With however many million iPhone x and 8 models out in the wild, plus iOS 11 supporting ARKit down to the iPhone 6S, there is now enough hardware out there for serious investment in augmented reality apps. Those, partnered with rapid sales of Google Pixel 2 and other Android models supporting ARCore, present a sizeable high-end market for developers to address with novel and exciting AR apps.
That means going beyond the typical gimmicks or AR photo mode or fashion AR mirrors and looking at what the technology can really deliver for users. An analyst piece suggests that AR will continue to beat VR in the market, that a massive mobile upgrade cycle in 2018 will bring the technology even more to the public eye and those users will definitely want more than gimmicks.
Brands and developers are key to AR being seen as useful, engaging and practical, with mobile use continuing to outstrip browser-based interaction.
Chatbots and 4K also in the frame
Other tech trends to watch out for include chatbots, that could well start interacting with augmented reality features to provide multiple-layers of interaction. This could help move the desktop AR market along with users instructing the AR engine via a chatbot to create custom products, images or enter data into virtual forms.
The possibilities are intriguing and with free-to-use innovative products like Snatchbot, capable of creating chatbots for mobile apps, Facebook Messenger, Skype and other services, all for free with analytics and a clever scripting tool, chatbots will be appearing in even more places in 2018. With anyone able to build a chatbot in a couple of hours, the barrier to entry is very low, so expect huge numbers of useful bots in the new year.
Perhaps a bit of a stretch for AR in 2018 is 4K video with most high-end phones now supported the latest cinematic resolution with HDR effects. Certainly, Sony’s PlayStation and Microsoft’s Xbox console provide a valid upgrade path for TV buyers to get the latest 4K sets, which should help boost the rather limited amount of content.
However, it shouldn’t take too long for app developers to push AR content in 4K for incredible clarity when providing information for navigation and social apps, and boosting the quality of AR games. Ericcson is talking about 4K and AR for sports broadcasting, which could be a key use case. Here’s an early look at AR through glasses in 4K showing off the obvious improvement.
Mix these three technologies together and you have plenty of new ways to provide advanced information and interaction on the cutting edge of technology.