Augmented reality is really starting to grow and gain in popularity. A new report from MarketsandMarkets, www.marketsandmarkets.com, predicts the sector for augmented reality is expected to soar at a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 15.18% from 2013 to $1.06 billion by 2018.

The report, which has a bit of a clunky name, “Augmented Reality & Virtual Reality Market by Sensors (Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Haptics), Components (Camera, Controller, Gloves, HMD), Applications (Automotive, Education, Medical, Gaming, Military), Technology Types & by Geography – Global Forecast and Analysis to 2013 – 2018,” does provide some interesting information.

In fact, the report says, AR (augmented reality) is a thriving technology through which digital data will “merge” with the real world. This technology superimposes the real world with computer-generated data, changing the user experience.

Total immersion, www.t-immersion.com, Qualcomm, www.qualcomm.com, Metaio, www.metaio.com, Vuzix Corp., www.vuzix.com, Layar, www.layar.com, and Wikitude, www.wikitude.com, are major companies, according to MarketsandMarkets, that offer AR & VR technology in various applications associated with dedicated augmented reality and immersive virtual reality systems.

M&M cites AR technology growth in camera and GPS (global positioning system)-outfitted mobile phone technology enabling users to experience the technology “beyond their anticipation.” By 2015, AR technology is expected to be widely used in education for advanced learning and for teaching technologies.

Global dedicated devices augmented reality market is expected to reach $659.98 million by 2018, with the immersive virtual reality market expected to reach $407.51 million by 2018. (The mobile-based augmented reality and non-immersive virtual reality market analysis is analyzed separately to maintain mutual exclusiveness of data sets.)

The major driving forces of augmented reality technology and virtual reality are the advancement and in computer technology and Internet connectivity. The increased demand in virtual reality and AR application in healthcare industry is a direct cause for a tremendous growth in AR & VR market.

The other driving force, according to the research provider, is for virtual reality and AR technology is the consumer demand in m-commerce industry. The technology used in virtual reality applications, it indicates, is in emerging trends such as goggles and contact lens applications.

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