By Jay Samit August 16, The tenth anniversary of the iPhone is upon us , and rumors are swirling about affordable augmented reality AR glasses coming out soon from several manufacturers. Once this happens, AR is poised to radically change the role mobile plays in how we work, shop, and play —yet again. With 97 million AR glasses anticipated to be sold during the next four years and billions of dollars being invested in the sector, one has to wonder how digital reality will be integrated into mobile apps to drive mass consumer adoption.
As a futurist focused on the amalgamation of exponential technologies machine learning, Internet of things sensors, cloud computing, etc.
AR glasses will bring online romance into the real world. Imagine going to a club or concert and being able to identify anyone who swiped right on your profile just by scanning the crowd.
Or, what if you meet the perfect partner while traveling internationally, but the language barrier proves challenging? Now you can expand your dating horizons by packing an extra pair of AR glasses that provide simultaneous language translation for two. Imagine being able to converse with everyone you meet.
With AR, love truly can be at first sight. Meetups Beyond romance, AR glasses can enhance real-world meetups with friends at sporting events, college campuses, and even concerts.
You can leave geo-tagged instructions about when and where to meet up that appear when anyone in your social graph walks into the tagged zone.
Fancasting Speaking of concerts, AR glasses will let anyone narrowcast what they are experiencing to their friends. Fancasting will be the next form of user generated content with anyone being able to share their front-row view or backstage access across social media. AR has the potential to turn the 74 million people attending music events into major industry influencers. Walking Tours Augmented tours will quickly change how we explore cities, museums, and nature.
AR glasses can open up time portals, transporting wearers visiting the beaches of Dunkirk back to experience the dramatic evacuation of soldiers in June From seeing the Beatles play at the Cavern, to watching tyrannosaurus rex skeletons come alive in museums, the opportunities to enhance cultural experiences are limitless. My favorite idea is for the million annual visitors to U. Trails can be highlighted, flora identified, and backcountry hikers will no longer risk being lost in the wilderness when rangers can track their remote locations.
Keeping track of every expense, whether for business or personal reasons, is laborious. AR will literally watch what you spend. From automatically calculating a restaurant tip to inputting each receipt you eyeball into your financial records, an AR money app can help everyone manage their money better.
Just by looking at a piece of wood, you can mark the exact length you need. Centering pictures on a wall will be a snap. Even volumetric calculations, such as how much potting soil will your new planter require, can be achieved in a blink of an eye. Tired of painting test areas of a wall with endless shades of puce? Your glasses will quickly be able to identify the planes of your walls and instantly overlay your room in an endless array of color choices and combinations.
An AR painting app cannot only capture the exact shade you desire, but calculate the amount of paint you need and communicate your order directly to your local retailer. For those wanting to create a wall mural, AR glasses can look at an image you sketch or see online and position it as a fixed digital stencil on the wall.
AR painter will help everyone to release their inner Banksy. With sales estimates of million glasses by , gaming could dwarf all other forms of AR app revenue. Product Support Bots The combination of AR with chat bots will empower Siri, Alexa, and all their AI friends to help you setup, repair and manage the myriad of devices in our lives. From hooking up a Wi-Fi network to repairing a toilet fill value, AR glasses will not only recognize what you are seeing, but seamlessly integrate heads-up display HUD graphics and videos to their verbal commands.
The same HUD systems which have proven invaluable for military and industrial training, hold the potential to reduce product returns, minimize customer complaint calls, and increase purchase satisfaction. Facial Recognition No list of predictions can be complete without at least one controversial use case.
Facial recognition technology has the potential to give everyone the power that social media apps have today. Greet people at conferences or parties by name, and have their profiles at the ready on your heads-up display.
As impersonal and cringeworthy as this may seem to some, facial recognition can also assist hospital staff with patients, prevent wrongful arrests, and reunite lost children with parents.
Whether my ability to prognostic the top ten augmented reality apps is accurate, only time will tell. All that I know for sure is that the best way to predict the future is to create it.