The Venture Reality Fund are one of the best-known names in venture capital for the immersive technology sector, focussing mostly on early-stage investments in areas of augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR) and mixed reality (MR). The firm has today released its report on the first half of 2018 and how the global AR landscape has been affected.
The report reveals that mobile-based AR apps and content for both Apple and Google-powered handsets has undergone the most substation growth, but consumer interest is still somewhat lacking beyond high-profile apps such as Pokemon Go.
“With more than $1B so far this year, global investment in VR and AR is still very strong,” says Tipatat Chennavasin, co-founder and general partner at The VR Fund. “And while AR is getting more attention lately, the number of deals is fairly evenly split between VR and AR.”
The report also found that several major technology companies have been releasing tools that help developers and creators build more in-depth AR experiences. This includes obvious candidates such as Apple and Google, but also Snap, Facebook, Niantic Labs, Adobe and start-ups like Blue Vision Labs, who have all unveiled tools for mobile AR development.
According to the report, there has been a trend in non-technology companies acquiring AR technology companies, with examples including L’Oreal and Williams Sonoma, displaying that many firms believe that AR will have significant impact on customer engagement.
Social AR has become a large category, the report notes, with heavy usage of AR features in apps such as Snapchat, Facebook and Instagram. Last year, Snap reported that almost 70 million users spend an average of three minutes a day with AR lenses.
There was notable growth across all categories of AR, with particular note paid to smartglasses, 3D tools and SDKs, all of which had implications for enterprise application.