There is a significant increase in the adoption and implementation of AR technology that people can’t afford to wait. Big enterprises are becoming more focused on empowering their brands through AR application and in the course of the year, more transformative capabilities will be seen in AR evolution.

Although it seems like a product from the far future, augmented reality actually began in 1968 by Sutherland, who then used it in the construction of head-mounted display systems. But it is not until a few years back when AR went through notable improvement. And now, it continuous to go through rapid development with almost all industries already using it.

Just look at how architecture is fully reliable on augmented reality for presentations. The medical field as well as other tech companies is also using AR for trainings. Entertainment and Hospitality take full advantage of it too. It is almost everywhere now.

And in this new year, not just AR will become increasingly sophisticated. Devices that use AR will also become more powerful and will be fine-tuned to create higher quality visuals.

In turn, consumers’ understanding on how humans can interact within augmented environments will also evolve. This will then put virtual space exploration and interaction in the mainstream.

The year 2019 certainly promises to be an invigorating time for the AR industry and here are exciting evolutions we will see in the coming days: 

1. Enhanced AR Through Progressive AI

This is the year to see AR and VR incorporated with AI. Developers of both technologies will build smart, cognitive functions in their apps making AR and VR the ultimate entertainment, marketing and assistive tools.

Computer vision, which is an artificial intelligence function that allows computers to understand situations and objects through cameras, is especially essential in augmented reality. Hence, for AR to become increasingly sophisticated and capable, it will need to employ AI functions.

The Snapchat filter is one of the many examples of the AI and AR combination. Snapchat uses face recognition – which is provided to it through AI functions – for it to position the bunny ears and cat whiskers on selfies.

Snapchat filters work through face recognition to overly stickers.
Source: Blog

Google also uses this collaboration of two technologies through its machine learning-enabled microscope. Through this tech, pathologies are able to pinpoint the tissue which is suspected to be a cancerous tumor.

2. AR Becomes More Social

In the past years, AR only used to be an interaction between the user and the AR product through a device. However, in 2018, we started to see social AR movement in the entertainment and gaming industries.

A simple example of this is the multiple player options in AR games. It unlocked the power of gaming where a group of people is able to see the same end results.  Another is the creation of avatars we can socialize with.

The developments this year, though, promises to see the creation of avatars which can be sent to other canvasses to interact with other avatars or users. It’s like chatting with a friend in real life. Although Snapchat already delved into this possibility, the prediction is to add more functions and unlock features so avatars can communicate like audio chats.

3. More ARs Installed in Vehicles

Fully automated cars or flying cars are what most of us are waiting to see in the automotive industry. But there are tons of AI techs slated for release this year that will dazzle drivers and give the impressions of riding a futuristic car.

One of the AR trends to watch out for in 2019 is the inclusion of voice assistants in new vehicles’ audio-video systems. Most manufacturers are implementing Alexa, Siri and in-car AR for this.

The Nvidia’s DriveAR will use the dashboard display to overlay graphics camera footage from around the car. Its main function is to point out hazards along the way as well as historic landmarks that motorists might want to see before their destination. Major car makers like Audi, Tesla, Toyota, Mercedes-Benz, and Volvo already signed up to incorporate this technology in their upcoming high-end car models.

The Alibaba-backed WayRay, in the past year, took vehicle AR to a whole new level as it projects graphics directly onto the car windshield. It functions to give navigation prompts, lane identification, right-of-way information, and hazard detection.

Meanwhile, In-car AR is believed to improve road safety as it allows drivers to keep their eyes on the road as the tech reads feedbacks so drivers won’t have to look on their navi or phone for directions.

4. New Devices to Support Augmented Reality 

When VR and AR devices are talked about, mobile phones and headsets are what come to mind. But this year, new technological products will be configured to support augmented reality.

There will be major updates to AR headset models from OculusHTC, and Microsoft. But there were already new devices that came out earlier this year and one of them is the Bose Frames.

Source: Bose

As we discussed in the article “Gaming Reaches New Heights With Bose AR Audio Glasses,” Bose released sunnies that uses AR audio but the gaming app “Overherd” made it possible to see AR graphics through the lenses of the Frames.

5. Sales, Marketing and Shopping Will Use More ARs

We mentioned previously about major retailers and brands taking the leap to improve their customer shopping experience through augmented reality.

IKEA took the spotlight last year as it launched its IKEA Place App where shoppers can first check if the things they want to buy will fit in their spaces or match their interior design. This has made it ultra-convenient for shoppers as they no longer need to go through the hassles of item replacement.


Puma’s LQD Cell Origin Air AR Shoes
Source: Puma

On the other hand, Puma has its own way of using AR platforms through its AR shoes. It placed AR right into its product as users can enjoy filters and games from the codes embedded on the shoe itself.

More gimmicks are expected to come out this year that would encourage creativity that would surpass Puma’s unique take on AR.

Experts’ Take On Augmented Reality in 2019

Research analysts predict augmented reality to continuously become the main tool of enterprises to attract more customers. This means people can expect more surprising AR functions in 2019 and the coming years.

In fact, Gartner’s Principal research analyst Tuong Huy Nguyen highlighted that some early success will be seen for augmented reality in enterprises. Furthermore, it is believed to gain more traction in reality solutions compared to other technologies.

Furthermore, market foresight advisory ABI research projected the market of augmented reality to grow exponentially in the next years and will reach USD 116 billion of value by 2023.

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