Augmented reality: A particularly promising trend
The digitalization trend of augmented and virtual reality is continuously expanding in virtually all areas of life, thus offering attractive investment opportunities for investors, who can expect stable and above-average investment performance.
Augmented and virtual reality: The trend is continuing
US-China trade tensions may be lingering and the economic growth outlook may look overcast. Yet, it is believed that the digitalization trend, which is the foundation of the Credit Suisse Supertrend «Technology at the service of humans», will continue. In this context, we expect the virtual and augmented reality (VR/AR) investment theme to regain prominence this year after having been under the radar for some time.
Augmented reality's growing fields of application
The technology -Supertrend focuses on the continued expansion of digitalization into almost all areas of life in the form of smart homes, smart industries and smart cities. As enterprises and consumers invest in and consume more and more digital infrastructure, devices and services, the trend should prove to be an attractive source of investment outperformance over time. It will probably continue even in a global economic slowdown.
Virtual and augmented reality as an attractive investment opportunity
We expect the Supertrend sub-theme «Virtual reality and augmented reality» to enter a new phase, which could see it move back into investors’ focus. 2018 could be described as a pilot phase for enterprises across different industries to explore the augmented reality technology extensively and recognize its value.
According to consulting firm Digi-Capital, venture capital investments in VR/AR amounted to 7,2 billion US dollar between Q4 2017 and Q3 2018, 4 billion US dollar of which were invested in computer vision and AR technology.
Million users owned an AR-compatible smartphone in July 2018
AR app user base is steadily growing
Large technology companies including Apple and Alphabet (Google) are encouraging AR app development by providing development platforms such as ARKit and ARCore. This should result in substantial growth in the consumer AR segment. In addition, the addressable AR-compatible smartphone user base is growing, reaching 762 million users as of July 2018.
Companies are improving their efficiency thanks to augmented reality
In the enterprise business, we expect augmented reality to become a major driver of maintenance technology, for instance. Private companies already offer different ways for technicians, engineers and mechanics to use augmented reality to maintain facilities, repair an asset, provide real-time guidance to complete tasks or discover asset information.
Companies that have already implemented such AR services experienced material benefits in terms of efficiency or productivity. Hence, we remain optimistic that the virtual and augmented reality market will continue to grow.