Augmented reality is one of the tech trends that has completely become part of our day to day life. Almost all social media users have tried augmented reality filters and apps at least as a joke. E-Commerce apps that allow you to try on clothes are not a surprise anymore either.
With all that said, AR is definitely here to stay. Let’s take a look at the possible directions augmented reality is going to take and how it will change our world.
Most augmented reality applications currently work on mobile phones and within mobile apps. By using the smartphone camera augmented reality apps can alter the image you see adding or removing elements – that’s what you get with most iPhone and Android AR apps today.
Another large segment in the world of augmented reality is based on smart glasses. These devices allow you to see infos in your vision while doing other activities. The content displayed in these glasses will not interact with the world around it and that may not be as interesting as real AR glasses, but it can be used in many useful ways. Smart glasses are usually paired with an iPhone or an Android phone.
So far there have been several attempts at manufacturing smart glasses for mass market – including Focals by North, Google Glass, Vuzix blade and others. For now the most successful models are still only Enterprise-oriented (see section on that below).
According to Global Data research on smart glasses, Apple and Facebook are also going to enter the market and release their devices – and we can definitely expect mass adoption of smart glasses to accompany that.
AR in social media
While speculating about the future of augmented reality we can surely predict that it becomes more and more adopted in social media. Right now Snapchat, Instagram, and Facebook already have augmented reality filters that allow you to edit both photos and videos, adding cool AR elements to them.
In the future, pretty much every communication app, messenger, or social media website will adobt augmented reality.
AR on the Internet
Google’s AR & VR project has been taking augmented reality online. Within it you can extract things from Google search and place them in your own space as augmented reality objects.
Moreover, Google Maps offers a live beta version of augmented reality with floating information signs, pointers, arrows and directions for everyone to use on their smartphone.
In the future we can expect that augmented reality will be part of the web search and surfing just like voice search is now.
Industries to be transformed by augmented reality
With the amount of opportunities and features that AR offers we can expect that whole Industries will be transformed by it. Moreover new business niches and models will arise.
With most of the world suffering lockdowns and other quarantine measures, online shopping grew exponentially.
Even once all the lockdowns are gone, consumers will likely continue to prefer online shopping out of habit.
Over half of all consumers have reported readiness to AR adoption in online shopping in a recent study, and even more so – complain that brands are not adopting AR fast enough
Using branded smartphone apps for augmented reality helpers, info signs and ads is the most obvious application for augmented reality in large offline retailers. Naturally, augmented reality glasses will also work well for providing information about products on the shelves.
The furniture giant IKEA has been using Ikea Place for a while, and similar apps have been popular for fitting furniture and art into your own existing interior. In the same way, removing an object in a room is possible with AR.
Likely, most of the future construction, planning, and architecture may depend on augmented reality as well, with clients inspecting future projects in augmented reality glasses.
Virtual chef apps are expected to boom, with augmented reality cooking instructions and interactive recipes to make cooking accessible to everyone.
Augmented reality is an obvious contender for transforming the educational business. The year 2020 was dominated by video calling and conference software when most classes went remote due to the pandemic. In the coming years all education and training may be taking place in augmented reality rather than schools and universities.
We are talking not only about formal education but also informal instructions and tutorials that YouTube is filled with.
Logistics, shipment, and tracking
Everything that used to be scanned with special devices like barcode or QR code readers can move over to augmented reality glasses. Moreover, AR glasses can give a lot more information to an employee – which will save tons of time and improve decision-making in the field.
A sales representative wearing augmented reality glasses will have a lot more opportunities for effective prospecting and evaluation of each case during field work.
Top augmented reality players
Right now some of the most popular augmented reality glasses are the following:
Magic Leap positions their product as a spatial computer rather than just augmented reality. The company focuses on enterprise applications of augmented reality and focuses on solutions that make collaboration and data-driven decision-making easier.
HoloLens is another popular augmented reality technology provider for businesses. Hololens 2 by Microsoft focuses on training and prototyping capabilities of AR.
Google Glass 2
The search & online ads giant has long been a part of the AR landscape and we’ve mentioned the breakthrough augmented reality applications by Google above in the article. Google Glass 2 Enterprise Edition is a device for business usage, and it has several successful commercial applications under its belt.
Nreal Nebula and Nreal Light
This company offers AR glasses device paired up with a smartphone app and a platform for AR app development. This enables your favorite phone apps to be used, while just wearing glases.
The more simple and accessible platforms like this appear, the faster augmented reality adoption will be.
If you have a modern smartphone and want to try augmented reality, just try our free tech demo.