Augmented Reality is projected to be a $120 billion market by 2020 in the US alone; I’m looking at starting a company there next. Fascinating technology with a ton of potential applications, far beyond mere gaming. It’s advantage is that it overlays digital onto the real world, vs having to be completely immersed in one as Virtual Reality is, so it can be used throughout the day and in many natural environments – you don’t have to choose when to use it.
Harvard Business Review has a short article just published about the Mainstreaming of AR…it has been around since 1968, but 2016 is when it’s starting to take off because of hardware.
AR is less sexy than virtual reality, but has more potential for growth IMO because 1) you don’t need a lot of hardware/gear for it 2) you don’t need to have a dedicated space for it 3) people aren’t getting sick from using it (although I have no doubts that will be remedied) and 4) you don’t need to immerse yourself in it completely, shutting out the world. Although I do seem to recall people said much the same about television when it launched (it will “never take off” since people have to sit and watch it, not doing anything else).
So much for predictions and futurists.
I’m going up to Boston to take part in MIT Media Lab’s Reality Virtually hackathon this weekend – we’ll see what that’s like; hoping to meet people, network, and get a real sense for what’s happening out there.