Last week I started a rather animated discussion with some other Twitter friends of mine about the ongoing battle of virtual reality vs. augmented reality. The result, as someone quite rightly pointed out “you can’t compare apples and oranges”.
Can’t compare apples with oranges! AR/VR different tech complement not to replace each other. List of powerful use case for both is huge!
— Farhan Amin (@MFAminGP) September 1, 2017
Quite right too, but it does raise the question around Augmented Reality and whether it is now in a position to really ramp up its application given the impending new Apple iPhone arrival with AR at its core.
It is interesting to note Tim Cook’s comments:
“AR is big and profound, and this is one of those huge things that we’ll look back at and marvel on the start of it”.
It is also interesting to note the current battle ground between Apple and Google. However, with Apple owning the entire hardware and software journey, they are looking like they have an easier introduction to its growth.
As such, if you are interested in looking at some of the upcoming AR apps to play with on the iPhone you may want to check out this article which was one of the most shared this week about augmented reality from around the globe.
It’s interesting to note they are mentioning the IKEA app again to visualise furniture in your home (with 98% accuracy). I remember commenting on IKEA’s first foray into the AR world when I was asked to discuss it way back in 2013 – read my comments here which include:
“[AR] technology has been around for a long time, but it has lacked a commercial direction”.
I’m not sure I disagree with that even now, but with mass adoption around the corner and open source app stores, it could now be about time for the killer app development to justify its build.
All About The Camera
Essentially, however, regardless of who is in a better position regarding its deployment, as you will read in this article, it is all about the camera – apparently:
“2018 will be the year where the smartphone camera takes a quantum leap in technology,”
– Philip-James Jacobowitz, a product manager for Qualcomm.
The article focusses a lot on Apple and how it will use the camera for advanced facial recognition, mainly to unlock the phone. Does this mean we are a few steps away from a topic that interested me a while back? The concept of “Selfie Pay” where you use your phone to confirm your identity and thus avoid identity fraud (read more about it here with a Techcrunch article from 2016).
What I am interested in in the initial article I referenced, however, is the final comments from the research scientist, Blair MacIntyre:
“If you look at science fiction, a lot of it has this characteristic of being always on and serendipitous,” he said. “You get a lot closer to that when you get a head-mounted display.
“Until that happens, smartphones are about to become much smarter.”
I tend to agree with this – tech needs to feel like a seamless integration. I love AR and always have done, but mass adoption needs a frictionless user journey. Head-mounted displays may offer that (though for a while you will look a little crazy) but, for now, phones will be a great gateway for the masses to have a go with AR – and perhaps in a more sensible way than Pokemon Go did last year.