Augmented Reality (AR) superimposes users’ real environment with digitally created content. In the recent past, the AR application “Pokémon Go” has gained particular recognition. On November 11, 2017, however, Süddeutsche Zeitung published an article entitled “Pokémon Go was only the beginning.” The paper reported that “All major tech companies [...] consider Augmented Reality (AR) to be one of the most important technologies of the future” and in particular, Apple, Google, and Facebook were investing billions and competing in developments (http://www.sueddeutsche.de/digital/digital-das-ende-des-echten-1.3733071).
According to Digi-Capital, the investment volume in the start-up sector alone amounted to US-$3 billion, although admittedly four start-ups (Magic Leap, Improbable, Unity, and Niantic) are currently accounting for half of this amount (https://www.digi-capital.com/news/2018/01/record-over-3b-ar-vr-investment-in-2017-1-5b-in-q4/#more-2065). Nevertheless, it is not expected that the boom will be leveling off. A CTA (Consumer Technology Association) press release (https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20180104005814/en/ARVR-Open-Eyes-2018-Record-Setting-U.S.-Sales) forecasts that 4.9 million AR/VR headsets and glasses will be sold in the U.S. in 2018, an increase of more than 25% over 2017, reaching expected U.S. sales of $1.2 billion.
The CTA expects sales of consumer-oriented AR glasses to accelerate significantly over the next five years. Initial developments are currently exhibited at CES, the most important U.S. tech trade show in Las Vegas (LVCC, South Halls 1 and 2), where exhibitors such as Carl Zeiss, Kodak, and Sony showcase their technologies (https://www.ces.tech/Show-Floor/Marketplaces/Augmented-Reality). French company Kolibree, which has developed an “Augmented Reality” toothbrush for children, received particular media attention (http://www.faz.net/aktuell/wirtschaft/kurioses-von-der-ces-messe-15380936.html).
The apparently odd, however, must not hide the fact that Augmented Reality is the trending topic of CES (http://www.faz.net/aktuell/wirtschaft/kurioses-von-der-ces-messe-15380936.html). According to the CTA press release, the exhibition area of the Augmented Reality Marketplaces expanded to some 1,000 square meters, a 10% increase over last year (https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20180104005814/en/ARVR-Open-Eyes-2018-Record-Setting-U.S.-Sales). Various panels on AR are also offered. A CES spokesperson additionally assesses the growth of AR and VR to be impressive (https://vrodo.de/ces-2018-vr-und-ar-so-stark-vertreten-wie-nie-rekordinvest-in-2017/).