According The Venture Reality Fund, the introductions of Facebook's camera platform and Apple's ARKit catalyzed increased activity among companies developing consumer applications.
The firm's quarterly report on the augmented reality landscape concluded that the strongest activity was in device infrastructure and SDK tool development, both indicators of a nascent industry.
Based on early developer response, the firm believes Apple's entrance into the market will accelerate the growth of augmented reality applications for mobile devices. They expect Microsoft and Google to redouble their efforts on HoloLens and Tango as a result of Apple's foray into the field.
"Over the past quarter, the AR industry witnessed several notable moves by major players including Facebook and Apple, which immediately led to a robust increase in developer activity as well as extensive coverage in the market," said Tipatat Chennavasin, co-founder and general partner at The VR Fund, and a member of the NR50, in a statement. "These strides are reflective of rising interest in AR driven primarily by device infrastructure and SDK tools."
The firm also observed growth in the enterprise sector, with the number of companies developing enterprise-focused AR applications increasing by 60 percent from the first quarter to the second quarter.
The Venture Reality Fund analyzed the activity of more than 2,000 companies for the report, with approximately 150 companies highlighted based on meeting thresholds for funding, revenue, mainstream media coverage, and/or major partnerships.