Augmented reality on mobile devices has been around for roughly a year now. Most of us have gotten used to it to some degree, or at least played around with it. At the same time, however, it remains primarily a gimmick. It’s something you can choose to look into and have fun with, but at this point, it hasn’t really replaced many other apps from either an entertainment or a functionality standpoint. This will change, and though we can’t say exactly when a year after AR’s debut feels like the right time to look into it.
These are some of the things we’re expecting from AR as the technology ramps up and gets rolling as a major app store category.
In case you missed the headlines, Apple recently unveiled a second version of its AR development platform – ARKit 2 – and launched it alongside a LEGO AR app that interacts with actual LEGO sets. AR as we know it already interacts with the material world in that it can recognize surfaces and place digital renderings in space with accurate physics and proportions. But this is a whole new concept via which individual objects – LEGO pieces, game boards, etc. – can essentially be activated via AR. It opens up a lot of fascinating potential for the medium.
Legitimate Retail Use
If you’ve ever looked into AR’s usage outside of video games, you’ve probably come across some talk about retail. Basically, the technology is allowing stores – from furniture sellers to jewelry companies – to help customers visualize products in new ways from home. Right now though this is something that’s written about more than it’s actually used. As AR gets rolling, expect that using it for retail searches and purchases will become a regular activity.
A Casino Gaming Boom
It’s already true that casino gamers are starting to prefer online options to in-person ones. When you ask gamers about it at least, online casinos come out on top thanks to a number of factors from speed and efficiency to security. Because of this, the online industry is thriving, and because there’s a lot of competition within said industry, sites are always striving to innovate. This often means embracing the newest graphics and tech, which certainly leads naturally toward AR. For this reason we should probably expect a mobile casino gaming boom in augmented reality.
A lot of people expected Apple’s AR glasses to follow right on the heels of the ARKit announcement in 2018. They’ve been delayed, but are still expected by 2020, and numerous leaks of patent applications and even blueprints suggest that the glasses are absolutely on the way. So we should certainly expect to see them – as well as several quick imitations from other companies – as the AR era rolls along.
This is a bolder prediction, and to be clear we’re not suggesting smartphones will be replaced or made obsolete. But just as products like smart watches made it a little less necessary for people to carry their phones all the time, smart AR glasses could do the same. We should be prepared for the possibility that these glasses will be able to display messages, internet searches, etc. right before our eyes, and thus that they may make us a little less attached to our phones (though no less attached to tech!).