5 augmented reality developments to look out for in 2018

Augmented reality developments 2018

2017 was a big year for augmented reality (AR). AR was tipped for greatness at the beginning of the year and is continuing to gain momentum, suggesting that the technology is set for an even bigger year in 2018.

AR has been one of the technology industry’s key disruptors. Combined revenue was predicted to reach $471 million in 2017, according to IDC, representing a 262 percent increase over the $130 million spent in 2016.

So, what kind of developments can we expect to see over the upcoming year? Which industries will be disrupted? And which companies are set to stand out from a rapidly-growing crowd?

The rise of retail

Although AR has so far been predominantly linked to the gaming sector, with the technology being accessed through the likes of Snapchat and Pokemon Go, many other industries are quickly starting to realise the potential benefits, one of which is retail.

Scandinavian furniture brand Ikea has created a mobile app called Ikea Place which enables users to place virtual furniture into their home to provide a realistic portrayal of how items will look once they have been assembled.

Then there are home improvement retailers Lowe’s, which has created an app that works as a virtual tape measure so users can create real-life measurements of walls and furniture via their smartphone’s camera.

These applications are just the beginning. As AR continues to evolve throughout 2018, we expect to see the broader adoption of the technology among retailers as a commercial tool to drive footfall towards their stores.

Customer engagement

Linked to the rise of AR in retail will be the emergence of new and exciting mobile apps that consumers can use to engage with businesses on the go, an area which we expect to grow significantly in 2018.

With that in mind, businesses across a wide variety of industries will seek to innovate in this area over the next 12 months, to create engaging and immersive experiences for their customers to enjoy.

Clash of the Titans

Two of the world’s biggest technology companies are making some serious noise around the technology’s potential. Apple and Google have both well and truly thrown their hats into the AR ring, with their seemingly limitless resources set to turn augmented reality into the next big battleground in 2018.

Apple has made its intentions clear with the $30million acquisition of Vrvana, a Canadian manufacturer of AR headsets that is most well-known for its tethered ‘Totem’ headset, while Google recently launched ARCore – a baked-in augmented reality platform for Android developers.

Whatever happens in the industry over the next 12 months, these two titans are going to be out in front, jostling for the lead of the future AR market.


There are plenty of smaller firms that are well positioned to fly under the radar and take some of the shine away from the industry’s most high-profile players in 2018.

WaveOptics is a UK-based start-up that develops its own AR technology using hologram physics, rather than conventional augmented reality projection. The future is certainly bright for this innovative AR start-up and, if it continues on the same upward trajectory, 2018 could be a breakthrough year.


ARcommerce is predicted to peak and make waves through the retail sector in 2018. By offering a useful AR experience, retailers can put the power in the hands of their customers and significantly differentiate themselves from the competition.

AR has the potential to revolutionise the shopping experience as we know it and retailers simply must be prepared for an ARcommerce future that will alter how and where they sell products.


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