As the world continues to grow, lots of ideas and technologies are coming up, and Augmented reality (AR) is one of the technologies that have come to stay.
AR has been in use in the educational sector, games, military technology industry, medicine, building construction, and mobile devices. The camera in the lenses and smart glasses of AR devices transfers the real world to a computer-generated environment thereby enhancing the perception of the real world.
This new technology combines and blends both the real world and artificial world together and enables users to interact with the real-world environment using a virtual or enhanced environment.
Checkout: Top 10 Virtual Reality Companies 2022
AR is oftentimes mistaken for VR, and the difference between Augmented reality (AR) and Virtual reality (VR) is that while AR tends to modify the user’s existing understanding of a real-world environment, VR completely replaces the user’s real-world environment with simulated ones.
With the rate the AR market is growing, it is expected to reach USD 3.664 billion by 2026 from USD 849 million in 2019, representing a CAGR growth of 27% during the period.
Here are the top 10 Augmented reality companies driving the market:
- Snap Inc
- Magic Leap
- Groove Jones
#1 APPLE (Cupertino, California, USA)
Apple is a big name to note in the world of technology as they deal in the manufacturing and selling of several technology products like mobile phones, computers, and other services, and now into AR & VR services.
The company’s latest phones have AR-friendly bionic chips. We can see the degree of interest shown by Apple in AR through its acquisition of Metaoi in 2015, a startup that specializes in reality software.
Also in 2017 Apple revealed the ARKit during its Worldwide Developers Conference which is now used to develop AR apps and experiences.
According to macrumors.com, “Apple is investigating multiple ways virtual and augmented reality could be implemented into future iOS devices or new hardware products. Apple’s focus on AR/VR has ramped up over the past few years, and an augmented reality product could launch as soon as 2022”.
The company has also made a number of significant acquisitions, gradually building up a profile of promising AR associates.
#2 SNAP INC. (Santa Monica, California)
We are very familiar with Snap because of their app called ‘Snapchat’. Snap is an American-based camera and social media company founded in 2011, by Evan Spiegel, Bobby Murphy, and Reggie Brown. It is headquartered in Santa Monica, California.
The company developed and maintains technological products and services, namely Snapchat, Spectacles (AR Glasses), and Bitmoji.
In 2020, Snap launched Lens Web builder, a tool that enables brands to create AR experiences for Snapchat through templates, with no coding required.
Now, the company promises AR Shopping Lens creation can be accomplished in just two minutes with a few clicks. This is made possible through an update to the Lens Web Builder.
Snap, in 2022, upgraded its AR shopping experience for both the consumers and the brands.
For the consumers, the AR shopping features become more practical to use, as they’ll now display key product information, like the current product pricing and color details, alongside product descriptions and unique links to make purchases on new Lens Product Cards that appear as users virtually try on products,
And for the brands, it will allow them to gain more immediate insights that can help them with their R&D plans, as well as to determine which types of products are resonating best.
The experience is meant to offer a tech-powered alternative to trying out items in a retailer’s store and serve a growing number of brands that are online vendors only.
#3 MICROSOFT (Washington, USA )
Since its birth in April 1975, Microsoft has been developing and supporting software, computing and networking.
Microsoft develops computers that support AR technology and add-ons, manufactures the HoloLens AR headset, and supports AR experiences, apps, and games on the Microsoft App Store.
Their other products and software include Holographic displays and software on PCs and mobile devices as well as AR accessories such as hand controllers.
The Microsoft Windows 10 operating system allows unanimous PCs and laptops to experience Windows Mixed Reality, that is, a VR and AR experience platform.
The Windows Mixed Reality also offers Maquette, which empowers users to design unique immersive interfaces, scenes, objects, and experiences with a variety of powerful tools and assets that allows you to build and repeat ideas within 3D space.
This company shows that AR companies can also be big existing companies as well. It is headquartered in Washington USA.
#4 NVIDIA (Santa Clara, USA)
This is one of the best when it comes to GPU graphics cards, some of which support VR, AR, and MR gaming on both PCs and other devices.
It provides VR technology for creators, filmmakers, designers, and VR companies to create and develop better apps and games.
Nvidia announced the development of a new software kit called the CloudXR, to power creators and developers to create more pleasant and immersive reality content and experiences in the month of April 2021.
#5 Niantic (San Francisco, California)
This augmented reality platform and its studio is an offshoot of Google created to enhance human experience with Augmented reality in the real world. The company is best known for its development of augmented reality mobile games.
They are the developer of the widely popular AR game, Pokemon Go (2016) mobile game which generated $2 billion from in-app purchases. Other of their games include Ingress and Ingress Prime, Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, Endgame: Proving Ground, Catan: World Explorers, Pikmin Bloom, and Transformers: Heavy Metal.
The company lately acquired Escher Reality and Matrix Mill to beef up its AR cloud and machine learning abilities.
#6 ALPHABET (California, USA)
One will not be surprised that Alphabet made it to the top 10 AR companies. This company is one of the major technological powerhouses, it is heavily involved in the development of search engines, AI, VR, AR, networking, computers, IoT, drones, space projects, smartphones, etc.
Alphabet is widely known as the parent company of Google, but when it comes to AR, it is famous for the Googles Glasses that were built on the Qualcomm Snapdragon XR1 platform.
According to a 2022 report by Verge, Google is building a new and powerful AR headset that it hopes to ship in 2024. The AR headset could be a major turning point in the development of AR smart glasses.
Alphabet also developed Google Lens, Cloud Anchors, Live View in Google Maps, AR in Google Search, and Scene Viewer.
#7 MAGIC LEAP (Plantation, Florida)
Having been in existence for over 12 years ago, in August 2018, finally brought out a product after years of overhype. Magic Leap has a Magic leap One and Magic leap two full AR glasses to their name.
Magic Leap is very much considered ‘the ones to watch’ in this space. This startup company in July 2018 partnered with AT&T to build solutions for businesses while the latter provides the 5G connectivity needed to deliver high-quality AR content.
The wide range of AR development services they offer is impressive, that is to say, Magic Leap is diversifying.
#8 ZAPPAR (Cape Town, South Africa)
Established in 2011, Zappar intends to bring AR to equality through the development of a free app and a simple model for brands who want to build AR solutions. The company has Unilevel, Warner Bros and AXA, Coca-Cola, and Sony as its customers.
Zappar’s ZapWorks platform allows marketers, designers, and developers to create interactive experiences which are accessed by scanning zapcodes using mobile.
Zapcodes can turn products, packaging, and passive print into multimedia channels that drive engagement and unlock value for brands. In 2017, ZapWorks was named the Best Authoring and Publishing Tool at the Augmented World Expo.
#9 NREAL ( Beijing, China)
This is a Chinese-based company that was the first to show us what a real mixed-reality product looks like as a pair of glasses instead of a helmet priced at $500. Its products depend on 5G.
The company partners with Deutsche Telecom and also launched a virtual try-on app with Gucci.
Nreal’s brand of AR glasses (Light and Air) allows you to step into your very own theater, without having to step out of your living room through the portable IMAX screen.
The way their Nreal glasses works is amazing; the glasses look like a normal pair of sunglasses with two cameras for spatial tracking embedded in the front. They also have cycling, streaming TV, and other apps as their AR apps.
# 10 GROOVES JONES (CHICAGO, USA)
Next on our list is the award-winning Groove Jones company. It provides both AR, VR, and MR services to other firms. The company has partnered with Magic Leap, Microsoft HoloLens, Facebook Spark AR, Snapchat Lens Studio, Apple ARKit, and Google’s ARCore.
They have tried to maintain a unique vision to inspire, engage, and entertain throughout their history by bringing our imaginations to reality.
Groove Jones has top brands such as Volkswagon, US Soccer, Toyota, and many others as their customers. They have technologies and processes to produce innovative and creative solutions across multiple screens.
I’m a Technology Stock Analyst, with focus on companies developing cutting-edge techs. Keeping track of cutting-edge techs, companies and stocks is what I do almost everyday. And I love it. Whether it’s artificial intelligence, 5g, or autonomous vehicles; I’m all in.