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BizReport : Mobile Marketing : January 07, 2010

Mobile location-based and gaming AR apps to soar in next few years

Augmented reality is a topic that is becoming more and more talked about in mobile marketing circles. A new report from Juniper Research predicts that the number of mobile downloads featuring augmented reality content is set to soar over the next few years with location-based and gaming applications at the forefront.

by Helen Leggatt

In 2009, the number of mobile downloads that feature augmented reality was around 1 million. Juniper Research's report predicts this figure to rise dramatically, reaching over 400 million by 2014.

In a nutshell, augmented reality refers to the overlaying of real-word objects or locations, viewed via a mobile camera or display, with additional digital information in the form of text, animations, images or links. For instance, an augmented reality download for Paris might display, when viewing the Eiffel Tower using a suitably enabled device, the dimensions, history, and opening hours of the monument.

2009 has seen its fair share of mobile augmented reality applications. For instance, the "Nearest Tube" iPhone app directs the user to the nearest metro station by overlaying directional arrows on to a real-time "video" you take of your surroundings. Another innovative use of mobile augmented reality is TwittAround which allows users to literally pinpoint other tweeters in their immediate vicinity by using their camera.

The Juniper report goes on to say that location-based apps will continue to provide the bulk of the market through to 2014. However, augmented reality games, such the recently released "Gunman", will become increasingly popular over the next five years, accounting for 30% of the market by 2014.

Tags: augmented reality, iPhone, Juniper Research, mobile marketing, mobile phones

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