2018 has just started and we are looking forward to all the developments about to happen in the world of augmented reality technology and virtual reality technology. While some trends are quite easy to guess if you’ve been following our articles, other predictions that specialists made have a definite note of novelty – even for us.
It is natural – augmented reality and virtual reality technologies are still in the development phase, and there will be a lot of experimenting before they mature and settle into clear growth paths. During this period of trial, error and improving, we witness a lot of innovative ideas – some coming to fruition, others being incorporated in different products, while others never making it past the prototype phase.
However, let us stop speculating and instead focus on what the experts predict for the AR and VR world in 2018.
Augmented Reality Technology Will Outperform Virtual Reality Technology
2017 was not a very profitable year for the VR industry, plagued by shipment delays and due to the fact that most headsets require an expensive, powerful computer to run games and movies. And the coming year will be no better.
The fastest growing and income grossing technology is augmented reality. Thanks to its practical applications, and the fact that it can run on inexpensive and mid-tier devices (smartphones, augmented reality goggles), AR technology will continue to expand and to find new markets and new customers all over the world.
Virtual Reality Tools Will Win the Innovations Race
If AR technology will sell more, virtual reality will be the game winner in terms of innovation. The number one prediction in this respect is the launching of a series of tools allowing non-tech-oriented people to create and share VR content with ease. These tools will be capable of turning a standard 2D film recording into a 360-degree immersive video experience.
At the same time, VR headsets will be improved thanks to enhanced foveated rendering, which works based on eye-tracking technology. Thus, the barrier between the real and the virtual world will become less perceptive than ever and the virtual reality experience will become more realistic and immersive than ever.
The Rise of Hybrid Augmented Reality Technology
Right now, augmented reality technology can be experienced either with AR goggles or with a smartphone. But the boundaries between the two devices tend to be blurred, giving rise to a new concept: hybrid augmented reality technology.
The first notable example is the Red Hydrogen smartphone, a hybrid device with a holographic screen which allows users to see 3D images without the need for goggles or a headset.
A Full Sensory Experience in VR
Virtual reality movies and games currently engage only two senses: seeing and hearing. The new trend for the near future, as demonstrated in the video below, is to expand the VR experience to touch and smell.
This full sensory experience will, without a doubt, open new creative avenues for the entertainment industry, but also for business, technology, research and development, and other core industries of the modern world.
The Business World Will Open Up More to Augmented Reality Technology
Retail shopping, logistics, education, product development and healthcare have been, so far, the early and consistent adopters of augmented reality technology. But an increasing number of managers from various industries have understood the advantages of implementing AR into their websites, mobile apps and business tools.
Thus, industries such as financial services, construction and business services will join the second wave of adopters of augmented reality technology.
As a final conclusion, the trends indicate that AR technology will become more and more mainstream, while virtual reality will find its customers among the high-income persons and the top-level corporate world.