10 Augmented Reality Trends in 2021 – The Future Is Here
10 Augmented Reality Trends in 2021 in 2020, Augmented Reality technology saw unprecedented growth. The technology’s commercial use has boomed because of its popularity among market leaders such as Amazon, Apple, Google, and Facebook. MarketsandMarkets estimates that AR technology has a market worth $15.3 billion. It is worth looking at the various trends and avenues that are driving the booming augmented reality market. By the end of 2020, AR active devices were estimated to rise to 598 million units and are projected to grow to 1.73 billion by 2024.
1:- Mobile AR. Apple ARKit 4, Google ARCore
Apple recently released ARKit 4, the latest version of its open-source augmented reality development tools. Google’s ARCore competitor technology is also making significant strides to stay ahead of the curve. These tools were introduced in 2017 and have made it easier for developers to enter the AR market. AR-capable devices have seen a dramatic increase in their use and app support.
Apple has released additional updates to ARKit since 2017, including ARKit 2.0 at WWDC 2018, ARKit3.0 at WWDC 2019, then ARKit 4.0 @ WWDC 2020. ARKit 4.0’s latest innovations include improved face tracking, location anchors, and a new depth API. Apple’s ARKit developers can now harness the power of the new iPhones’ LiDAR hardware.
Google’s ARCore continues to innovate with the introduction of publicly-made Street View photographs. Google will accept Street View photos submitted by Android users who have an ARCore-capable phone. These photos must comply with certain quality guidelines. However, it shows that ARCore has improved sufficiently to allow Google to accept Street View photos submitted by Android users.
ARKit is superior to ARCore in motion capture, simultaneous use between front and back cameras, tracking multiple faces, and simultaneous use of front and rear cameras. With over 2,000 apps, the Apple App Store has more AR-capable applications than the Google Play Store. ARCore is easier to access due to the greater global market share Android holds over iOS. This varies from region to region. For example, in the United States, iOS is expected to have a greater market share than Android by 2020.
ARtillery Intelligence reports that ARKit devices outnumber ARCore. In 2020, there were 1185million ARKit devices and 633 million ARCore devices. The numbers of active users are very different. ARKit boasts 950 million active users, while ARCore has only 122 million.
2:- AR in Shopping & Retail
Giving consumers a virtual option to shop has been an important trend for retail industry players, such as American Apparel, Uniqlo, Lacoste, Kohls, Sephora. Some companies have even made virtual fitting rooms a reality. Customers can now experience a “try-before-you-buy” shopping experience at home. This is particularly important given the impact of social distancing policies on retail during the COVID-19 epidemic. AR is well-positioned to solve this problem.
This applies to more than just apparel. IKEA’s AR app lets customers see how furniture and other products may look in their homes. Consumers can access the possibilities from their smartphones at home. Smart mirrors and RFID tags can be used in-store to offer customers new product ideas.
Virtual fitting room technology isn’t going away anytime soon. The global market for virtual fitting room technology is projected to reach $10 billion in 2027. Although the pandemic has required AR as a solution for customers who cannot come to an in-person store, the advantages, convenience, and growing acceptance of virtual fitting room technology indicate that it will remain popular for years to come.
Augmented reality has gained popularity due to its improved accuracy, precision, and ability to approximate the real world. AR retail experiences will revolutionize the way consumers shop by utilizing advanced facial recognition and lighting conditions.
According to the 2020 IBM U.S Retail Index report, 41% of respondents were interested in trying a virtual fitting room to enhance their shopping experience, while 18% had answered that they had already tried the technology. The comfort level of customers will increase as AR technology improves.
3:- Utilizing AR For Navigation
With more bandwidth and control over an interior environment, the advantages offered by AR for indoor navigation are clear. This experience can be enhanced at various scales with various tools, including Bluetooth beacons and ceiling antennas, as well as QR codes. Apple’s iPhone AR can be used for indoor positioning if there is a strong Wi-Fi network.
MobiDev’s AR indoor navigation demo demonstrates the potential of this technology in practice. ARKit and ARCore based applications aid consumers with finding their way through airports, shopping malls, and other locations. In-store navigation stands to improve greatly from advances in AR technology. This will allow customers to find what they want while shopping in person.
Since its beta launch in August 2019, Google’s AR Live View has seen improvements in its walking directions. In October 2020, Google announced several new features to improve the AR Live View experience outdoors. These included the ability to overlay landmarks and expanding Live View to other cities. Shortly, Live View integration with Google Maps location sharing will be available to consumers. The process also includes elevation, which helps Live View perform better in hilly areas like San Francisco.
Also, in ARKit 4, Apple has introduced a powerful tool for outdoor AR navigation called Geo Tracking, which utilizes street view to ensure the best positioning.
4:- Augmented Reality Depends on Artificial Intelligence
It is important to recognize the importance of artificial intelligence in Augmented Reality. It is impossible to rely on humans programming augmented reality software to display virtual objects against a realistic-world background. These tasks can be accomplished with much greater efficiency by neural networks and machine learning, dramatically improving augmented reality experiences.
Machine learning and artificial intelligence cannot function without a strong team of data science engineers. A machine learning program that supports AR software requires the collection and analysis of training data. Before integrating and deploying the model, engineers must also fine-tune it.
AI can be used to complement AR. An AR experience can be used to give suggestions to shoppers in person at a store. These suggestions would be driven by chatbots powered by natural language processing (NLP) technologies. Without AI support, AR-driven virtual fitting rooms technology wouldn’t be possible. If needed, AI is vital in analyzing a user’s facial features, contours, and other body parts.
Deloitte Research concludes that augmented reality and artificial intelligence will transform the traditional healthcare business model by offering AR/MR-enabled hands-free solutions and AI-based diagnostic tools.
5:- Remote Assistance and Virtual Manuals
Only 7% of Americans have access to telework, but 37% of jobs in the United States could be done via telework. According to the Brookings Institution, however, half of US adults are employed from home. These discrepancies aside, it is clear that the use of telework has risen dramatically since the COVID-19 pandemic. Brookings Institution predicts that telework will continue even after the pandemic.
New solutions are required to preserve the efficiency of some professions that were previously done in-person due to the rise in telework. This is an example of IT computer repair. Augmented reality allows IT technicians to guide customers via on-screen directions. The IT technician can draw a line on the screen for the customer as they hold their smartphone camera up to the computer.
Remote assistance via an AR experience can be built with WebRTC. This allows both parties to connect and share the same AR experience through a peer-to-peer connection. This is important to ensure that video is transmitted in real-time without server load issues. AR-based virtual manuals give details about a vehicle’s dashboard or provide insight into factory machinery.
6:- Augmented Reality for the Automotive Industry
Augmented reality has had a significant impact on the automotive industry. Augmented reality technology can be used in several ways. One example is head-up displays (HUDs), which many consumers are familiar with from their favorite movies and video games. AR HUDs are practical for drivers because they allow them to see the road, supportive of their vision, not obstruct.
Safety is the most important application of an AR HUD to drivers. Drivers can be made aware of potential hazards by the HUD without being distracted or blocking their view of traffic. Nissan’s Invisible to Visible (I2V) technology already uses AR and AI to alert drivers about potential hazards such as objects nearby. If a driver’s attention wanders, the system can redirect their focus back to the road.
AR can also be used to market automotive products. Accenture and BMW have created an AR application that allows customers the opportunity to test drive a new car from their own driveway. Customers can also view virtual cars in different colors.
A fascinating case of AR development in the automotive industry is Volvo’s use of the Varjo XR-1 mixed reality headset to display virtual objects to a driver while on the road. This could be used for driver education to teach drivers how to recognize virtual hazards and to help them stop. This technology can also help customers showcase new vehicles.
7:- The Portable Augmented Reality
Although Augmented Reality is very convenient on a smartphone, it’s not as easy for everyday consumers and shoppers. It can be distracting to hold a phone and take the immersion out AR experiences. AR experiences with a headset are far superior to those viewed through a smartphone’s camera.
However, headsets like Microsoft’s HoloLens and the Varjo XR-1 are far too bulky and expensive to be used for non-enterprise users in their current forms. Although slow progress has been made, AR headsets are being considered wearable technology by the industry.
AR headsets will become more popular and affordable once they are socially acceptable and comfortable. Multiple companies are developing AR glasses that would be more feasible for a consumer to use. Apple Glasses, a supposedly consumer-focused AR glasses project, may be released within the next few years. ARtillery Intelligence predicts that this technology’s market will increase from $822 million to $13.4 billion in 2024.
AR glasses might not yet be available. They may not be able to hold a significant share of the market for several years. AR glasses will become a significant driver once they have.
8:- Augmented Reality Events
Augmented reality can enhance both in-person events and virtual ones, such as job fairs or sports events. You can do this via either dedicated apps or WebAR solutions. AR events offer unique experiences for attendees and allow them to interact despite quarantine restrictions.
Traditional career fairs are wholly in-person experiences or are mediated through Zoom web-conferencing. Aircards and GradBay have created AR-powered career fairs like the Pot Noodle Virtual Careers Fair. Due to COVID-19, the original career fair was canceled. The project resulted in an AR career fair experience that anyone can access by simply pointing their smartphone at an outdoor, large space.
You can view videos on virtual tables which provide information about the graduate business and career. WebAR powers the entire experience, meaning that it doesn’t require any app downloads. WebAR is now more accessible, which can prove to be crucial for marketing purposes.
Being the largest platform, WebAR, which has 3.04 billion compatible devices, is still in the early stages, but powerful shifts are already moving brands in its direction.
WebAR is also being utilized in the sports industry by companies like 8th Wall. Interactive AR content can be enhanced by interactive QR codes that deliver experiences. AR can also be used for creating holograms that sports players can interact with from their homes.
Although virtual reality has been tested in this area, it is not as good as actually being there to see the match live. Because it is accessible, augmented reality has been the leader. AR experiences are available on more accessible hardware like smartphones, whereas VR is restricted to expensive and bulky headsets.
Major League Baseball in the United States is exploring its options to apply its innovative Hawk-Eye baseball tracking and analytics data to AR experiences. This data allows AR delivery in virtual spaces to be more realistic and accurate by having exact data about where the players and the ball are at any given time during a match. This strategy could deliver AR experiences to fans in other sports, such as American football, soccer, or golf.
9:- AR in Remote Education
Social distancing policies have had a devastating impact on educational institutions in the wake of the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic. Augmented reality offers a variety of apps that can improve the learning experience for students enrolled in e-learning. Wikitude has created an app called Ai. R-Cord. This app is designed to help elementary school students understand concepts through augmented reality experiences.
It is impossible to underrate the potential of augmented reality for increasing student focus on course content at home. Augmented reality technology makes learning more varied by allowing visual content to be expanded for visual-focused learners. This technology can break up a monotonous video conference and record lecture notes to increase student engagement.
Augmented reality is a great tool for students to examine a model from different angles. They can examine and comprehend certain concepts by moving the virtual object around or turning it in space. It also allows students to experience at-home learning. This type of learning is easier to remember and understand than other methods.
LiDAR technology is increasingly supported on consumer devices like the iPhone 12 Pro, iPhone 12 Pro Max, and the iPad Pro 2020. In 2021, there will be many possibilities for augmented realities technologies because LiDAR technology is being used on a large scale with consumer devices.
LiDAR’s incorporation into Apple’s product arsenal began with the iPad Pro in 2020. The scanner is now part of the iPhone 12 Pro. This means that consumers have one of the best portable AR solutions available.
People occlusion is one of the greatest opportunities LiDAR offers. By allowing users to occlude virtual objects, allows for immersive AR experiences. LiDAR greatly improves the process of onboarding, which is basically preparing a scene for virtual objects. Because data from the sensor is processed faster, allowing virtual objects to be placed into scenes much quicker. Incorporating LiDAR into portable platforms suggests that more comfortable and portable head-mounted AR devices such as eyeglasses can be developed.
Future of Augmented Reality:-
The future of augmented reality looks bright, with AR’s market value rising to $25 billion by 2025. This growth will continue for many years, driven by investments in the following business domains and spheres:
Gaming has the highest share of the industry’s revenue and will remain a relevant driver of augmented reality. AR will gain popularity in practical applications such as the engineering and healthcare industries. AR solutions and interactive walkthroughs will be a benefit to real estate and corporate campus navigation. These solutions can be used in augmented or mixed reality environments. Mobile AR is still a crucial tool.
For further reading, check out this how-to guide on using augmented reality for business and how to create an AR app that overcomes critical challenges during development and integration. These AR solutions are followed by a continuous product development cycle, delivery, integration with existing ecosystems, and implementation. This is how augmented reality services will help your company enter the market early and stay at the forefront of the competition.