The mobile market is becoming more and more concentrated these days. This encouraged many technology firms to explore new options for driving revenue and the potential of augmented reality and wearable technology has attracted the attention of many. Such technological advances have made it possible to make hand-held devices like a headset or a wristwatch interactive and connect them to a body. One of the most well-known and high-profile examples of such smart and interactive wearable is Google Glass.
Augmented reality is indeed the next big trend that will hit almost all the industries. The AR technology enhances the real-life environment virtually using mobile devices or wearable technology. The reason why augmented reality technology is termed as the next big trend is that it seems to be the reasonable step beyond the mobile apps that have been in the market for quite a time now.
Businesses have just started experimenting with augmented reality. However, big brands like Google, Qualcomm, Canon and Hewlett-Packard have been already researching and developing the technology and they are just about to enter the game with their revolutionary augmented reality apps and tools. Qualcomm and HP are already developing software that is powered by image-recognition technology for mobile devices for improving marketing campaigns. Another augmented reality platform created by Canon projects the virtual images on to real-life environments. This AR platform is mounted on the head and features digital cameras located near each eye socket. For Google, however, the story was different. The search giant never built its Glass with AR technology specifically in mind. The developers at Google are now exploring the concept before the official launching of the head-gear.
Disney, Audi and Leap too are exploring the technology by developing augmented reality apps for customers and the trend is only continuing. In fact, augmented reality has created a sensation in the retail and marketing industry by blurring the line between the real world and digital environment. As a result, a number of companies are experimenting with the potentials of augmented reality retail apps for their marketing campaigns. In fact, AR in itself can be a billion dollar market in the future. Infinity AR, for example, recently opened their research and development center for augmented reality in Tel Aviv for developing an AR platform with smartphones, tablets and digital eyewear.
John Jackson, a research analyst for the research firm IDC said, “There is a gold rush mentality around the space now and it’s hardly clear who is going to emerge. We have to think about this as a platform that makes use of lots of different technologies and mashes them up to give you a new way of interacting with the world around you.” Another analytics firm called ABI Research commented, “Developer investment in augmented reality (AR) applications will total $670 million this year, and the annual amount is expected to exceed $2.5 billion by 2018.”
The research firm further said that the expansion of cloud computing will be the main driver for developing such large number of augmented reality apps and tools. Cloud-based content libraries are essential for the proper functioning of the augmented reality devices along with rapid access to wireless networks.