Global spending on AR in 2021 will be up to $18.8 billion
AR is now being adopted by larger companies who leverage the technology to provide their customers with the ability to experience a product first hand
What is Augmented Reality?
Augmented reality (AR) is one of the biggest technology trends right now, and it’s only going to get bigger as AR ready smartphones and other devices become more accessible around the world.
AR let us see the real-life environment right in front of us—trees swaying in the park, dogs chasing balls, kids playing soccer—with a digital augmentation overlaid on it.
Why do I need Augmented Reality?
Unlike with VR, AR allows us flexibility. he reason we need augmented reality is because the world is constantly changing
An AR-optimized device doesn’t have to produce a completely immersive world to interact with, because it uses its own. It takes the data of your existing surroundings and solves a problem that a consumer may have.
Impact of Digital on Augmented Reality
AR products provide your customers with a unique experience to be able to place the virtual product in your home or office to see what it would look like if it were actually there.
Augmented reality is, in fact, readily available and being used in a myriad of ways including as Snapchat lenses, in apps that help you find your car in a crowded parking lot, and in a variety of shopping apps that let you try on clothes without even leaving home.
Perhaps the most famous example of AR technology is the mobile app Pokemon Go, which was released in 2016 and quickly became an inescapable sensation.
Games aside, there are as many uses for AR in our everyday lives as there are Pikachu on the loose in Pokemon GO. Here are just a few examples:
Digitalization has led to enhanced navigation systems that use augmented reality to superimpose a route over the live view of the road.
During football games, broadcasters use AR to draw lines on the field to illustrate and analyze plays.
Furniture and housewares giant IKEA offers an AR app (called IKEA Place) that lets you see how a piece of furniture will look and fit in your space.
Military fighter pilots see an AR projection of their altitude, speed, and other data on their helmet visor, which means they don’t need to waste focus by glancing down to see them.
Neurosurgeons sometimes use an AR projection of a 3-D brain to aid them in surgeries.
At historical sites like Pompeii in Italy, AR can project views of ancient civilizations over today’s ruins, bringing the past to life.
Ground crew at Singapore’s airport wear AR glasses to see information about cargo containers, speeding up loading times
Know Your Augmented Reality – A Quick Guide
AR technology allows users to visually experience the products as if they already had owned/purchased them.
Projection based AR – This type of AR projects digital images on physical objects in the physical space. It can be interactive and project a digital keyboard on your desk, or a dialer on your hand.
Recognition based AR – Whenever you scan a QR code, or scan an image and it comes to live you are actually using a recognition based AR. Another type of recognition based AR tech is the one that translates words seen through the camera.
Location based AR – If you’re a traveler and you want to discover new great places, this method will use your location by reading your smart device’s GPS, compass and accelerometer and give you relevant information about what you’re looking for on your screen.
Outlining AR– This method can also be used in architecture and engineering to outline buildings and their supporting pillars.
Superimposition based AR– Superimposition based AR also uses object recognition in order to replace an entire object or a part of it with an augmented view.
Use Cases for Augmented Reality Digitalization
Use Case 1 – Mobile AR
The 2017 introduction of Apple’s ARKit and Google’s ARCore software development kits (SDKs) has standardized the development tools and democratized mobile AR app creation which has brought about more than double the amount of mobile AR-enabled devices and tripled the number of active users during 1.5 years.
Having once brought AR to the mass audience of mobile users, Apple secured its AR market leadership as it unveiled ARKit 2.0 at WWDC 2018, and then ARKit 3.0 at WWDC 2019. In terms of technology, the introduced advances placed mobile AR in the same line with headset-based AR, if not above it. We still can see a significant ARKit’s dominance over ARCore, however the latter has grown almost 10 times in absolute figures.
Use Case 2 – AR in shopping
Based on a report from Gartner, at least 100 million users were expected to utilize AR-enabled shopping technologies by 2020, which is one of the hottest retail trends of this year.
The boom in mobile devices that employ AR means the sector is now occupied by robust and mature technologies. Developers, retailers and customers are now comfortably using them as part of their daily experience.
A BRP report indicated that 48% of consumers said that they’d be more likely to buy from a retailer that provided AR experiences. Unfortunately, only 15% of retailers currently put AR to use. Only a further 32% of retailers stated they plan to deploy virtual or augmented reality applications over the next three years.
Use Case 3 – AR for navigation
One of the most obvious use cases for AR technologies is indoor navigation, and 2021 is expected to be the year that the average consumer gets their first real taste of its potential.
People already lean heavily on maps services from both Google and Apple to get around outside, but indoor navigation stands to be the use case that blows the public away.
Use Case 4 – AR in enterprise solutions
Smart glasses are currently at a stage where consumer solutions are likely a few years off. Military, medical and enterprise solutions, however, are beginning to prove the value of combining AR with headsets and smart glasses.
Microsoft HoloLens 2 was likely the most anticipated product in this space in 2019. The company hopes to roll out its technology to great fanfare by demonstrating improvements in raw processing power, battery life and wearability. The U.S. Army has awarded a $480 mln contract to Microsoft, and the company is also working with the industrial IoT firm PTC to streamline the development of both augmented and mixed reality products.
Walmart and Tyson are piloting programs that will move traditional training methods into mixed reality settings. Workers will have new ways to learn about compliance and safety issues by looking around mixed-reality environments and identifying problems in a way that’s practical and engaging.
Use Case 5 – AR in AI
Artificial intelligence and machine learning are fast-growing sectors in tech. Bringing them together with Augmented and Mixed Reality systems is a natural extension of many of the things that are best suited to AI and ML, particularly computer vision.
35% of sales on Amazon are derived from its recommendation engine, which leans heavily on data science and machine learning to deliver search results and match advertisers with customers.
Moving out of the web browser and into the real world has immense commercial potential. By pairing consumer profiles with AR and ML, retailers can identify customer needs based on their environments and provide them with recommendations.
Robust AI and ML solutions can be extended to the AR and MR spaces to provide value to everyday users of mobile devices.
Deloitte Research concludes that augmented reality and artificial intelligence will transform the traditional healthcare business model offering AR/MR-enabled hands-free solutions and AI-based diagnostic tools.
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