The aerospace and defense industry continues to be a hotbed of patent innovation. Activity is driven by automation, operational efficiency, and growing importance of technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), cloud computing, and digital identity. As modernization requirements continue to drive investment within both the civil and military aerospace sectors, widespread demand for AR/VR aerial mapping has incentivized significant innovation within the field of virtual and augmented reality. In the last three years alone, there have been over 237,000 patents filed and granted in the aerospace and defense industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Virtual and augmented reality in defense: AR/VR aerial mapping. Buy the report here.

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According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which uses over 206,000 patents to analyze innovation intensity for the aerospace and defense industry, there are 110 innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.

AR/VR aerial mapping is a key innovation area in virtual and augmented reality

AR/VR aerial mapping refers to creation, visualization and analysis of aerial maps using augmented reality and virtual reality technologies with the help of images, video, audio, weather conditions, thermal signatures, and other parameters. These technologies create immersive virtual environments and additional information in real time enhancing the mapping experience and analysis of aerial data. This data can then be processed and used in tasks such as insurance assessments, surveying, and crop phenotyping.

GlobalData’s analysis also uncovers the companies at the forefront of each innovation area and assesses the potential reach and impact of their patenting activity across different applications and geographies. According to GlobalData, there are 30+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established aerospace and defense companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of AR/VR aerial mapping.

Key players in AR/VR aerial mapping – a disruptive innovation in the aerospace and defense industry

‘Application diversity’ measures the number of applications identified for each patent. It broadly splits companies into either ‘niche’ or ‘diversified’ innovators.   

‘Geographic reach’ refers to the number of countries each patent is registered in. It reflects the breadth of geographic application intended, ranging from ‘global’ to ‘local’.  

Patent volumes related to AR/VR aerial mapping

Company Total patents (2021 - 2023) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance 17 Unlock Company Profile
AeroVironment 8 Unlock Company Profile
Teledyne FLIR 2 Unlock Company Profile
Israel Aerospace Industries 7 Unlock Company Profile
Lockheed Martin 2 Unlock Company Profile
Microsoft 12 Unlock Company Profile
Wing Aviation 1 Unlock Company Profile
USAA 2 Unlock Company Profile
Pictometry International 34 Unlock Company Profile
Siemens 8 Unlock Company Profile
Tata Sons 2 Unlock Company Profile
Hitachi 2 Unlock Company Profile
Xilinx 2 Unlock Company Profile
Caterpillar 2 Unlock Company Profile
U.S. Department of Defence 4 Unlock Company Profile
Alarmcom 2 Unlock Company Profile
Panasonic 5 Unlock Company Profile
Bayer 1 Unlock Company Profile
Sony Group 6 Unlock Company Profile
NVIDIA 2 Unlock Company Profile
Boeing 7 Unlock Company Profile
IBM 1 Unlock Company Profile
KDDI 1 Unlock Company Profile
Seiko Epson 3 Unlock Company Profile
GoPro 4 Unlock Company Profile
SZ DJI Technology 13 Unlock Company Profile
Airphrame 6 Unlock Company Profile
Loveland Innovations 2 Unlock Company Profile
X Development 3 Unlock Company Profile
Hanwha Aerospace 1 Unlock Company Profile
Guangzhou XAG 3 Unlock Company Profile
GreenSight Agronomics 2 Unlock Company Profile
Guangzhou Xaircraft Technology 21 Unlock Company Profile
Xaircraft 1 Unlock Company Profile
IntelinAir 1 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Boeing is one of the leading aerospace and defense companies that has filed patents pertaining to AR/VR aerial mapping. The company, through its subsidiary Aurora Flight Sciences, filed patent related to virtual reality system for aerial vehicle.

To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the aerospace and defense industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Virtual and Augmented Reality in Aerospace and Defense.

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GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData’s Patent Analytics tracks patent filings and grants from official offices around the world. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.