AR for wearables: Is now the right time or have we missed a step?

There’s been a fair amount of speculation of late about the future of AR… is it going to work? Is augmented reality a wasted investment? You might be wondering the reason for this doubt: Companies such as the much-hyped MagicLeap, for example, have put all their emphasis on developing wearable tech for AR. Although it is probable that this is the direction in which AR will progress towards eventually, is augmented reality ready for wearables just yet, or are we skirting round and important part of the evolutionary chain? More from Rise AR: ‘Ready to make a living from augmented reality? Here’s what needs to happen first…’ To know the answer we’ll need to see concrete figures on what’s happening right here, right now.  There’s no doubt that AR applications of this type are already turning heads and making a difference, but is it reaching out to the masses in the manner it needs to to cement AR as an established technology? In our view, the massive potential of mobile AR needs to be explored further to allow both the technology, and the devices that it is supported on, to evolve. So as it stands, there is still a bright future for AR. In fact, we asked you on Twitter whether you believed that, in light of the negative press surrounding AR at the moment, this was the end of augmented reality, and 100% of the votes were ‘no’!

The evolution of AR to account for wearables:

So in light of this theory, how will this evolution happen? Our prediction is that AR and VR will eventually merge to create a form of MR, where virtual data is overlayed onto the real world, but in more of an immersive way. Our predictions align with Oculus’s Michael Abrash who states that in less than thirty years people would be wearing smart glasses rather than carrying a mobile phone, and that the glasses will blur “the distinction between AR and VR…The real and virtual world will mix and match throughout the day, according to our needs.” – via VentureBeat The ‘death’ of the mobile phone is in keeping with Mark Zuckerberg’s 10 year plan with Facebook that was first revealed in 2016. Zuckerberg also predicts a world without screens, however also suggests that data will eventually be projected straight into our eyes as our brain computes information. Wearable AR will, therefore, become more of a ‘middle-man’ rather than the end point, meaning it is part of a larger evolution towards a device-less world. More from Rise AR: ‘Two augmented reality trends you need to know about in 2018’

For the time being…

This all seems pretty daunting at this point, but it is unlikely that this evolution will happen over the next few years. For now, AR development needs to keep focus on providing AR content to the billions of mobile devices in circulation; as last week’s blog post outlined, we’re still not at the point where many people are unable to cut a decent living from augmented reality. This is because it’s still not taken that seriously as a beneficial technology and it is still a fairly new concept. For wearables to even be in the question, mobile augmented reality needs to find its place in the mainstream first. So going back to the questions that we presented at the beginning. You’ll probably be glad to hear that yes, augmented reality is going to work, and no, it isn’t a wasted investment. What is needed at this point is simply time.

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Author: Liberty Smith, Social Media Marketer, CGEye and Rise AR, @liberty_smith_