Augmented reality and virtual reality have now become the central focus of mobile innovation. The year 2017 marked announcements of some groundbreaking AR innovations. The launch of ARkit by Apple and ARcore by Google has now enabled developers to easily create engaging augmented reality applications. With mobile phones having the deepest market penetration among all AR capable devices, these toolkits will help make AR mainstream.
According to Digi-capital, Revenue from Augmented Reality is predicted to be four times that of VR by 2020. In fact, AR/VR could hit $150bn in revenue by 2020.
Not just the big companies like Google and Apple, young entrepreneurs are also making efforts to leverage and innovate in the augmented reality space. By June 2017 336 start-ups were already listed under this category on the Angelist (Source). This speaks for itself about the future of augmented reality. At NewGenApps, we have developed mobile apps for many organizations and have been in the business since 2008. Till date, it felt as if mobile apps have reached their peak in innovations but augmented reality has opened many new opportunities giving this market a fresh look. In this blog, we will give you a brief overview on the augmented reality future and how it can revolutionize the businesses.
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A Peak in Potential Augmented Reality Future:
1. Breaking the Boundaries:
We are now habituated to seeing content in a boxed interface. Whether it is a desktop, mobile or tablet, there is always a limitation imposed on the content area. Augmented reality is a way to bust the notion of limiting the interface of content giving way to a more interactive, engaging and out of the box (quite literally) experience. Now your entire surroundings can act as the holder for content, thus giving a fresh experience to its consumption.
2. Interactive Marketing:
Augmented reality showcases a potential way to stand out from a crowd and deliver a customer experience which differentiates a brand from its competitors. Starbucks the ever-revolutionary brand leveraged augmented reality back in 2011 with its Valentine's Day Campaign. Consumers are already overloaded with content. Hence there is no room for another “me too” company sending marketing blasts. Augmented and Virtual Reality have given a way out of this overcrowded mess to a more engaging and fresh medium.
Read More: Impact of AR on Advertising
3. Empower the Gaming Industry:
The gaming industry is the biggest beneficiary of augmented reality. We have already seen PokemonGo as a remarkable example of using augmented reality in gaming. There are many other upcoming games which are built on augmented reality platforms like the one based on popular tv series ‘The Walking Dead’ by AMC. Mobile gaming is a growing market and augmented reality has added a scope for high-end games to engage mobile users.
4. E-commerce will be Redefined:
In the future, you could try clothes on at— Futurism (@futurism) September 5, 2017
the store virtually! pic.twitter.com/ZzI4FvR3mi
Up until now, we could only see a product image online and that was supposed to be the basis for making purchase decisions. With augmented reality, we can now combine the convenience of online shopping with the reliability of purchasing from physical stores. Tools like Memomi’s high-end digital mirror have enabled people to try new outfits without going through the hassle of changing clothes. IKEA is also a good example of enabling people to understand how a furniture will look at home thus, enabling people to make better purchase decisions.
5. Power to the Utility Apps:
While utility apps haven’t made significant advancements in AR, there are immense potential ways of using it. Google translate, for example, allows you to use your camera to translate text on billboards and street signs. Augmented reality can also be used for navigation when combined with helmets. This will allow the wearer to see a pointer indicating direction, eliminating the need to look at the mobile phone.Read More: 5 Toolkits for Augmented Reality Development
How are Biggies Defining the Future of Augmented Reality?
We already know the big three tech giants who always lead the way in IT innovations - Google, Apple and Microsoft. This time in the AR space there is one more competitor - Neuralink, an Elon Musk’s initiative in the artificial intelligence and augmented reality space. While there are countless startups trying to come with innovative solutions these companies will likely remain the enablers of technology. A big advantage these companies enjoy is a wide community of fans and techies associated with their brand. This helps in easy adoption of new products and deeper market penetration.
In the WWDC 2017, Apple launched ARKit - a framework that will help developers create augmented reality apps for Apple devices. In the same WWDC event Alasdair Coull, Creative Director at Peter Jackson’s ‘Wingnut AR’ (of ‘Lord of the Rings’ fame) showcased a live demo with a tablet, where spaceships engaged in a battle. The entire visualization was created using ARKit and Unreal Engine. This framework will run on all devices running iOS11. While Apple has not yet made major announcements about wearable AR, the recent patent for a headset and rumours of a collaboration with Carl Zeiss to create trendy glasses indicate that they are up for something interesting.
Google the leader in mobile innovations has yet again excelled in augmented reality. Googlers have already shown their skills with Google Glass, a one of a kind accessory which was way ahead of its time. At the time of launch, it couldn't succeed because of privacy concerns and pricing. Even Tango, a mobile initiative from Google didn’t play well. Nevertheless, products fail but the experience and knowledge base stay forever. The expenses made by Google in RnD of these projects will definitely help it solidify a space in glasses AR. This year Google also launched ARCore an augmented reality kit that will empower developers to easily create augmented reality apps for Android devices.
Microsoft has also made serious initiatives in the augmented reality market. In fact, they are the ones to combine AR and VR in complete sense thus making the strongest move in the mixed reality space. Microsoft’s HoloLens headset and the upcoming Windows Mixed Reality operating system indicate their strong presence in the AR and VR space. Microsoft’s initiatives are expected to pick up once these bite-sized apps and fleshed out AR experiences begin to look for a cohesive, unifying user interface to define the platform.
The Visionary: Neuralink
Elon Musk (Paypal, Tesla, SpaceX) considers artificial intelligence a threat to human existence and to prepare humans to match with AI he founded Neuralink, a neurotech company aiming to decipher the secrets behind communications in the human brain. Neuralink will provide medical aid to people with degenerative brain diseases (like Alzheimer's) by providing them with an extended artificial memory. This technology has the potential to enable brain typing and skin hearing (like the Facebook endeavour). Once mainstream, it can even allow sharing memories and moments using AR without the need for any special equipment.
To wrap up, augmented reality is a potentially disruptive technology which if leveraged properly can help us succeed dramatically in multiple spheres from marketing to healthcare to entertainment. It is up to us how we think of freeing ourselves from the box to animate the world around us.
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