First things first. We all are aware of the brilliance embedded in the concept of augmented reality. AR (augmented reality), is a unique product application that inculcates advanced visual constituents into the user’s real time existence. This concept has gained a lot of traction in the recent past, urging every major stakeholder to forge their footprint in this space. The concept has been visualised in several futuristic sci-fi celluloid pieces such as the iconic ‘Iron Man’ franchisee, leaving the young movie-goers awestruck and wanting more of this in reality. The concept is no longer an unfamiliar terrain for the younger generation but they might not be sure about how far the reach and possibilities of AR goes.
AR, in a layman’s context, is an attempt to transcend the obvious shackles between real and virtual through 3D projection of real and virtual objects and real-time interfaces. The marvel of the technology lies in the enhancements of real world objects through visual information, generated virtually. The objects are enlarged through different senses, such as visual, auditory, somatosensory, olfactory, and others. Digital objects are configured in our physical periphery, visible through specific AR lenses or smart phone cameras. Augmented reality is extensively adopted in the realm of AR programming for preparing, work and customer applications in numerous businesses including social insurance, open security, gas and oil, the travel industry and showcasing. Virtual reality (VR) on the other hand, is an interactive computer-generated experience that occurs within the periphery of a simulated environment, incorporating primarily auditory and visual, but also other types of sensory feedback like haptic.
Acquire Market Research projects the Augmented Reality Software Market is expected to reach USD +333 billion by the end of 2025 with 58% CAGR during forecast period 2020-2025.
Scope of AR Across Diverse Sectors
Leading furniture giant IKEA has led by example by bringing AR into a normal man’s life. The brand has worked towards making its customers visualise how their furniture would look like in real-time when they find space in their homes. AR definitely is the winner in comparison to ‘Virtual Reality’ (VR) in marketing, as it can be ingrained with exciting marketing initiatives. VR on the contrary, is bound to confine users in a lonely virtual world. AR finds its utility in industrial and manufacturing sector, where there is only a very tiny room for error, as well as presence of a risky environment or working conditions. Several working professionals are requested to wear custom AR glasses, facilitated with cameras, motion sensors and depth sensors to identify projection of parts, bolts, cables, for assembling particular components. Leading industrial technology company Atheer, has gone one-step ahead by devising an application that formulates a step-by-step task guidance, contextual documentation and manuals, and even barcode scanning. AR also finds its scope widening in the retail segment where it all poised to rehash the retail landscape allowing users to enjoy a seamless personalised shopping experience. Several companies are working on implementation of AR in stores and out-stores. Several retail companies are now working towards creating virtual dressing rooms where customers can try clothes without having to change into them.
Massive Scope of AR in Healthcare
Augmented reality however finds its widest application in the Healthcare sector. Its true importance probably has been identified by this sector since it is poised to become an integral component of healthcare in the next five years. Several healthcare companies such as U.S.-based Magic Leap and Munich-based Brainlab, have displayed keen interest in adopting AR for surgical procedures and medical imaging. With the medical field undergoing several exciting technological advancements in automation, AR can be expected to surge ahead and make inroads into this sector at a galloping pace.
Favour Among the Tech Giants
Not the ones to hold back, industry titans such as Apple, Google (Google Glass), Microsoft (HoloLens), and Facebook are looking at making considerable investment in it. Augmented reality has found favour in almost all industrial sectors in a way that few other technologies have had. It is poised to infiltrate industries, such as marketing and manufacturing to healthcare and education. Tech giants such as Apple is projected as instrumental to shaping the future of augmented reality, despite limited traction for ARKit so far and its absence from smart glasses.
CEO Tim Cook’s belief in the technology has been reinforced by Apple’s acquisition of Apple’s acquisition of Metaio in 2015. But trade insiders claim Facebook, Microsoft and others are any day more critical in the real-time market scenario. However all goods things have their ingrained cons. Poor Infrastructural development has resisted the AR market growth. According to trade insiders there is a lot of reluctance in people to invest heavily in AR/VR goggles.
The potential of AR is immense since it has several unexplored avenues. Key market participants such as Sony, Apple, Blippar, Wikitude, PTC, Microsoft, Google, Infinity Augmented Reality, Daqri LLC, and ODG are the major drivers of this technological marvel.
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