AR, or augmented reality, has been touted as the next “big thing” for nearly a decade, while other “big things” have been introduced. Google Glass almost made AR more commonplace, but security and privacy concerns turned it into a non-starter. Today, AR has taken a new life, so let’s review some predictions for the future.
To be clear, augmented reality is the real-time process of adding information to reality via cameras and displays. A few familiar examples can be found in common applications and games, like the filters on Snapchat that turn you into a cartoon character, or that bring Pokemon into “reality” in Pokemon Go. Many businesses have devised ways of utilizing AR in their marketing, as well.
One of the biggest hurdles to AR innovation has always been the limitations of the devices that the technology would be found on. As a prime example, consider the size of most smartphones. While screens are getting larger, most devices feature a display that is fewer than seven inches long - hardly the immersive experience that AR has the potential to be. However, this isn’t exactly stopping companies in their efforts to integrate AR. There are quite a few reasons that AR can now be considered viable:
4G LTE connections helped AR find a foothold, but the expansion of 5G has simply made AR a more practicable technology. AR needs a lot - a lot - of information to work, so as bandwidth continues to rise, so will the functionality of augmented reality.
On a related note, hardware has improved greatly, making it more capable of handling AR’s assorted demands - things like processing power, and the quality of a device’s sensors. As these improvements continue, AR will only become a more available option.
Many organizations are coming up with various new ways to leverage AR to their advantage. Marketing agencies have used AR as a means of boosting engagement with their efforts and initiatives. It has proven useful in training applications in various industries, especially training and development - delivering information to students and workers at the time it is needed.
Of course, as AR becomes more common, it also becomes more affordable for a business to deploy. As more applications and devices become able to support it, its costs should only continue to trend down.
It has become apparent that AR will play a big role in the future of many industries - so, what is your impression of all of this? Is AR just a gimmick, or do you see truly legitimate uses for it in the business environment? Discuss it in the comments, and don’t forget to subscribe!
Rodd Ahrenstorff is the Director of Business Operations for KT Connections, as well as a member of the company’s ownership team starting in 2014. Rodd has been working in the computer and telecommunication fields for over twenty years—a term during which he has held a number of leadership positions. In the past, he has served as a broadcast television engineer, an systems architect, and most recently Director of Information Technology, including a role as a HIPAA Security Officer for behavioral health and multi-specialty medical providers.