Microsoft Hololens is currently leading the AR headset race, if there is such a competition. Hololens is simply extraordinary as far as its capabilities as a working head mounted display. Despite the bigger players in the space, Magic Leap for example, Hololens has been consistent in their development and distribution.
2017 we can all clearly predict an upturn in adoption but Hololens will be used as an AR tool, outside of the games and gimmicks, to increase the productiveness of users; especially in the work field. Developers are already expanding the Hololens community, as apps like HoloMaps surface on the platform. The adoption of HMDs will show us how the future of computing equates to everyday life!
Mobile experiences will expand
AR has been introduced more publicly by Pokémon Go but just as broadly with Snapchat, the fun, mobile experiences are only expected to become more popular in the coming year. The Nintendo game from Niantic has shown both consumers and businesses that augmented reality can activate users in real-life through a mobile experience and this hasn’t gone unnoticed.
Brands are eager to jump on the augmented reality train but they aren’t sure how to best use it to drive user growth around their product. Yet, on the other hand, Snapchat is bringing in a consistent ad revenue through augmented reality and that is a model that may be replicated in 2017 (Facebook, anyone?).
AR in Retail
“40% would be willing to pay more for a product
if they could experience it through augmented reality.”
The rapid evolution of e-commerce has created a consistent channel for retailers and brands; giving brick and mortar stores a run for their money. Still, many vendors have yet to create engaging, timely experiences throughout the buyer’s journey.
“Mobile shoppers overtake desktop visitors to reach 61% of the total e-commerce traffic. But conversions are still 63% lower for mobile when compared to desktop,” according to a 2016 mobile commerce study from Unbxd. Augmented reality (AR) is the new age innovation that is filling this gap and (already) providing real benefits for both retailers and shoppers.
Augmented reality is a technology that layers virtual objects or holograms on top of your existing environment in real-time. AR has always been anticipated to change the way people see the world around them, but it will also revolutionize the way we shop online. Innovation in eCommerce is quickly advancing, and augmented reality is in a position to bring a physical presence to online shopping.
The future of these technologies will likely merge, presenting users with an easy transition between a completely virtual environment to an AR experience with virtual objects or characters in their actual space.
This past year has been a big year for the world of augmented reality with tons of new additions between software and hardware. In 2017 we can only expect this technology to flourish amongst the mainstream audience and there are many new experiences anticipated to dominate the field across all industries.