This paper investigates the Augmented Reality (AR) technology with a novel approach based on patent research. We searched the USPTO for AR-related granted patents in the period 1993–2018, we selected and manually browse a total of 2,373, we classified them in five key technological classes i.e., display device, tracking, user interaction, application, and system, and we finally analyzed the results. The main contribution of this paper is the investigation of the technological trends, with outcomes that can be useful for researchers and developers for technical steering, but also for policymakers, managers and entrepreneurs for technology scouting and forecasting. Our study found that AR technological development has especially increased in the last decade. In particular, we evidenced a remarkable steady of 82 % annual growth rate of the number of granted patents after 2012. From geographical distribution, we found that North America is the leader (68 %); Asia (18 %) and Europe (13 %) are lagging behind despite dedicated Industry 4.0 policies actuated by the governments. Another nontrivial result is the incoherency between the owners of a high quantity of patents and those highly impacting. In fact, only Microsoft Corporation and Amazon Technologies are at the same time in the top 10 of the most patent-intensive organizations and the top 10 of highly impacting organizations. Moreover, the majority of the patents are owned by companies, albeit some of the highly impacting ones come from universities or research centers. These findings provide theoretical, managerial, and policy implications for future research activities in the AR domain.
|Titolo:||Unveiling the technological trends of augmented reality: A patent analysis|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2020|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI):||http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.compind.2020.103221|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|