest in AR user experience for your business, let's look at some quick facts which can benefit you to take a decision wisely.
User Psychology about adopting New Apps
Last decade was the decade of mobile apps. Apps made their way to create major disruptions across usability, industries and businesses. But with natural evolution, introduction of enormous number of apps in different app stores (Apple Store, Google Play Store or Windows Store) started pushing users away from installing many apps at the first glance.
The generic app lifecycle includes many steps for a user to follow to successfully use a new app. This starts from searching app in app store, followed by open and understanding the basics and attemp to perform simple tasks. To use complex features, normally many trials and errors are often included which sometimes lead to deletion of apps before exploring completely. In a common app lifecycle, users can attempt to delete apps in multiple stages before becoming a loyal user.
AR apps also follow the same path. As a result, the number of downloads often does not show the success stories. This is the reason when companies launch another app for AR experience, it needs to cross through a tough journey.
On the contrary, web based AR experience is comparatively easy and does not include many complex steps. Users can simply open an URL and start experiencing AR almost immediately.
AR apps Come with Bigger Size
In last 10 years, not only the number of apps in stores increased exponentially but also their size grew enormously. Apps related to gaming and messaging can be quite bigger in size due to heavy graphics usage. Since augmented reality is also based on 3D images and rendering, the AR apps are quite bigger in size.
For example, NASA launched an AR app in 2019 to explore spacecrafts which is close to 0.25GB in size.
77% of users uninstall or even do not want to install memory heavy apps to prevent their mobile from slowing down due to excessive memory consumption, quick battery drain, unncessary push notifications and many more reasons. App uninstall rates were 70% higher in 2020.
On the other hand, web AR apps do not need any download or permanent memory usage. It can be loaded quickly in the browser and can be closed when done. Web AR does not run in background. Thus it saves users memory usage. Since most web AR apps are lightwieght, they do not consume as much battery as native apps but still provide the best quality AR experience at users fingertips.
Less Apps Usage is the New Global Trend
A report by Comscore further supports this trend: In one quarter of 2109, two-thirds of smartphone users in the U.S. said they downloaded an average of 0 new apps per month. The takeaway here is that unless you’re Google, you shouldn’t make an app just to make an AR app. Getting a user to adopt a new app or switch from a competitor is not easy—you’ve got to give them a reason to go to the app store and make that download.
As the number of apps in app stores swells, people appear to be forming entrenched use habits and reducing the number of apps they discover and download.
The number of users who download no apps has gone up from 51% in 2017, to 67% in 2019, an increase of 31% between the time periods - Comscore Mobile report.
AR app Development and Maintenance cost
There are plenty of AR SDKs available to start building AR apps. But most of them are quite low level and need developer assistance, even to build a small AR prototype. Based on the complexity, the cost can easily shoot sky high in less time.
When it comes to pricing, there is no clear-cut formula—just estimates. Augmented Reality app development costs vary greatly based on different app types: it ranges from $5,000–$10,000 for a simple demo app developed in 160 working hours to $300,000+ for a feature-rich, custom-built app that takes nine months and longer to develop.
On top of that, app needs to developed at least for Android and iOS. This adds additional development budget and excess development timeline. Also publishing and maintaining those apps in different app stores with regular bug fixes bring more to the table.
Web AR can cut the development cost by 90% easily with its agile development method and no dependency on apps.
QR Code is Becoming New Norm
With Google Trends you can view the evolution of searches for a given keyword. You can segment your searches by country or region. When looking up the keyword “QR Code” we are getting the following result:
What is happening? Why are QR Codes hip again? There have been 3 key factors that have revamped QR Codes in the last years:
iPhones and most Android devices scan QR Codes using the native camera
There are more and more use cases for QR Codes
Professionals and marketers are using QR Codes in a smarter way
UPDATE – COVID19
Accelerated adoption of QR code opens up the possibilities for web AR. Simply by scanning a QR code, users can open up 3D AR in web browser and submerge in the immersive experience. Thus users have almost zero learning curve while using AR for the first time.
No matter which type of AR solution you choose for your business, it is highly recommneded to reseach its adaptability according to its industry. In gamification, education or extensive training fields (like industrial troubleshooting training), app based AR can still make more relevance due to its extensivity and depth of contents. With need of longer AR show, investing in apps are justified in there.
On the other hand, in consumer marketing field (like in online retail ecommerce, marketing, product campaigning etc.), ideally the user attention spans are shorter and thus needs quick but efficient engagement without much learning curve. For such cases, web AR can be an excellent choice for business.
No matter what you choose, it is a good suggestion to keep your eyes open because technological advancements are not halted and we might stand in the verge of the next breakthrough AR solution.
If you need more review on this topic, please feel free to contact us to know more and take the best decision for your business.