Inside the Big Picture for Augmented Reality

August 9, 2019

Immersive experiences in a layered world are coming. What can you expect?

For AR developers and technology practitioners like us, it can be easy to forget just how far the tech has come along over the decades, especially when we’ve always been around the building blocks of that technology, as well as their extensions.

We’ve talked about their role in pioneering breakthroughs in aeronautics and surgical medicine from the last millennium. We’ve acknowledged the roles played by cheaper and more ubiquitous consumer products in lowering the entry barriers to AR (Today, $499 is all you need now to experience full-fledged AR with nReal’s AR smartglasses, for example). We’ve credited the booming digital gaming industry for catalyzing research and development in the field.

That sort of bird’s eye view is useful in seeing the big picture — the incredible potential of how a physical world could be infinitely augmented by immersive experiences. The possibilities that are opened up by the mere encouragement of the use of the human senses, blurring and almost erasing the lines between reality and virtuality.

We’ve even put numbers down to those potentials for numerical visualization. Maybe the future of AR is clear from the fact that 60% of smartphones are already supporting AR and high-speed 5G networks will soon make short work of heavy and complex 3D models in real time. Or perhaps the speed of AR uptake will be driven by the projections of a USD 13 billion AR ad revenue in 2022 or the USD 285 billion AR gaming market in 2023.

However we put it, there’s no stopping AR now. Yes, it could be that AR is still in a buzz phase that hasn’t relented since Pokemon Go or the Walking Dead or Harry Potter apps made otherwise physically-reluctant people jump fences to catch imaginary animals… but it’s here, and it’s not going anywhere. If anything, it will only get bigger sooner than even we’re prepared for.

It’s hard for us to look away from the emotional aspects of what makes AR so cool and fun and exciting, because it was this very passion that drove us to create OVR, and it is this very passion that we believe people will embrace once they understand it for themselves.

Imagine having the ability to endlessly create and to share with others how we would have liked to see our world. And in return, the ability to experience for ourselves how others viewed their world. That itself to us, is worth devoting our energies to create.

Yet at the same time, we’re also developers and coders and programmers, so our priorities — hand-in-hand with our efforts in helping to build and grow a community to nurture the AR ecosystem together — are to develop and produce the code that will shape this solution. If you will, we must set about putting down the first of many tens of thousands of brush strokes that will fill up the AR canvas of the future.

The primers are already here. You already know them. Just think Instagram or Facebook facial filters, or the newer ones with Snapchat and Google where you can drag and drop cartoons, accessories and furniture on virtually any surface… or face…

But those are a shadow of that AR technologies can offer to mainstream audiences.