After several years of gradual growth, augmented reality is starting to see more widespread usage, even if not totally perceived as AR by consumers.
The first mass AR execution was in Pokémon Go, launched in 2016, as millions of consumers new to the technology tapped it to capture creatures as they popped up in their surroundings.
AR technology is now starting to show up in different types of apps, some a lot more than others, according to a new study by Superdata, a Nielsen company.
Social media is now the top way consumers access AR, primarily thanks to apps like Snapchat, where consumers add AR filters to share doctored selfies.
Social media is the leading (78%) category of apps used to regularly access augmented reality. The second highest usage is in games (45%), followed by shopping (38%), utility (31%), location-based (17%), AR media apps (9%) and education (8%), according to Superdata.
Snapchat is the top non-gaming AR app, with four of five Snapchat users leveraging the app’s AR feature Lenses at least half the time.
The highest usage of AR in apps are, in order, Pokémon Go, Snapchat, Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, TikTok, Instagram, Google Translate, Google Maps, Facebook and Amazon.
For advertising, 41% of AR users say they see AR ads regularly. On the up side, users share 61% of the ads they see with others.
The demographic mix is interesting.
AR users are 30 years old on average, with 68% of the audience under the age of 35.
The annual income of nearly half (46%) of augmented reality users is under $30,000, with 23% of those having no personal income.
No matter the demographic split, the implantation and use of augmented reality is finally widening.