The industrial market for augmented reality, and the logistics and manufacturing AR markets in particular, will reach soar by more than 400% in 2017, according to a forecast by ABI Research.

The AR momentum will continue into 2018, the firm said, with shipments expected to jump from 440,000 in 2017 to more than three million. This will happen as large multi-national companies such as Boeing, DHL, GE and Shell complete trials of the technology alongside the support of device manufacturers and platform companies.

Given the current growth trajectory, ABI expects industrial AR shipments to reach 16 million by 2021.

“Many companies see the potential value of AR within the space, and while a level of misunderstanding surrounding the technology and its capabilities can cause challenges, trials will allow workers to test and understand the benefits of the technology,” said Shelli Bernard, research analyst at ABI.

“Industry players are collaborating to improve education surrounding the technology’s current capabilities, which will ensure that implementations meet organizations’ expectations in utilizing the technology,” Bernard said.

The benefits of AR applications in the workforce are substantial, ABI said. They can improve worker safety, streamline workflow processes, and significantly cut company travel costs through remote expertise implementations. As application and platform providers work alongside device manufacturers to deliver an array of solutions, AR application awareness will continue to grow through successful trials and end user education, the firm said.

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