In a span of fewer than two years, we have seen some intensive growth in the realm of Augmented Reality (AR). Many companies have been experimenting with AR prototypes, complete with POC concepts resulting in innovative projects that show the future potential and bankable commercial value of this technology. 

The experts are already committed to turning AR projects into real-time customer applications. With the advent of Hi-Tech, AR is being touted as one of the key areas of growth in the future of tech advancements. 

The Future of Augmented Reality – An Overview 

Today, AR can be seen successfully gaining access in almost every conceivable field of work. AR solutions are increasingly being incorporated into the process of application development. Many UX designers are already using AR technology trends to improve their designs and enhance the abilities of their devices. 

Another exciting development has been the use of AR in tandem with artificial intelligence (AI) and virtual reality (VR) to develop more intuitive, responsive and user-friendly tech solutions. 

Top Tech Honchos are Jumping on the AR Bandwagon 

The tech world woke up to the importance of AR almost half a decade back. Ever since, tech giants such as Google, Facebook, Microsoft and Apple have been investing heavily in using this technology to build cohesive connections between our physical and virtual worlds. Snapchat – a social media platform, is one such example. The Snapchat app brings AR functionalities to mobile phones through Snapchat lenses – designs, masks and graphics that can be superimposed on the user’s face for a great interactive experience. To increase millennial stickiness, Snapchat launched V1 AR glasses in 2016. This wearable made a mark as a physical manifestation of Snapchat’s AR features which prompted other market players to experiment with their version of AR-powered wearables. 

In September 2019, at an event in San Jose, Facebook unveiled its plans to introduce AR glasses that will enable users to pull up visual displays to be superimposed on whatever is actually in front of them. On the same day, Amazon, in an event in Seattle, announced its Echo Frame wearables, which are lightweight glasses that come equipped with the Alexa voice assistant. Meanwhile, Google, Apple, and Microsoft are all working on their approaches to integrating AR into customer applications and devices. 

Market Trends on Future of AR in Hi-Tech

A recent Market Insights report highlights some market trends on ‘Why AR in Hi-Tech is the way ahead’. In this report, the value of the global AR market was pegged at USD 0.35 billion in 2018. This figure is expected to register a 151.93% CAGR between 2019 and 2024. 

This projected growth has been attributed to the potential of AR in presenting a whole new way to engage with customers and expanding the abilities of retailers. Besides retail, AR also offers endless potential in the fields of healthcare and biotechnology. 

In the past, a major roadblock in the development of AR was the slow realization of projects, owing to the complex nature of this technology. The advent and development of cloud platforms and infrastructure have lent impetus to the developments in the AR space and addressed the issue of scalability limitations for on-premise AR experiences. 

In light of these developments, here are some of the key AR market trends: 

  • Significant Growth in the Hardware Segment

So far, AR devices in the market were marked by controlling systems either embedded in a head-mounted device or a rolled out as a separate accessory. This trend began to change 2017 onwards with the launch of voice and AR devices controlled by gestures. 

An example of this is the Lucyd Lens that was developed using 13 disruptive AR patents and built on a decentralized blockchain named Lucyd Lab AR. We expect to witness more of such innovations in the hardware space facilitating the transition from chunky headsets to sleek eyewear in the future. This is likely to enhance the acceptance of AR devices by the end-user. 

  • Impressive Growth in North American Market

The North American market is expected to register significant growth in the AR segment, thanks to the presence of a wide cross-section of vendors who are heavily invested in market innovation. This combined with the current dominance of USA in the tech world is expected to be the breeding ground of some of the most innovative AR solutions. Many key market players are already toying with ways to leverage this technology and a sizeable 64% of consumers believe in AR’s ability to drive positive change in work environments. 

  • The emergence of a Competitive Landscape

The AR market is already gaining a definitive competitive edge. Many market players are vying for a stronghold in this sector and looking for a way to tap into new markets. For instance, companies such as Meta and Vuzix have partnered with other tech giants and fortune 500 companies like Porsche, Caterpillar and SAP to carve out a market for AR smart glasses.

The Bottom Line

From enriching user experience to improving productivity, amplifying travel and tourism experiences and revolutionizing military tech, education and healthcare, AR will have a far-reaching impact on almost every aspect of our future life. 

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Micky Lamba and Dipankar Sarkar

Posted by Micky Lamba and Dipankar Sarkar

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