What is AR?
Augmented reality, also known as mixed reality, is an enhancement of the real world with a set of virtual/digital objects. Instead of taking you to another world like VR, AR allows you to add computer images/graphics in the real world. We all have used Augmented reality, whether it be catching Pikachu in Pokemon Go, or turning yourself into a dog using Snapchat filters. But these are primitive forms of AR, they do not provide an immersive experience, rather they are confined to just your smartphones.
Why AR is so important?
The true power of AR is not easily available to regular customers, but it is a game changer in various industries. AR is revolutionary in the sense that it makes all the processes much more efficient. It saves countless micro-seconds, which makes manufacturing and logistics much faster and more efficient.
AR in Healthcare
As of 2019, the health and social industry were able to augment 35% of their work time using AR. It allows surgeons to precisely study patients’ anatomy by entering data from MRI and CT scans. It even allows them to put all these data over the patient while performing surgery, which prevents any mistakes.
Image source :- https://wallpapercave.com/w/wp2707780
AR in Military
In US military, Hololens 2 or Integrated Visual Augmentation System (IVAS) is being used to train soldiers; it includes night vision, map projections, guidance lines for weapon aiming, etc.
AR in manufacturing and design
Aircraft manufacturer Boeing uses AR powered by Upskill’s Skylight, it aids technicians to put the wires at the exact position so there are no room for the errors. AR is heavily used by designing and manufacturing industry.
It allows the designers to view their designs in 3D in all the angles possible. AR makes it easier to make any changes to current design or to look how will it perform in various environments or situations.
For consumers like you and me, AR will allow us to easily know more about our environments. You bought coke, see all its details hovering in front of you, want to do your favorite workout? Do it with a digital companion who is constantly guiding you.
AR for us
There have been countless tries by Google (Google Glasses), Microsoft (Hololens), Snapchat (Spectacles), and a lot of other companies to bring AR to consumers. They all have failed. Why?
Google glass failed because even the creators did not know what to do with it, they believed that people would wear it as a fashionable device or to look cool in public; they thought it would be much easier for people to browse internet and take pictures using the glass instead of taking out their phones from pocket. Yes! those were the only things you could do with them and the battery life was just 2–3 hours. There was no way it could compete with faster smartphones with a better camera and battery life. Cameras available in the glasses made them look creepy, and its cyborg design made the glasses unacceptable to use in the public. The creators believed that the hype would sell the product automatically as they were the first comers in the market.
Snapchat had vending machines called Snapbots in random locations to make it exciting for users to buy their fresh pairs of glasses, in fact you could only buy them online after 5 months of initial release, maybe it was done to make it seem special for first buyers. This strategy backfired on spectacles. After 5 months of initial release, the hype was no more. They weren’t cool for teenagers to buy after everyone has seen people wearing them on the internet. Another problem was with the cameras, it would only export to snapchat and you can only take short circular videos inset within a white square. Also, they were too creepy to be accepted by the public. Spectacles by snapchat had a similar faith as Google glass, only 0.08% snapchat users bought spectacles.
Why Apple might lead the industry?
Apple has a very interesting past. They are known for making complex things simple.
Macintosh changed Personal Computers
Before Macintosh we had to use command-line interfaces to navigate personal computers, Macintosh popularized the graphical user interfaces and made it a breeze to use computers.
Walkman VS IPod
Apple was not the first company to make a personal music player, Sony was. Sony created its first Walkman in 1979 and soon became a huge success selling over 150 million devices globally. But you could only listen to one album at a time with it. This soon changed when Apple released its IPod that could hold 1000x more songs than Walkman and was sleeker and easier to navigate.
iPhone revolutionized the smartphone industry
(Survey by Nokia in 2012) Source:- https://rb.gy/1afxru
Before the first iPhone was released, Blackberry was dominating the market with over 40% market share. Blackberry designed their phones, keeping businessmen in mind. At the time only 2G was available, so Blackberry’s smartphone became famous as it would allow you to receive and send E-Mails. But then Apple entered the market with iPhone and quickly took over Blackberry. At the time people still preferred keyboards, but as App Store became more popular and internet became faster with 3G, people forgot about Blackberry.
If we look back at Google and Spectacles, they failed because of the product, cost, and demand.
Apple is planning to make Apple glasses with little in-house processing, it would out-load most of its processing to the iPhone, much like the first generation of Apple Watch. Apple glasses would use LiDAR (Light Detection And Ranging) to look at its surroundings and place digital objects on it, rather than using cameras, learning from the mistakes of Google Glasses. The glasses would look slim and like regular glasses, which would allow them to be widely accepted as people don’t prefer to look like cyborgs, at least yet.
As most of the processing would place in the iPhone, Apple glasses would only require a battery, display, and a LiDAR sensor. Yes, there won’t be any speakers in the glasses, because Apple wants to market its Airpods, which is great as it would make the glasses light-weight and sleekier. According to the current rumors, Apple glasses are expected to cost around $499, making it a great competition for any other players in the market. Given the status symbol of Apple, people would still prefer Apple glasses over cheaper and even better alternatives.
When Snapchat and Google released their AR products, there was not much people could do with them. This is where Apple has played smartly. All the newer iPhones and iPads have U1 chips built into them, U stands for Ultra-Wideband. This technology uses short-range radio signals to gather information about the surroundings. Developers can utilize this chip to create AR apps for iPhones and iPads, filling those gaps that existed with google glass. This would make AR glasses much more useful and relevant.
Let me know your views below, do you think Apple will win?
Why Snapchat Spectacles failed How come only 0.08% of Snapchat's users bought its camera sunglasses? Hundreds of thousands of pairs of Spectacles sit…techcrunch.com Top 25 Disruptive Augmented Reality Use Cases - Mantra Labs Augmented Reality (AR) adds virtual interactive experiences in real-world objects. It uses computer-generated…mantralabsglobal.com Augmented Reality in Healthcare The application of augmented reality technology is opening up new opportunities in the healthcare industry. New AR…plugandplaytechcenter.com 'Nearby Interactions' framework gives developers access to the U1 chip | Appleinsider Apple is introducing a new framework that will allow developers to take advantage of the U1 Ultra Wideband chip…appleinsider.com As touchscreens dominate, Nokia survey says keyboard phones preferred A Nokia Conversations survey suggests the U.S. alone prefers touchscreen devices for input while the rest of the world…gigaom.com
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