After witnessing years of AR pilots and false starts, plenty of observers think the state of augmented reality is still “wait-and-see.” However, it’s getting more difficult to ignore the growing number of companies with AR implementations generating real results.
To analyze the state of AR, Cognizant’s Center for the Future of Work partnered with Oxford Economics to ask 300 senior leaders about their views on the current and expected dynamics of the AR market. We also conducted a half-day roundtable session in partnership with the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley to gather anecdotes and lessons learned from industry practitioners and academics.
One-third of our study respondents have scaled their AR initiatives into full implementations and are already capturing substantial value and accelerating their AR future plans. This suggests that, at long last, the AR market is ready to break out of the seemingly interminable stage of pilot-only projects.
AR Enters the Prime Time
Key findings of our study include:
1 AR is happening fast, and timing is everything.
You may have noticed that the AR world is divided into two camps of “believers” and “non-believers.” In our study, business leaders were evenly split as to when they foresaw AR becoming a mature technology that is accepted, established and in widespread use (see figure below).
But while that might make it seem safe enough to “wait it out,” a closer look reveals the near-horizon camp has a distinct edge. Of all 300 respondents, one-third have already implemented an AR initiative at scale, a group we call the “experts.” Of that group, 80% (a total of 85) have not only implemented AR but also expect to be ahead, or far ahead, of their competitors in three years’ time. We call this group the “pioneers.” The vast majority of this latter group (75%) believe AR will be a reality sooner rather than later. For them, AR equates to real results.