Augmented reality will be part of our daily life
Digital reality, which includes augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR), will grow to a market of $ 162 billion by 2020, according to IDC. And I personally think augmented reality is going to be the winner in this market, for a few reasons.
First, augmented reality does not require the user to wear a large, clunky headset. Nobody wants to wear that for hours; it is uncomfortable if worn for long periods of time and you have to take it off to do anything else. With the amount of time people spend multitasking now, that won’t work.
The only alternative at this time is to be in a “virtual reality booth”. While it seems interesting, people are not going to have these large reserved spaces in their homes.
So the second reason VR won’t be that great is because selling to individual consumers is the only way something new in the gaming industry can take off today.
Then virtual reality at the moment is mostly limited to gaming. And gaming, especially with large headphones, doesn’t appeal to the majority of the general public.
I realize that VR gaming headsets sell well. There is a place for them, and they will be part of the bigger picture of digital reality. But I think AR will end up being the dominant force in this market.
So what is augmented reality? In basic terms, it is anything projected onto a screen or screen that is not really there.
An example that everyone has seen is the yellow line during soccer games that marks the next first down. It’s actually been around since 1968, although it’s nothing like what it used to be (thankfully).
There was also Google Glass, which was Google’s own AR “headset” in the form of glasses. The product was highly anticipated by the technology market, but not by anyone else.
Its launch in 2014 was a failure and it was discontinued the following year. That was mainly due to its $ 1,500 price tag, as well as a fear that Google was secretly recording people.
But now, this technology is exploding to the point where we could use it multiple times a day.
Virtual shopping and augmented reality
At this point, most of the AR is done through smartphone apps, which is convenient because our phones are always in front of us.
For example, Amazon has an application called Amazon AR that allows customers to view their products in the real world.
One of the main reasons people don’t want to buy household items online is because they want to be able to see the product in real life. But until now, this involved having to go to the actual store and then imagine what the product would look like at home.
The AR technology in this application allows you to see a virtual version of the product in real life, eliminating having to go to the store to choose something. Buying online is also faster and easier to navigate; You have hundreds of products in front of you and now you can see what they would look like in your home.
Ikea has a similar app called Ikea Place. One of the most tedious parts of buying furniture is having to measure all the dimensions and then trying to estimate if the piece of furniture you want will fit. But with the app, you can see what any “life-size” Ikea furniture would look like in your home.
Augmented reality has hundreds of different uses
Augmented reality is also proving its value to manufacturing companies. For example, Ford and Volvo are using AR in their car design process. Now, instead of having to build a physical clay model of each car, they can visualize it in augmented reality.
This technology can save a lot of time and money spent correcting mistakes and guessing how to create or improve the functionality of a car. Once this product is fully integrated, it will eliminate the entire prototype phase of car design, allowing manufacturers to release new models more frequently.
We can already get a glimpse of what else will come with AR, as there are hundreds of different uses being discovered and developed.
Keeping up with automotive uses, there is an app that is being developed by a company called AR-media that allows you to keep track of maintenance and perform repairs on cars.
The app is called I-Mechanic and it could really save people a lot of money by showing them how to perform routine maintenance on their cars.
Volkswagen was actually a pioneer in this technology when it created an app that could be used with its XL1 model. While he had the right idea with the technology, only 200 of those cars were sold to the public, so no one was able to use the app.
I-Mechanic will be available for use with a variety of car models, building on what Volkswagen started.
Lastly, believe it or not, a technology is being developed to turn your windshield into an AR station:
While a “smart windshield” can be distracting for drivers, the real potential here would be in driverless or power-assisted cars. The person in the car could use the windshield for things like GPS or get information on nearby points of interest.
Invest in augmented reality
Augmented reality has taken the tech market by storm in recent years, and it’s just getting started. For all the apps and features I’ve covered here, there are hundreds more in existence or in development.
There are also ways to invest in this technology.
Companies like Snap Inc. (NYSE: SNAP) Y Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) They are creating augmented reality platforms that are used every day by both individuals and companies.
In 2018, I think we will see exponential growth in the augmented reality market and a significant immersion of technology in our daily lives.