Augmented Reality Breaking Into the U.S. thanks to Social Networks

in Science & Tech by

Nearly 40 million Americans will use augmented reality at least once a month in 2017, a 30% increase supported by social networks, according to a study published Monday by the eMarketer research firm.

The use of augmented reality has been multiplied by the development of applications such as ‘Lenses’ on the social network Snapchat, which makes it possible to superimpose, on the image, virtual elements on a person captured by a smart phone camera.

This will allow the user to add rabbit ears, sunglasses or tongue to the face of the person being photographed or videoed.

Snapchat even launched, in mid-April, “World Lenses”, which allows to place a virtual object in three dimensions in a photo or video made with a smart phone.

Snapchat is not the only social network to offer augmented reality. Facebook has recently followed suit with Facebook Stories and Instagram Stories.

The overwhelming majority of our estimates for augmented reality is on Snapchat Lenses, according to Chris Bendtsen, forecast analyst for eMarketer, who sees Facebook gradually falling behind.

According to the research firm, the number of monthly users of augmented reality is expected to reach 54.4 million people in the United States by 2019 – one in five users.

Virtual reality is still far from augmented reality, according to eMarketer. According to the firm, 22.4 million people will use virtual reality in the United States in 2017, double the number of 2016.

The category is driven by photos and 360-degree videos shared on Facebook and YouTube, but also by video games, which require users to acquire a specific headset.

According to eMarketer, 2.9% of the US population will use a virtual reality helmet in 2017, which is expected to rise to 5.2% by 2019.

Photo: Secret Location on Instagram