Augmented reality is taking over the world. Companies like Microsoft, Apple, Snapchat are doubling down on Augmented reality as a NextGen platform to power the future of computing. So far computing and software has been restricted within the confines of the screen of the device.
All throughout the history, computers have been becoming more and more aware of the environment and the context they are being used in. For example the earliest mainframe computers had 0 sensors in terms of understanding their environment. Then came the personal computers which started the trend of having some sensors embedded in them such as video camera and microphone. But these sensors were used as modality of interaction rather than with the incentive of understanding the context of environment. Personal computers were followed by mobile phones which had lot more situational and contextual awareness about the user such as their location, their voice, gestures, vision (front and back cameras) etc.
Because of this increased amount of contextual information new use cases and applications developed which were never possible with the personal computers such as gPS applications like Google Maps and the apps which were built on top of it such as Uber, food delivery applications et cetera. Snapchat is using the camera of the smart phones to put Augmented reality lenses to create more interactive social experiences. But still even the mobile phones lacked the physical understanding of the environment.
Now with Augmented reality devices like magic leap one Microsoft hololens et cetera the understanding of environment by software has increase exponentially. They not only identify objects within the vision of computer but they also understand the geometry of different planes and spaces. This level of textured understanding of the environment allows a never seen before capability to embed into the real world in a highly immersive manner. This capability will open up the Pandora's box and allow developers in Companies to finally built software experiences which break free from the constraints of a screen.
Like how we have web pages in internet we are beginning to see the rise of web spaces which will be combination of information embedded in spatial environment. How internet democratic information and made it available to everyone around the world similarly Augmented reality will democratise geospatial experiences which we have always in different sci fi popular cultural media. Mobile experiences made information access readily available for billions of people but still it lacked the fundamental premise of creationism because of its form factor and small screen estate. Augmented reality based Technologies will remove the constraint of small screen estate altogether and at the same time make a everyday surroundings computable by embedding Digital interactive information layer on top of them.
The modalities of interaction with Augmented reality computing will be our hand gestures complimented by our eye gaze as pointers. This will give rise to next generation augmented reality metaverses which will be shared persistent layers of digital reality anchored by geospatial points and which can be experienced buy large number of users at the same time. Users will have options to select from multiple meta versus according to their needs, desires and personalities. The closest to the user will be a personalized augmented reality metaverse layer which will take care of all of his application, entertainment and information needs.
From a business standpoint, impact of augmented reality will be more than the impact internet had on business landscape and all companies will be AR companies in varying degrees. In future not so far, everything that we know will be disrupted by Augmented Reality and world will be a magical place we always wished it was. In short, Augmented Reality will eat the world.