Exploring the top trends that will have a transformative effect on the way we live and work
Augmented (AR) and virtual (VR) reality are often interchangeably used to describe these immersive technologies. AR allows us to overlay computer graphics onto our immediate environment, while VR gives humans the opportunity to explore a computer-generated world. In 2019, both technologies will become more powerful, allowing us to find new and creative ways to “naturally” explore virtual spaces.
Trend 1 – AI enhances AR and VR
Artificial intelligence (AI) is the technology built into AR and VR to help build smart, cognitive functionality into their apps. When it comes to AR, computer vision, an AI technology, allows computers to understand and label objects in the field of vision. Computer vision and other similar technologies will continue to develop and become more sophisticated.
Real Life AR Examples: The Snapchat and Instagram filters that allow users to overlay bunny ears and fun graphics on selfies is an example of AI technology combined with AR.
When it comes to VR, the virtual environments and the inhabitants within it, will also become more intelligent. The role of voice control will increase allowing the reduction of icons and menus within the virtual world.
Future VR Examples: Computer-controlled players in video games will became more intelligent as they react and adapt to an individual’s play style.
Trend 2 – AR and VR in Teaching
AR and VR provide great opportunities for students within a training environment. Students immersed in augmented environments can be presented with useful information such as objectives, hazards, and best practices.
Real Life AR Examples: The US Army is using Microsoft’s HoloLens technology in military training to provide soldiers with real-time data about their environments, such as heart and breathing rates. As the technology develops, the goal is to provide soldiers with other data like pathfinding, target acquisition, and mission planning.
Virtual environments allow students to train in all kinds of environments and situations without the risks associated with real-world training.
Real Life VR Examples: Approximately 17,000 employees at Walmart will use Oculus Go headsets to learn skills ranging from compliance to customer service.
Trend 3 – Consumer Entertainment VR will enter mainstream
In 2019, significant developments to hardware and application development might mean that we see more VR adoption in homes. Currently, VR headsets have either had to be tethered to big, expensive computers that power the experience or have relied on low powered mobile tech that provides poor quality in graphics. With advancements in technology, both major players and startups will create VR headsets with a range of features and functionality.
Real Life Example: Companies like Vive and Oculus are introducing stand-alone headsets that incorporate powerful and dedicated computer technology to provide users with more realistic and immersive environments.
Trend 4 – AR and VR become more collaborative and social
As headset technology improves and more users purchase VR and AR headsets, it is likely that 2019 is the year for us to meet and interact with realistic representations of friends and family in virtual reality.
Real Life VR Examples: WeChat, the most widely used messenger app in the world, will be adding VR to its mobile messaging system. Facebook’s VR Spaces platform will allow users to meet and socialize in this environment.
Real Life AR Examples: Spatial, a company developing AR tools for the boardroom and office, allows users to see and interact with virtual whiteboards, pin boards and even overlay real world objects with designs.
Trend 5 – AR in Vehicles
AR in automobiles will provide users with key information that would have previously been viewed on a sat-nav or phone screen. In doing so, it has the potential to improve safety and increase comfort for drivers.
Real Life AR Examples: Nvidia’s DriveAR platform uses a dashboard-mounted display that overlays graphics on camera footage from around the car. The information points out useful details such as hazards and even historic landmarks along the way. WayRay, backed by Alibaba, will project AR data directly onto a car windshield, providing the driver with navigational directions, lane identification, and hazard detection.
As technology improves and vast developments are made to the hardware and software, 2019 will provide users with more effective AR and VR solutions.
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