By Sharad Singh
2018 was game-changing for augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) industry. The demand for AR and VR jobs skyrocketed in the last few years when in the VR world, wireless became a norm and in AR world, stand-alone HMD became a buzzword. In fact, a wave of new AR-based apps has hit the Apple Store and Google Play Store so hard that it has allowed users to even measure a distance without using a tape or preview set of the living room furniture without actually buying anything.
As we enter the new year, the AR and VR market has slowed down a bit, however, the new announcements from major market players such as Snapchat and Apple have given hope for the brighter future of AR and VR market. According to a research firm, Allied Market Research, the global AR and VR industry is expected to reach $571.42 billion by 2025, registering a CAGR of 63.3% from 2018 to 2025. With new market strategies such as the acquisition of startup: Infinity Augmented Reality by Alibaba and new applications of VR in “eye-tracking”, it is obvious that the AR- and VR-based applications are here to stay.
Acquisition of Infinity Augmented Reality
The Israeli startup, Infinity Augmented Reality, recently confirmed its acquisition by Alibaba. The two companies had been involved in a partnership since 2016 when InfinityAR and Alibaba collaborated on computer vision, AR, and even artificial intelligence (AI) projects.
The startup was established in 2013 and its augmented glasses platform has enabled several developers to incorporate AR into their applications. Moreover, InfinityAR’s has developed various products such as software for OEMs and ODMs and a SDK plug-in for the 3D engines. On the other hand, in 2016, Alibaba started showing interest in VR, when the company signed an investment deal with Magic Leap, an American startup that deals with head-mounted VR display.
However, the acquisition of InfinityAR is aimed at to create about 100 million jobs by 2036. The R&D team of InfinityAR is expected to be working from Alibaba’s Israel Machine Laboratory, which is an arm of DAMO Academy and is estimated to bring revenue of $15 billion by working for about two billion customers by 2036. Moreover, the DAMO Academy works together with various universities across the globe and the Israel Machine Laboratory has an affiliation with the Tel Aviv University and is aimed at machine learning and video analysis.
Toyota launches of new AR app
The Japanese automobile company, Toyota, recently launched its AR application that offers a chance to “see inside” the company’s C-HR model. The company’s U.K. arm worked with digital agency Brandwidth to develop the AR application. The iPad app incorporated both AR and VR technology to overlay graphics of the inside of the car onto the physical vehicles. The customers visiting the shopping centers, showrooms, and trade shows could use the app and interact with each other and know more about the hybrid system that is used in the car and experience the “hotspots” that can be clicked to know about its key features.
Upcoming trends in AR and VR market
- AR in marketing & advertising
Over the last few years, various brands have used AR technology for the company’s marketing & advertising campaign as it offers an immersive experience to the consumer as well as increases user engagement and brand recognition. For instance, in 2017, IKEA launched its AR app that enables users to visualize which kind of furniture would look aesthetic in their house, eliminating the need to buy the fixtures and in turn saving money.
- AR in healthcare
AR has found enormous applications in the healthcare sector in the form of telemedicine. The technology allows doctors to administer the patients remotely. Moreover, with the help of AR, doctors could literally map and suggest the motions required for physical therapy to the patient’s body. Additionally, AR-based software could provide the necessary training regarding the type of physical therapies to succeed in their profession.
- VR adoption in various industries
VR has the most appealing feature that offers the user an immersive experience within the content. However, compared to AR, VR market has not quite gained the expected momentum yet and high-quality VR content is still not in the hands of masses. However, it does not mean that the market will remain in a stealth mode. With the help of VR, users can now track their belongings or product in a marketplace, building, or a shelf. In a project carried out for Kellogg, Accenture and Qualcomm demonstrated a novel application of a combination of VR and AR. The companies launched eye-tracking technology that could recognize what gains a customer’s attention and helps them to make their own decisions. Kellogg’s wanted to launch its new product and find out an optimum position for it in shelf to boost its sale. For this, the team created virtual shelves and allowed customers to shop as they usually do and observed where they look, what kind of products they pick, and which products they put back on the shelf.
The recent developments in the AR and VR technology are slowly entering into various industries to help better visualize the surrounding to improve the performance of daily tasks. If you look at the recent surge in the development of a mobile-based application that uses AR and VR technology, it is clear that the technology is here to stay, and we better be ready for it.