Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) are have already grown to bringing in $3.6 billion in revenue in 2018, a 30% increase over the previous year. Shipment of AR/VR headsets are expected to increase 54% in 2019 to 8.9 million units worldwide.
While AR/VR is still in its infancy, it’s growing up fast and is expected to create major changes in how we interact with both the world around us and virtual worlds inside VR headsets.
When it comes to technology trends, our team at Pro Tech Guy is always excited to learn all about what’s on the horizon so we can answer questions and offer expert guidance to our managed IT services clients in Framingham and the Metrowest area.
If you’ve been wondering what’s coming in the AR and VR worlds, read on for an exciting preview of things to come, as well as some technologies and games already available.
AR & VR are Coming… Are You Ready?
Currently the most well-known products in the VR world are the headsets that make virtual reality possible. In order of 2018 sales, the biggest are:
Samsung Gear VR
HTC VIVE Focus
When it comes to AR, it’s all about the mobile games, with Pokemon Go being the most famous… so far. But it seems that those AR game creators have just released an entirely new AR mobile game based upon a popular magical franchise.
Once AR/VR gets beyond gaming, is when we can expect it to begin to mature and reach more widespread use. Currently, big tech players like Google and Apple working are on browser and viewer support for augmented and virtual reality applications.
Here are some exciting new things to watch out for.
Harry Potter Goes Virtual
The biggest new augmented reality mobile game that’s going to take 2019 by storm is by the same studio that pushed the AR boundary with Pokemon Go, sending people of all ages around town looking for creatures.
Harry Potter: Wizards Unite launched for iOS and Android devices in June 2019 and promises the same augmented reality experience, where players can look through their mobile devices and see characters and “Foundables” overlaid on top of the real world.
Augmented Reality in Web Pages
Google is working on a WebXR Device API that will allow use of both AR and VR inside the Chrome web browser. It’s currently being tested in their Chrome Canary and it can be explored by having the following:
A compatible smartphone running Android O or later
Installation of the ARCore
Two Chrome flags, WebXRDevice API and Web XR Hit Test
Useful applications on the horizon using this technology include
Home online shoppers able to fully visualize objects in 3D before purchase
More in-depth learning on educational websites
Better visualization of repairs or manuals (imagine being able to see in 3D how to repair a dripping faucet or install a video surveillance system)
Enhanced Computer Vision
While the Google Glass was a short-lived fad, it was an important peek at the future of augmented reality. With artificial intelligence taking massive strides forward every year, we can expect to see more sophisticated versions of an informational and responsive layer over the real world that a wearable, like glasses or a clear visor will enable.
Such as a Google maps overlay that guides you to the nearest Bagel shop and can intuitively include wait times to help you choose the best option during a lunch break.
Virtual Training and Education
Imagine being able to put your recruits through a “real world” reconnaissance mission to hone their skills before they’re subject to the real thing. This is something the U.S. Army is exploring with the help of Microsoft and its HoloLens technology.
Likewise, mega-retailer Walmart is using Oculus Go headsets for employee training in a number of areas. A notable one was virtually training their team to use their new Pickup Tower automated vending unit prior to store deployment to ensure a smooth rollout.
Social VR Experiences
Of course, one of the most anticipated technologies that many are waiting on VR to bring is something akin to Star Trek: The Next Generation’s Holodeck. That virtual world where you could go wherever you like to relax or explore the world from the comfort of your home.
Expect Facebook to be on the forefront of exploring the social opportunities that VR has to offer, which is illustrated through its purchase of Oculus back in 2016.
And social VR environments aren’t only for home use, virtual meetings and boardrooms in the business world are expected to be another important branch of the “holodeck-style” virtual reality offerings.
Does Your Computer Need an AR/VR Upgrade?
Hardware requirements for AR and VR are definitely more demanding, which may require computer hardware or device updates to allow you to take full advantage of these new technologies.
Pro Tech Guy can help you with computer upgrades and custom computer builds to ensure your PC has everything you need to take full advantage of new AR/VR applications.
Let’s discuss your computer needs today! Call 508-364-8189 or reach out online.