What is Augmented Reality & Why is it Trending?

by First Descent AR • 28 August 2018

Augmented Reality (AR) technology has been around for some time now, though it has only recently begun to make some serious splashes as it makes its way into the hands of consumers.

Augmented Reality is a digital image overlaid onto the real world. AR is the future of information delivery, storytelling, and brand interaction. No longer a novelty feature for smartphone applications, today’s AR creates real opportunities for businesses to generate and gain widespread engagement through an elevated brand experience.

Most known for its role in Pokémon Go, AR technology is stereotypically thought to have seen its main uses in gaming. While gaming will see major AR developments, there are a variety of other industries that will be driving its overall and continued growth as visualized by Statista below (see this forecast on Virtual Reality Market Size growth by Statista).

In addition to these other industries driving growth, it is expected that the market will reach a size of $215 billion U.S. dollars by 2021.

Why Now?

A popular question is why has AR begun to breakout now?

Only recently have major technology companies implemented built-in AR software and hardware needed to support AR advancements into mobile devices. Along with these upgrades, wide-spread device use has created a favorable environment for AR to grow exponentially.

For example, smartphone companies, such as Apple, Google, and Samsung, have built AR technology within the camera applications installed on the world’s most new devices, such as Google Pixel 2, Samsung S8, and iPhone X.

These companies have also released software development kits (SDKs) to certain organizations, who have strong design and programming teams like AR Studio, to develop applications for clients and end-users.

The Challenge:

Ultimately, the greatest challenge is the development cycle.

Although these large tech companies are on board and they have released development kits, it still takes quite a bit of time, to develop it from start to finish. So, the longer companies delay to jump in with both feet, the more long-term profit and market share they loose to their competitors, who are likely already developing their own AR applications.

Why Augmented Reality?

A common question when talking to some about AR is, “What is the need for this in the first place?”.

Great question.

We see it as a completely new dimension of customer interaction. This ranges from person to person, business to business, business to consumer, and everything in between.