Augmented Reality (AR) is becoming increasingly popular in industries that rely on visual and auditory stimulations to function. Its ability to enhance the real-life surroundings by using sensory modalities has introduced new opportunities in just about any sector.
Despite being around for decades, AR is considered a relatively new field. With technological advancements, it is now able to achieve milestones that wouldn’t have been possible in the previous decades despite years of research and development.
Currently, augmented reality has become a hot topic in the smartphone industry. The technology is being implemented by app developers who want to offer their users an integrated experience using several features of smartphones to emulate the experience of an actual AR device.
Despite gaining momentum, AR devices aren’t being mass-produced at the moment, and we may have to wait a couple of years before they become not only easily accessible but also cheap enough to be affordable. The production costs, security risks, and lack of awareness as well as market research mean that AR has to find other avenues to be able to thrive fully, and mobile apps are the perfect channel to do so.
Before we dive into the details of why AR is the future of mobile apps and the benefits of AR technology, let’s quickly do a recap of what exactly is augmented reality!
Augmented Reality: In Layman’s Terms
Augmented reality is the art of using technology to superimpose information in the form of texts, sounds, and images to the real world. It’s an interactive experience that enhances your surroundings by carefully adding layers of digitally crafted data to expand the physical world further.
Unlike virtual reality (VR), AR doesn’t create artificial environments but rather just changes our perception of reality by fusing computer-generated imagery to the existing background in real-time.
The first known documentation of AR goes back to 1968 when Ivan Sutherland and Bob Sproull created a first head-mounted display called The Sword of Damocles . Since its inception, it has slowly but surely evolved and got its name in the 90s when two Boeing company researchers used the term in their work.
Since then, several AR toolkits have been designed to be used with mounted helmets, headsets, and AR glasses.One of the most popular uses of AR technology came from the gaming industry when Pokemon Go was launched in 2016. Niantic earned $2 million from the app in just its first week and went on to gather hefty profits due to the app’s sudden worldwide popularity.
The Current Standing of AR Devices
Google Glass is one of the best examples of an AR device ever to exist. It was first tested in 2013, and the device operated with an internet connectionobtained through Bluetooth. Later on, Microsoft introduced AR goggles that could display HD holograms with the help of multiple sensors.
Even though the adoption of Google Glass failed in consumer markets due to security risks among several other reasons, it’s being used extensively in industries operating with closed ecosystems. From the health industry to manufacturing and logistics, Google Glass is operational and available for niche demand. However, we’re still a long way from mass production and the general consumer market.
This makes the AR technology ideal for commercial use. There’s a lot of support for it, especially with big tech names such as Amazon, Facebook, Google, and Microsoft making serious commitments with brands and corporations and getting ahead of the industry demand.
Instead of AR devices becoming successors of smartphones, the future lies in the integration of AR technologies and smartphones, rather than both existing as separate entities. As long as there’s a saturation of mobile devices, we’ll see a boom in the industry, which will only grow bigger with more robust and mature technologies being introduced every other day.
This isn’t a problem for the AR industry but rather an opportunity for developers to come up with innovative solutions that merge the two without taking anything away from either experience.
In 2019, Gartner reported that 100 million consumers woulduse the AR and VR technologies to shop online and in retail by 2020.
Another report by BRP suggested that nearly 50% of the consumers are more likely to buy from retailers that offer AR experience. On the other hand, only a small percentage of retailersare using AR technology,and while 32% reported that they mightdeploy AR or VR in the next three years.
Despite standing to gain significant traction, industries like makeup, fashion,and retail have only just begun to utilize these technologies that can significantly change and improve the shopping experience for customers.
Companies are continually responding to the customer demand for AR shopping experiences, and many brands have installed designated spaces and mirror technologies that offer try-before-buy options using AR and VR systems.
AR and Mobile App Development Trends
According to the report by Statista, the number of smartphone users worldwidewill reach a soaring 3.8 billion in 2021 . From 2.5 billion in 2016 to nearly 4 billion next year, the smartphone market is stronger than ever.
Simultaneously, the mobile app downloads have also increased exponentially,growing from 205 billion downloads in 2018 to a predicted 258 billion downloads in 2022.
Market research as of May2019 showed that the user base for mobile devices supporting AR technology reached 1.5 billion. In contrast,new and robust technologies indicated an uptick in terms of growth for the year 2020 and the next decade.
Smartphone and mobile device manufacturers have also anticipated these quickly changing trends. Theyare moving towards the advancements that will be able to cater to innovative technologies like AR and VR.
Even though Google launched its AR walking directions feature in 2019 to its Google Maps app, 2019 didn’t see much changes in AR technology. The Google maps feature is available to both Android and iOS mobile devices. App users can simply open the app, point their cameras, and learn information about their surroundings in real-time. While the feature will move towards smart glasses for enhanced utility, it offers mobile users a chance to use AR without investing in specialized devices and software.
With the arrival ofthe iPhone 12 and ARKit 3.5, we’re expected to see revolutionary changes by the end of 2020 and the next couple of years in augmented reality technology embedded in smartphones.
Augmented Reality App Development
Businesses that are looking for their next breakthrough need to realize the importance of augmented reality apps to sell their products better. In the next few years, AR will be all around us, which is why brands need to get out in front of the customer demand and make their products more appealing and enlightening.
Augmented reality app development services are also becoming popular around the globe, and digital agencies are offering innovative solutions to their clients for creating intuitive and computerized control conditions that can be adjusted and veiled in all types of reality.
From Ikea offering its customers a chance to point at spaces and see what their furniture would like to Hyundai apps providing instant information on there with the mere pointing of phone camera, AR is breathing new life into the world of shopping.
If you’re also a brand that wants to get ahead of the competition and deploy AR technology in their apps, work with our talented AR department to meet your goals and objectives.
We work with novel approaches that being an improvement to your existing systems and create a working design that enhances vision, both for you and your customers.
We offer immersive AR experiences that provide the best of both the digital and real worlds. With Brandezk, you can now leverage AR app development to help your business grow.
Our apps allow users to immerse into an augmented reality that blends digital content with the real world, masking it layer by layer, allowing the app to be tied to geographic coordinates and various location indicators. From marketing campaigns to medical apps and from data visualization to location-based entertainment software– our augmented reality apps have helped transform user experiences and business interactions.
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