We can now say that Augmented Reality is fully integrated in our current technology revolution. In many cases AR is combined with Virtual Reality, but AR alone is also strengthening its position in our daily life.
The current expectations concerning the further integration of AR must be adjusted upwards for 2020, though it will not yet be fully embraced everywhere. Advertising is currently the most earning sector for AR, with over 453 million dollars in 2018 and 761 million dollars in 2019. It is predicted to reach 2.46 billion by 2022.
There is a lot of talk about the launched features in 2019 and their development in 2020. Personally I think the biggest opportunities for AR lies on the social platforms and personal customisation/engagement online on the web.
I have decided to further explain six interesting Augmented Reality developments, which I think have the biggest potential for success.
1.Live sized scaling of objects and products
A very promising feature recently launched by Google are the Augmented Reality Models, which allows users to view 3D models of objects related to their search result. You can also view the animals in true size with your phone camera function.
At the moment the feature only covers a couple of animals such as a tiger, a lion, a panda and a bunch of others. This could be a great way of educating children at school or to create advertisement options for products.
2. Augmented reality navigation solutions
In 2019, the first AR indoor navigation feature was announced by Google and Apple. It is expected that in 2020 this feature will be further developed and maybe even be tested for outdoor traffic navigation purposes. The map services from Google and Apple are a daily life necessity worldwide for nearly everyone with a smartphone these days.
The indoor navigation feature for sure is going to blow people away. The ARKit and ARCore applications for the indoor navigation can provide detailed directions in malls, airports, hospitals and large corporations (such as Google and Apple :D). Gatwick Airport has turned out to be the pioneer in deploying its own smartphone solution that provides routes with AR navigation options to their terminals and gates based on the customers flight number.
3. Customised greeting cards and messages with Augmented Reality
Old plain greeting cards where on the brink of extinction, until AR cards (also called eCards) made their entry. Since 2019 eCards have taken over the greeting card industry. These eCards made by Kineticards bridge the gap between the online and offline worlds.
The printed cards appear to be like any other, but when viewed through your smartphone with their app these cards will come to life with animations and pre-recorded hidden messages.
4. AR-enabled shopping technologies
AR-enabled shopping technologies are one of the hottest upcoming retail trends. Developers, retailers and customers are already using them intensively since 2019 in their daily shopping experiences.
Several large corporations have now taken the lead in AR shopping features. American Apparel, Uniqlo and Lacoste have developed showrooms and fitting rooms that provide try-before-you-buy options in augmented reality spaces such as smart mirror technologies that scan RFID tags.
IKEA customers now also can have access to an app that allows them to point their phones at spaces and see how certain furniture would look like in their own home.
5. Visual search integrated with AR functionalities
The Visual Search basically kicked-off in China on social platforms like WeChat. Snapchat now intends to move beyond video-led social media to become a platform with integrated shopping experiences. Their focus now is on turning posted videos into selling opportunities thru AR functionalities.
Facebook and Snapchat both released in-app shopping features to target users on the go using engaging content as a conversion tool.
More and more AR applications also start to make use of machine vision, allowing them to recognize specific images and open specific features. Scan is the visual search of Snapchat and uses the camera to recognize certain content. The launching partners are Coca Cola and McDonalds and by scanning their logo you unlock all kinds of Lenses. Google has its own Google Lens and has entered into a partnership with L’Oréal. If you scan Garnier hair dye products, you can virtually try out that hair color while shopping for products.
6. Next level smart homes with AR in combination with Light Anchors
As seen in the above mentioned features AR is often used as a tool to give context to a specific situation. AR could therefor be a great solution to display the status of devices in our house. This could be the battery percentage of your smoke detector, or the live inkt levels of your printer. All this information is now visible in separate apps, but with Light Anchors we can now display that information in AR by scanning a status light. So they use a light as a marker and as a sender of data.
And now that Apple, Google, Zigbee and Amazon are also going to use the same standards so that we can connect devices to each other, nothing stands in the way of our smart home to the next level!
So these are the six AR features that I think have most potential for the upcoming year. What do you think of them? Do you feel I forgot an important AR feature? I love to hear your comments down below.