In the public eye, augmented reality (AR) technology came to the fore in the summer of 2016, when the mobile game Pokémon Go took the world by storm. Within the game, players can use the AR switch to change the background from the game’s backdrop to the real-life scenery that’s seen through the lens of the camera. Then, players can move their phone around to find the overlay of the Pokémon and attempt to capture it. AR had been in development long before the release of Pokemon Go, however, and has uses away from mobile games. While mobile devices have made a lot of use of AR and virtual reality (VR) technology, people see the greatest use of augmented reality to be through the use of face-mounted technology such as the Bose AR Glasses or Google Glass. The general idea with AR is that additional data and information can be shown as an overlay to the real world, allowing the user to stay in the real world while being able to see more information at the same time – rather than immersing themselves in a new world, as is the case with VR technology. There’s still a long way to go but, for AR technology to reach its everyday use potential, do people have to adopt face-mounted technology?

Gaming embraces augmented reality

Even though it’s in the world of freemium mobile gaming, the industry has made strides with augmented reality technology. Pokémon Go was the bombshell that had people running around the streets trying to find monsters in the real world through their phone screen, and now Jurassic World has released a similar game. In Jurassic World Live, however, the AR use is limited to placing the dinosaur in the real world and taking a picture of it there, like a quick and easy Jurassic World version of Adobe Photoshop. As recorded by NBC News, Dr Hao Li of the University of Southern California states that the most important applications of AR will be those that result in more people adopting the technology. So, as more people play the AR-enabled games, the more people there are who are willing to adopt the technology as it advances into new areas. But it’s not just mobile games that have adopted the technology, with the app SNAAPPY allowing for location-based AR messages. As AR becomes a more prevalent feature on mobile apps, other sectors will be looking into how to utilize the technology. Many areas are already exploring its capabilities but, for the most part, if AR is to be adopted and its uses applied to their maximum potential, it most likely won’t be via the use of mobile devices.

The glory of the overlay

Glass is developing its functions in areas of logistics, manufacturing, and healthcare and claims to allow workers to stay hands-on, access helpful videos and images quickly, as well as be connected to co-workers via live video streams. The ability to see information while performing tasks without the need to look away to another screen could prove to be a game-changer in many industries. In fact, many other industries have already adopted the use of the overlay to display more information. For instance, at the Betway live casino, there’s an overlay of information while playing live streamed games which shows important information such as game statistics. It allows players to continue playing while also quickly and easily accessing key information. This ease of access has proved to be very popular at the live casino, so one would imagine that the possibility to do this in day-to-day work life would also be very popular. The overlay works on the live streaming screen because it appears at once so, for someone to be able to carry that everywhere, they will need an accessory that changes their view of the world, as glasses do.

AR’s peak may be in glasses

To reach the peak of AR’s powers for delivering quick and seamless information while the user is still in touch with the real world, glasses look to be the optimum accessory to carry the technology. But, as mentioned, many other industries are developing ways to incorporate AR and make their products and services better. For example, HTT is building augmented reality into the windows of their high-speed tube trains to make the train ride more interactive. Augmented reality has escaped the restrictions of gaming and is predicted to be worth nearly $35 billion by 2025, according to Hackernoon. As people continue to find uses for AR in new industries, such as the IKEA Place App, which scales furniture products to preview them in the user’s home, its application and use diverges away from face-mounted technology and back towards mobile devices.

However, a huge range of AR applications can become easier to use and more streamlined when incorporated into face-mounted technology. For example, the planned next step of head-up displays in cars is to simply have all of the information come through AR glasses so that the driver can see the information and the rest of their surroundings regardless of where their head turns. Augmented reality certainly presents an exciting and interactive future in many industries and for many users but, for people to reach the science fiction level of AR use that many dream of, the technology will most likely have to be applied through face-mounted apparel. Luckily, AR has already built a substantial fan base through mobile gaming and other exploits, which should prove to be beneficial when AR is sold in the form of glasses. Enough people want to utilize the possibilities of AR in their everyday lives that adopting face-mounted technology shouldn’t deter many potential customers – the price will be the main sticking point.