Augmented Reality – What’s Next?.

Robin HamiltonCreative Director

A short while ago we developed an augmented reality campaign for Grenada Tourism and British Airways, at the time it was at the forefront of technological innovation for the tourism industry and it received incredible feedback. Some time has passed since then and here we are, still talking about Augmented Reality. So we started asking ourselves, what more does it have to give? Research has provided some bold and mind-boggling predictions for the future of AR, which suggests the answer to our question is that it has a lot more to give.

AR, while complex in it’s creation, doesn’t require any particularly special equipment to engage with it, simply the smart phone that is well embedded in our lives anyway, so it really couldn’t make more sense to get to grips with it.

Last year we saw the rise, and subsequent fall, of Pokemon Go. An app that was cult and had users totally obsessed, but soon fizzled out as users struggled, finding features failed quickly as the app frequently froze and jumped. It was an amazing concept but unfortunately delivered via an app that was not built to cope. Despite this, the hype that this game created led augmented reality to its cult obsessive high, which spurred everyone else to follow suit and get on board with AR, exploring how they could incorporate it into their business practices.

So, what examples of AR are we seeing now?

1. One of the most obvious uses of AR that we have been seeing for years is virtual tours, this spans from hotel rooms and restaurants to entire destinations and experiences. Google Street View allows you to walk the streets of any destination in the world, meanwhile Hotel de Paris, along with millions of other hotels, are offering full tours of their accommodation.

2. Google provides its translation service, with a hint of AR in its ability to capture text through your phone camera and immediately translate for you in real time.

3. Education is also on board, taking on increasing engagement with culture and history as museums opt to enhance the visitors experience with the help of AR. The Museum of London paved the way in this development, launching an app which allowed the exploration of historical art while discovering the city all the way back in 2010. More recently apps are moving to the classroom to provide key learning tools, many like ZooBurst, an app which aims to create a story as if they are videoing it. This provides an outlet in which knowledge can be given through an experience, making it significantly more memorable to students.

What’s next?

Predictions are proposing that in time we will be seeing more personalisation available through AR, offering the ability for people to customise their experiences by designing the settings they go into before they are there, both physically with rooms, and mentally to design their dreams before they drift off.

Also coming soon is a merge of 3D printing and augmented reality, allowing people to see their object complete and in context before they begin printing whatever they desire on demand, this is set to make big changes to the world of retail, as will eliminate the designer and warehouse from the process. We are already seeing the developments of facial recognition; the new Apple iPhone development focuses heavily on this as a selling point. This is set to become a common occurrence, with facial recognition moving from Sci-Fi to reality and us unlocking phones and doors will just be the start of its uses.

Augmented reality will make changes to our day to day life so significant that we need not leave the house to experience out of the ordinary. So much so we will be attending concerts from our bedroom, be front row at fashion shows and live in a world that doesn’t need to exist.

With technology continuously progressing, the future of augmented reality will be mesmerising.


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