January 18 2019
Augmented Reality’s Adoption Problems
Augmented Reality (AR), like Virtual Reality (VR), is being adopted in many different areas of the market, and chances are, it may end up being more prominent and accessible than anything we’ve seen before.
Maybe. Maybe not. Let’s take a deeper look.
After all, unlike Virtual Reality, most existing AR applications only need a device with a camera, a decent processor, and the required sensors needed to create the magic image. Essentially, Augmented Reality can run on your everyday devices, from your cell phone, laptop, to even tablet; with quite a few applications already making rounds such as Facebook, Snap, etc. Nowadays, it can also be much more cost effective to develop, as more out of the box tools are available for developers. So if it’s so damn easy then why hasn’t it taken off? I see people augmenting themselves on snapchat or facebook all the time and then posting pictures. And having people react to that content with a lot of emotion.
Before working specifically on Virtual Reality and LBE with Phenomena, I started my first AR company in 2009 and it was a massive challenge to develop an application. The software had tons of bugs, the community was tiny and you needed very smart programers and an entire team to do anything of quality. No good. Also explaining to clients the ROI of Augmented Reality was a nightmare which meant the marketing budgets from brands was minimal.
This isn’t to say that fancier technologies specialized for displaying Augmented Reality don’t exist, such as head ware and glasses with small computers and cameras in them. This would include early, slick versions, such as Googles Glasses.
I’m kidding. Those glasses were an abomination.
But in all fairness it’s rude to criticize the pioneers, they had the guts to put it on the line and release a product.
So why no mass adoption then?
So why no mass adoption then?
It’s not the tech – it’s the designs first and then the use-fullness second. Yes of course these eye-wear will only become more accessible and functional as time goes on. But do they look like a dope pair of Ray-Bans? No. Absolutely not, and that’s where the problem is. I believe what the customer wants and doesn’t even know it yet, is a cool pair of shades that enhances the world around them. This is a vision I have shared since 2009 (see my old showreel).
I hope I’m right because every-time I am on the subway in Montreal, or walking on the streets, or at any social gathering all I can see if people looking down at their phones like zombies. Wouldn’t it be better to look up and see that information in a manner that is comfortable and doesn’t leave you with a neck pains? Yes. Of course – and that’s why augmented reality will win. It’s not the tech silly, it’s the designs. Make something that people will be proud to wear. Please someone.. make one – because I want a pair.
As I write this, please have a look at this video of what we believe is the future of Virtual Reality and what we have placed our bet as a startup company.
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