Hold on to your glasses- The next wave of tech is coming fast

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With the recent news about Apple’s heavy focus on Apple AR glasses and the new AR Kit software platform for the iPhone, we see the acceleration into augmented reality moving into light speed. As Tim Cook recently quoted “AR use will be as common as eating three meals a day”.

Currently AR (Augmented Reality) and VR (Virtual Reality) account for roughly $14B in revenue across all channels. As early as 2020 this number is expected to jump to $150B with no end in sight. Every major tech player and many new ones are already heavily investing in this space.

Though Virtual Reality had the most buzz early on, there are some huge obstacles it needs to overcome before becoming ready for the mass market. One  of their most prevalent challenges is the almost total disconnect with others present in the room. The act of putting on a VR head set is isolating and does not allow for a social experience. Secondly, if you are in motion, it has been shown that virtually 100% of people experience some type of nausea within 5 minutes of using a VR headset. There is still a lot of work to overcome these barriers but once this happens, expect massive innovation particularly around gaming and how we view and consume sports content to name a couple of applications.

Meanwhile Augmented Reality, though on the surface may not be as sexy as popping around on Mars in some crazy VR world, it is much more practical for real life application and easier to implement.

Many of you may know one of the first applications of AR. It was the graphic yellow line inserted to the field during a football game TV broadcast to show you how much yardage the team needed to gain to get a first down. This was first implemented in 1998.

Now 19 years later the acceleration of technology is moving at light speed to new applications.

The computer 3D user interface scenes seen in movies like Minority Report and The Avengers which seemed like total fantasy are quickly becoming a reality. Imagine a world with screen less workplaces. Where you could point a phone at someone and get an instant bio and resume at a conference. Where pointing your phone at a menu would give you a 3D life size rendering of the item in question with nutritional facts. Where attending a car race and you could point to a car and see the speed, the driver’s heartrate, hydration levels and how many G-Forces he or she is occurring at a certain corner.

Every part of our everyday experience will change. Heads up displays in cars will become increasingly sophisticated with detailed maps and details of your surroundings. How we buy a house, become educated, buy groceries and watch sports will all dramatically change.

As for holding on to those glasses, look for them to be an extension of your phone. Though Google had the first conceptual idea, it was way ahead of its time. There was very little software and what there was did not add value to our lives to warrant the expense. Today there are said to be over 200,000 developers working on new content.

AR glasses will become integrated with your phone allowing you to experience a full time Augmented Reality experience. As well, the AR systems will eliminate the need for prescriptions as the software will automatically correct to perfect eyesight. Eventually the glasses will be replaced by tech contacts to perform the same functions. Initial projections show over 3M units to sell at a premium in the first year accounting for 2% of its overall revenue.

At Boxman Studios we are eagerly awaiting this next generation of technical advances. As we develop new ways to go to market for retail, food and beverage and experiential marketing, it will be fascinating to see how businesses adopt this new technology to bring their brands to the consumer. Our goal will be to understand these market opportunities and challenges and work with you to offer the optimal experience to your target audience.