If you have played Pokémon Go, Harry Potter: Wizards Unite or The Walking Dead: Our World, you have sampled augmented reality. These games blur the line between reality and fantasy and are the product of avant-garde technology. So what does the future of augmented reality look like?
You may be surprised to learn that augmented reality (AR) has been doing the rounds for more than 50 years. Way back in 1968, Ivan Sutherland created the prototype of the head-mounted AR device and called it the Sword of Damocles. In 1990, Tom Caudell, a researcher with Boeing coined the term Augmented Reality.
The technology kept evolving and finally in 1992, the US Air Force Research Laboratory crafted an AR system that is completely immersive, rather like the game realities that we are hooked on to today.
Since then Augmented Reality has been put to use by NASA, it has been utilized in theatre production, LIVE broadcast of NFL games, the automobile industry, and even the Esquire Magazine to feature Robert Downey Jr, who addresses the reader when the magazine is flipped open.
Like with all technologies that are hot property, computer scientists will keep experimenting with AR to take it to new heights.
Future of augmented reality: a prophecy
We are increasingly becoming more dependent on AR-based apps and software, which is why Apple, Amazon, Facebook, Google, Microsoft are investing heavily in augmented reality. The market value of AR mobile devices will shoot past $1.5 billion in the near future.
So, the future of augmented reality is set to redefine ours!
AR and shopping
An upcoming vital retail trend is the use of AR-assisted shopping apps. 100 million people are expected to be using this technology in the next few months. 50% of people surveyed in a study stated that they would like to shop from retailers who use AR technology.
This integration of AR into shopping has been made possible by the exponential growth in the sale of AR-supported mobile devices and the retail industry can now employ unfailing and reliable AR technology, which will benefit customers, retailers, the makers of the products and the distributors.
Google maps dominate the outdoor navigation market. But, not many forays have been made into indoor navigation. The future of augmented reality is set to change that. You might be wondering why indoor navigation is such a big deal. But, if you have been to a large airport, a big hospital, a sprawling university campus, or a towering office building with confusing signs, you will know that people get flustered trying to find their way to their destination.
But, AR can provide you detailed directions and people who find reading maps hard can use it with élan because the technology will offer a 3D rendering of the place with meticulous instructions on which turns to take, arrows, and distance indications.
Google’s ARCore and Apple’s ARKit are working on software and apps that will soon put to an end all your navigational woes. Google has already incorporated AR walking instructions and guides with its Maps. Users simply have to point and swivel their phone camera around themselves to acquire data in real-time.
3D models on computer screens are passé. With computer scientists tinkering and enhancing AR technology, very soon immersive realistic reproduction of the product being designed will create a new benchmark of product development.
Ford has already tentatively adopted AR to create car designs. This is slated to slash production costs and save time.
Large enterprises are eager about augmented reality
Multi-billion dollar enterprises have high stakes in the future of augmented reality. Retail giants Tyson and Walmart are creating AR training methods to give their employees a thorough understanding of how to run the stores, where danger may lie and the safety precautions that need to be complied with and this trend will soon be picked up by their competitors. In fact, AR-assisted training will reach the 6 billion dollar mark by 2022.
Technology firms too will be banking on augmented reality for testing, prototyping, quality checks and troubleshooting.
Augmented reality powered by artificial intelligence
What happens when the two hottest technology trends join hands? Development in all avenues of human endeavors, of course. The two industries that the future of augmented reality stands to benefit are computation and healthcare. Human-machine systems featuring the AR-AI team can accurately diagnose diseases, predict outcomes, and suggest the best course of action to doctors.
Similarly, computer technology to is likely to get a boost. Enterprises like Amazon, Walmart, and Alibaba are heavily reliant on their recommendation engine that in turn depends on machine learning and data analysis to deliver the best possible results and hits. But what if they were to step out of the browser and into reality? Augmented reality, mixed reality, and artificial intelligence can together flawlessly predict consumer needs based on their profiles, search history, and purchase history.
The future of augmented reality will revolutionize search engines
WebAR is something the world is waiting for with bated breath. Chrome AR is set to be launched in 2020. The reason everyone’s so excited about WebAR is that it promises a futuristic browsing experience powered by augmented reality. Essentially, when you open any link, your camera will activate (with your permission) and the content will be relayed in AR form. Browsing will become an immersive experience. You will not be required to install specific AR-supporting apps when you use WebAR.
Following in the footsteps of Chrome, Mozilla too is experimenting with AR to make it available with Firefox.
The future of augmented reality brings a promise of safety
Structural failings, the inability to anticipate possible flaws in architectural plans, and the inadequate imposition of safety regulations lead to grievous injuries and fatalities. But such devastating accidents can be avoided with the help of augmented reality.
When towns are being expanded or new construction plans are drawn up, augmented reality can help the architects envision where things can go wrong. Similarly, managers in professions such as mining, timbering, and fishery or in assembly lines and factories will be able to anticipate and hence eliminate workplace injuries with AR.
The whole world is looking forward to the future of augmented reality because it can make our lives more secure and hassle-free. AR can make the impossible possible. Humans have always strived to improve themselves through exploration and invention. Augmented reality is a representation of this intrinsic human trait.
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