Augmented reality (AR) on the face of it seems much like something straight out of a futuristic science fiction movie. The concept is to take our everyday environment and project images into that world, augmenting what it is that we can see with our eyes. While it might have first been seen as a technological gimmick, companies are beginning to take it pretty seriously, and there are several signs that commercially, it is set to become big business.
You might remember several years ago Pokemon Go was a craze that swept across the world. It allowed people to download an app and then, by looking through their phone screen, they could walk around their neighborhood trying to catch pokemon that would appear in front of them. This was really the beginning of people realizing the augmented reality is something that really could be universally used and integrated into our daily lives.
Pokemon Go hit our smartphones in 2015 and much like anything in technology, it is old news. People still use it and play it of course, but now consumers and businesses are trying to find the next big thing to use augmented reality for. One thing that has really changed is how developers approach augmented reality. Instead of it being an afterthought in their development, it is at the forefront of their plans as there are more and more AR capable phones being used every day.
Both Google and Apple have created platforms that allow software developers to integrate AR into their apps, meaning that the majority of the phone market has developers capable of using AR. An example of this being used is the Amazon app, which allows users to see how the products they are interested in will look when placed in their homes.
We are more and more likely to see developers trying to place physical objects that don’t exist into our worlds. Some car companies are looking to develop AR software that allows their potential customers to place their car on their driveway, allowing them to walk around it and get a good feel for how the car is going to look up close.
AR is also expected to change how businesses operate. Factory workers will be able to use AR to check work instructions while working, rather than having to go over to an office, or file, to check on the procedures. One major way business might make use of the expected boom in AR use is through GPS. Many advertisers will be able to drop products into our world through our phones as we drive around the country. It will change the way businesses advertise their products, helping us to visualize ourselves using and handling the products before making a decision to buy. The world can become one big advertising board for companies, tailored to each and every person’s interests and spending habits.
Augmented reality is only likely to become more and more popular as time goes on and experts believe that by 2020 the technology will be widely used by many companies for the global market. What was once seen as an innovative technology is now expected to become a business solution for many in the upcoming years.