In 2016 when the augmented reality game Pokemon Go became a rage, the technology was still at its nascent stage. For most, it stays fresh in memory as the first brush with augmented reality in a personal device. Since then, many phone applications and games have hit the market in a bid to grab customer eyeballs. The phone is probably your most personal and essential gadget today. Any interaction over the phone has a lasting impact on the user. However, in a few years the world as we know is likely to change completely.
Augmented reality-enabled devices will make up a bulk of smart, connected products (SCPs), permeating every sphere of our daily lives. The deployment of 5G at a scale will give wings to VoIP devices unlocking the full potential of IoT (Internet of Things). Social media giant Facebook, betting big on the AR and VR (virtual reality) technology already sold around 1 million units of Oculus headsets at the end of the fourth quarter in 2020. And at the same time, global smartphone sales declined 5%. The trend shows growing acceptance and usage of augmented reality technology by customers.
What really is augmented reality technology?
We have been talking about how augmented reality is going to shape our future communications. Let us first understand a little about the technology. Augmented reality or AR as popularly called is a technology that overlays digital images with real-world objects.
Augmented reality brings together virtual and real data to allow real-time interactions with computerized graphics, images and objects.
Several popular gaming and social media programs and applications like Instagram, use this technology. But beyond the world of entertainment and gaming, AR will have practical applications for businesses in the future.
The Blurring Line Between Fiction And Reality
For years, augmented reality has been the talk of the town but it was limited to fiction—movies and games. Slowly things are changing. VoIP transfers analog signals digitally over a local or wide area network, transmitting digital and voice simultaneously. With 5G it will gain a much-needed pace to support new-age technologies like AR, VR, and mixed reality – the new avatar that brings together AR and VR. The line between virtual and reality will blur by the day.
With SCPs, you will gain a better perspective of devices and visualize most of the real world. AR differs from VR, which completely immerses the user in a simulated fantasyland. Not surprisingly, the mobile augmented reality market is set to rise to 8.86 billion USD in 2021, before catapulting to over 21 billion USD by 2024. AR has real world implications, layering computer-generated text and images in the real-world to provide us a 3-D view. With a notion of reality, superimposed with a dose of AI, ML, big data, 5G and IoT, our world will no longer remain the same.
We are set to witness a transformation in real-world interactions, let’s take a look at a few changes it will usher in.
One of the most important factors impacting virtual interaction is the speed of data transmission. The 5G- backed VoIP will transform real-time communication with innovations in WebRTC (Web Real-time communication), allowing high-quality resolution and videos. Combined with AR and VR, video conferencing will change forever. This may even make virtual offices such as Accenture’s NthFloor and Facebook’s Horizon Workrooms commonplace.
Human and machine interaction
Augmented reality will eliminate the need for a real-world physical interface. Without actually making physical contact, you can visualize and perform tasks that require the granular depth. For instance, a control dashboard can enable a worker at a factory to make specific changes simply by adjusting the machine without touching it.
The ergonomics and design of objects will give users an immersive experience. It is already being used to convey important operational and safety information in automobiles. It is also part of wearables such as smart glasses, which can let you visualize a product enabled to communicate with AR. Microsoft’s HoloLens 2 and Magic Leap’s headset focussed on AR, have hit the market already, retailing for $3,500 and $2,295 respectively.
Shift industry paradigm
Some organizations are accepting and adapting augmented reality to bring about efficiency and increase productivity. The focus is on using AR not in the product but as an enabler. Many retailers have become the early adopters of technology. For instance, IKEA’s AR-based shopping application allows customers to visualize how the selected furniture will look in their homes. AR is also being lapped up by apparel retailers.
In a survey by IBM, 41% of retailers expressed interest in giving a try to virtual fitting rooms. You can imagine the multitude of spiral effects this will have on e-commerce and related sectors.
Booster dose for other technologies
As AR gains more ground, it will pave the way for a host of other technologies to evolve, transform and change in the coming years. Neural networks and machine learning will improve interaction with AR devices, leading to higher efficiency and boosting experiences drastically. The possibilities are infinite. AI (artificial intelligence) chatbots and NLP (natural language processing) technologies together with AR will transform our interaction with companies, particularly those in the services sector.
Change in consumer trends
We are already in the midst of a digital transformation accelerated by Covid-19. The pace of change in consumer behavior is quickening, as they are becoming more knowledgeable and technology-savvy. With AR, SCPs will take consumer experience several notches up, leading the laggards to catch up or perish. Consumer behaviour will create a bias between AR haves and have-nots, ultimately impacting the bottom line.
Improve decision making
The data harnessed through AI and ML, used in real-time with AR will enhance decision-making significantly. AR will add another dimension to data viewed on screens helping to make sense of numbers as it will apply to the real world, bringing much-needed context.
Use case: AR in action at DHL
One of the first movers in the industry, the contract logistics company DHL started using the smart glasses back in 2015. Over the past few years, the company rolled out this technology step by step following successful test runs. In most geographies, DHL is vision picking, a picking process supported with augmented reality. After the initial success, other units in the company also favored the use of smart glasses in operations.
- Augmented reality in the warehouse is driving better accuracy and productivity, making the pick-up process efficient.
- With AR-enabled smart glasses, the operation is now intuitive. Employees view the glasses favourably with hands-free picking and the visual support helps them locate products faster and sort them into the intended trolley boxes.
- For industrial applications, the scope of object recognition is particularly promising. It makes it possible to read out barcodes, locate products and display the corresponding storage compartment.
The company adopted the latest version of smart glasses in 2019. Today, DHL experts for international express delivery are using smart glasses at freight hubs in Brussels, Belgium, and at Los Angeles Airport. Further deployments are planned at the US airports of New York, Cincinnati and Chicago. It further plans to deploy the technology at Cincinnati and Chicago.
Choose Your Reality
When it comes to deploying AR, companies should look at expert developers with rich experience in VoIP communication. It is a well-known fact that VoIP is a catalyst for AR, hence making a wise choice early on can save you from failed investment.
As a leading software and VoIP development company, Ecosmob has the capability and expert pool of developers, who can lead you to success in AR adoption.
- Ecosmob has an experienced developer team with excellent knowledge of ARKit, Arcore, LayAR and Vuforia.
- We can custom develop apps for iOS, Android, and Windows platforms.
- We have rich experience in other automation tools such as AI and ML. We use our cross-technology knowledge to design intelligent AR applications for a smart and intuitive way of working. This provides a superior experience to plain-vanilla AR applications.
- Our experts also have solid knowledge in mixed reality to offer more powerful applications.
- AR development services are available for mobile applications, e-commerce, education, image recognition, maps and navigation, healthcare, geolocation, and manufacturing and maintenance sectors.
Get in touch with us to know more about our work in the development of augmented reality applications across industries. For a free consultation, call us on +91-7778842856 (INDIA) / +1-303-997-3139 (USA) or write at email@example.com immediately.