The Future of Augmented Reality
In the current digital space landscape, AR is simply a niche style of technology that we can access with our smartphones. While this may be the case, with current projections and estimates about the state of technology, it is largely assumed that the field of AR will grow vastly, even to the point it eclipses virtual technology markets. According to some estimates, by the year 2023, the AR market will be valued between $70 billion and $75 billion, while the VR market will be valued around $10 to $15 billion.
Consumer feedback largely agrees with this estimate. A study conducted by Perkins Coie law firm found that 70% of people agree that AR will surpass VR in terms of revenue. When asked, 81% of those people predicted this would happen in 5 years.
Future AR Markets
Some industries may benefit more from AR than others, according to Total ImmersionTM, some of those markets include:
- E-Commerce – companies would integrate AR into their website and apps. It would also be beneficial to use AR to let consumers virtually test clothing using a smartphones’ camera.
- Digital Marketing – AR will change how brands interact with consumers, using interactive signs, packaging, virtual ads, and other such products.
- Geolocation – Everyone could benefit from using AR in this market, whether it be using it for real-time travel tips, or restaurant suggestions.
- Educational Resources – Using AR to simulate training situations in real-time can significantly reduce training time and reduce costs.
Obstacles to AR
Of course, for this to happen, AR needs to become more than an afterthought. Finding a solid medium to use AR and spreading how useful AR tech is to the masses is the first step to realizing the full potential of the augmented reality market.
With it being such a relatively new technology, there isn’t much data to reinforce how useful it is in the market. As the Forbes Agency Council explains in its 2017 blog post: “AR gives you a more immersive platform to tell a story directing people to deeper content, game-like features, and bringing the consumers into the experience, 11 Creative Uses Of Augmented Reality In Marketing And Advertising” on Forbes.com. “We are all trying to determine the ROI (return on investment) of AR. If we connect it with the brand story and our owned properties, then we can start to show value through engagement and brand affinity.”
Aside from these economic and social issues, there are a number of technological barriers that must be passed to successfully integrate AR technology into the world. In an academic paper written by Ronald T. Azuma, an Intel principal engineer, in 2016, he lists a few improvements that could be made for AR technology:
- AR must have more precise tracking across large environments, indoors and outdoors, day or night.
- A wide field-of-view optical display (glasses or goggles) must be used to fully integrate AR into daily life.
- The AR platform must incorporate an innovative hands-free interface.
- AR object recognition and incorporation of real-world objects into the AR digital space must be improved for the augmented reality experience to be seamless.
Considering how dependent our world is with our smartphones, it only makes sense that AR technology becomes the future of design. With only a century of development, perceptions and applications of AR technology have changed massively, with even more change in the future. The possibilities with AR technology are near limitless – the question is will we be able to unlock that potential?