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With support from big names like Google, Apple, and Facebook– 2020 is just beginning to showcase the power of Augmented Reality (AR) in our future. In fact, Statista predicts that in 2023, 35 billion dollars will be spent on these technologies by the manufacturing and construction industry alone. 

 

Therefore, we felt inspired to gather 10 meaningful updates in AR– which may ignite your own innovations.

1. Investments pour into the AR space

According to recent statistics from Techjury, the AR market value rose from 1.8 billion in 2018 to 3.5 billion in 2019. After Apple released ARkit, ARkit only apps had 13 million downloads. Additionally, over 50,000 units of the HoloLens have been sold. Clearly, AR is projected to surpass VR revenues and companies are beginning to understand the significance of AR. 

2. AR for navigation solutions 

The GPS system is heavily relied upon to navigate the outdoors, but AR will be the solution to indoor navigation. Airports around the world are beginning to deploy AR solutions for passengers to find their way around. Gatwick airport, London’s second busiest airport, has created an augmented reality wayfinding app. They have installed 2000 wayfinding beacons to enable augmented reality wayfinding and routes to terminals and gates. Per VR focus, the app won the Mobile Innovation of the Year award at the National Technology Awards. Other industries including retail, travel, and real estate will follow in their footsteps– as AR-powered navigation is expected to move into new territory. 

3.AR and AI will combine to create immersive 3D experiences

Artificial intelligence and machine learning are booming sectors in technology. In the spatial computing world, voice and immersive media can work together to personalize experiences. MobDev points out, “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. Combining AR and AI will be extremely useful as a marketing tool that can help companies learn about shopping preferences. 

4. Home improvement and Furniture stores adopt AR applications

Ikea was one of the first to establish an Augmented reality app that helps you digitally position your furniture in your house to identify if it’s the right fit– without ever having to visit the store. Wayfair and Lowes also created similar apps using AR technology. It is clear that furniture retailers can easily take advantage of AR to improve customer satisfaction. 

5. AR begins to disrupt healthcare

There are some educational applications for Augmented Reality in healthcare– like training medical staff or new students. Additionally, Augmented Reality can help medical staff with tasks that require precision. Technologies like AccuVein are being created to assist medical professionals with patient care. AccuVein uses projection-based AR to cast a virtual real-time image of underlying vasculature on the surface of one’s skin.

6. AR is shifting to Industrial Use

Immersive technology can be leveraged for the manufacturing industry– increasing safety and efficiency. According to Forbes, “The 2020 XR Industry Insight report collated by VR Intelligence states that 65% of the AR companies surveyed said they are working on industrial applications, while just 37% working on consumer products and software.”

7. 5G will power emerging Technologies

The higher throughput of 5G will support AR and VR content that’s streamed from the cloud. 5G was introduced in early 2019 and with its extremely high speeds, it helps solve the high bandwidth demands of AR.

8. Automotive 

People have been dreaming of self-driving cars for centuries– and here they (almost) are.  The automotive industry is now investing millions of dollars into AI and AR-powered systems to recreate the driving experience. Panasonic recently revealed an AR demo car that can project large images in distances up to 10m. The car augments images on the driver’s windshield so they can continue to maintain focus on the road. 

9. Coronavirus accelerates the use of AR and AI to maintain social distancing

Unfortunately, the pandemic was unpredictable, but we saw a huge spike in workplace technologies like zoom. As weeks turn into months, companies must adapt to continue to promote collaboration and training. Cities such as Seattle and Boston have already piloted using different forms of AR/ VR to help city planners, elected officials, and citizens better participate in city planning.

10. AR for fun!

From museums to video games – AR has vast potential to add some excitement and spark to average experiences. For example, Google Lens recently introduced new features to make at-home learning more fun for families. For children who are looking to learn and tap into their imagination– AR creates a new world of possibilities.

 

What do you think are things happening in the AR that are making a difference in the update and use of the technology?