5 visionary augmented reality companies pushing AR forward
This is an exciting time for augmented reality development. Figures show that both revenue from, and adoption of, AR is set to increase massively over the next five years or so. With more companies jumping on board and offering a range of diverse services within AR, it’s difficult to know the real players. We’ve therefore compiled this list of 5 visionary augmented reality companies that we believe are really pushing AR forward in the direction of mass adoption. After all, mass adoption is the key to AR’s success…
1.) DAQRI, vision: utilise and standardise AR in industry One of the earlier pioneers in Mixed Reality (MR), US based DAQRI have successfully set the standards for wearable AR. Their focus lies on ensuring a more ‘effective’ workforce, by accelerating ‘productivity, communication, and key business processes’. This is achieved through wearable products, such as the DAQRI Smart Glasses, which crucially allow for hands-free AR. Their client base includes Siemens, who have used DAQRI products for industry training. The United States Navy are also using DAQRI to modernise ‘shipboard communication’. As of March 2018, DAQRI also launched Worksense (AR productivity applications), which will ultimately help DAQRI achieve their goal of mainstream adoption of wearable AR. Their efforts to bring wearable AR to the masses, especially within industry, is only set to get stronger.
2.) Magic Leap, vision: standardise wearable AR in everyday life This leads us nicely on to Magic Leap and the release of their much anticipated, albeit controversial, headset ‘Magic Leap One’. The company claim that their product is ‘inspired by human physiology’, which makes the ‘unreal feel real’. Magic Leap One is designed to be less of a headset, but more of a portal, which blurs the real world with the digital in a seamless and authentic way. This all seems very high tech, and truthfully it is. But mass adoption of wearable AR is still a vision; Magic Leap One comes with a $2000+ price tag so not yet in reach of many. They are, however, on the right track and their product shows great potential to what could be in a few years to come…
3.) Google, vision: create multi-user AR experiences using cloud anchors We’ve mentioned Google and their cloud anchors before in another blog post highlighting two augmented reality trends in 2018. We discussed the rise of multi-user experiences and what it could mean for AR in the long run (you can read it here). Just for a recap, cloud anchors allow for digital AR objects to be ‘anchored’ into place on the cloud. This means that when another user joins, both users can see the virtual object locked into place within the environment. For the time being, data from the cloud anchor is only stored for up to 24 hours after the original anchor was hosted. However, in the long run this will allow for multi-user augmented reality experiences, as different users will be able to build, render, and lock different virtual objects into a scene. A capability such as this would almost definitely increase AR adoption within the gaming industry but could also be used as training or for product demonstration within enterprise.
4.) Inde, vision: Broadcast AR Inde are an award-winning augmented reality development company who deliver immersive, cinematic experiences through BroadcastAR. Very much like our interactive augmented reality experience at Colchester Zoo, Inde create customised experiences that aims to educate and entertain simultaneously. Users can interact with photo-realistic virtual images on the screen as they are directly immersed amongst them. What’s more, like the AR headsets, BroadcastAR provides a hand-free experience. Ultimately through BroadcastAR, Inde are bringing an alternative multi-user experience to the masses; rather than users interacting within the virtual world, groups of people are able to interact together with the digital world that they are immersed in on the screen. Not only that, but BroadcastAR will help bring augmented reality to the masses by curating installations in public areas or popular tourist attractions. This will inevitably increase the awareness of such an innovative technology. Besides their BroadcastAR, Inde also develop mobile AR and live avatars. As a result, they have an expensive client base. In the past they have developed for BBC Earth, Universal Studios, WWF, Ford, and 20th Century Fox to name a few.
5.) Layar (part of the Blippar group), vision: to bring everyday objects to life Layar is an easy way for companies to utilise AR by allowing them to create augmented reality experiences through posters, flyers, or magazines. Companies can drag and drop the digital content they want to appear on top of their work meaning that Layar is ultimately ‘self-service’. The ease and speed of AR creation allows for businesses to utilise AR for marketing purposes in the most accessible way. In terms of bringing AR to the masses? Layar is an affordable solution; their costs start from just £12. Layar’s vision of ‘bringing everyday objects to life’ highlights the scope of such an easy way for AR content to be created. In the future we might see this kind of AR move into culture and tourism, as AR will help bring artworks or exhibits ‘to life’. This is why we believe that Layar is a visionary augmented reality company.
More from Rise AR: ‘AR for wearables: Is now the right time or have we missed a step?’
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Author: Liberty Smith, Social Media Marketer, CGEye and Rise AR, @liberty_smith_