The last year proved to be an inflection point for AR. As per IDC forecast, worldwide spending on AR and VR is expected to reach $17.8 billion in 2018, a whopping 95% more than the $9.1 billion spent in 2017. According to an IDC press release, “The commercial sectors will represent more than 60 percent of AR/VR spending in 2018 and grow to more than 85 percent of the worldwide total in 2021.”
Bursting and blooming like no other technology, Augmented Reality is one of its own. The Apple WWDC and Augmented World Expo were two major events that depicted the present state of AR and where it’s likely to go in the next couple of years. Let’s get acquainted.
Opening Field of View
Helping users stop looking down at their phones and start looking up at the world around them, smart glasses may be the next wave of condensed, ergonomic smart devices. Just like smartphones unbound users from their computers, and smart-watches from their phones, AR-driven glasses might end up eliminating the physical necessity of managing any other device.
Now that there are clearer applications for smart glasses, the industry needs to make them seamlessly integrated with the user’s day to day activities. This, in turn, will help in breaking down any barriers to adoption.
Diverse Industries Adopting Full-Scale AR
As equipment becomes more complex, technicians may not have the knowledge or resources to fix problems in a timely manner, and those with expertise are often hours or days away. This ends up in leaving an enormous gap in expertise. The good news? AR has the potential to be the answer. While the industry is witnessing and experiencing some benefits from video calling and tablets loaded with PDFs, these gains pale in significance next to the potential of AR.
Industries such as utilities, telecoms and manufacturing, where enterprise organizations have a large, distributed workforce of remote workers, the value of AR is already being realized. Being able to scale organizational expertise through remote support is key in an industry where veteran workers are reaching retirement age. AR can help non-technical workers in creating highly interactive instructions, training materials or service and support documentation, streamlining the process for new and existing employees. Furthermore, healthcare and education industries have started to leverage these capabilities. For instance, building AR tools that can be used in the operating room for surgical training. Teachers, on the other hand, can use augmented reality to create more immersive and collaborative learning experiences in the classroom.
Evolution Gradually Replaces Revolution
The hype of “revolutionary” technologies may be in the past, but it’s not necessarily a bad thing. Technologies embrace evolution, gradually become more mature, find practical uses, gain acceptance and become the basis for digital transformation. So it’s time for businesses to stir their own mini-revolutions with innovative products in their respective domains.
Though 2018 may not be the year that AR technologies achieve a substantial breakthrough, technology leaders like Apple are still on board with bringing it to mass audiences. At the AWE, the demand for cross-platform AR was also seen, as some people showed interest in using browsers instead of downloading mobile apps.
It’s a wrap!
Let’s keep our fingers crossed and wait for the best technological transformation.