The VR/AR market is growing, and new devices are being developed
VR/AR equipment and software had a worldwide market value in 2016 of around 3.9 billion dollars. The VR/AR device market is predicted to grow from the 8.2 million units supplied in 2016 to 43 million shipments in 2020, and the turnover in VR/AR software is expected to increase by 20 times its current level to 24.3 billion dollars by 2020 (source: BOM 2017 report: BOM 2017 report).
Many VR headsets have already become consumer products, for which there is already plenty of content, but we will need to wait a few years longer before any breakthrough occurs in the sale of AR/NR glasses to consumers. There are already dozens of viable MR/AR headsets with their applications on the market, but launches or new versions from the manufacturers– Microsoft, Google Glass, Meta, Magic Leap, DAQRI, ODG, Vuzix and Sony – are eagerly awaited, so that the AR/MR evolution may move to the next stage. The next awaited step is light, moderately priced AR glasses for consumers.
AR is fast coming commonplace for mobile devices
Augmented reality is expected to be the next big thing in the mobile environment. Google and Apple have each invested heavily in AR development, and Google has launched its Tango platform on the market and worked on its ARCore application development environment for Android devices, which is the equivalent of Apple’s ARKit development environment, the applications created in which can already be used on a million Apple phones. ARKit and ARCore are expected soon to make AR an everyday and widely used feature for consumers. Apple’s recently released iPhone 8 and iOS 11provide massive potential for the use of augmented reality in games and apps. The devices have built-in AR technology, and the iPhone 8 already features facial recognition and machine learning.
Augmented reality in business – enormous potential
Companies have woken up to the possibility of using X-Reality applications across sectoral borders. In the past year Softability has delivered about ten customised X-Reality solutions to customers. These make use of AR/MR/VR devices that meet the customer’s needs. Most of these solutions have been for purposes of sales and marketing, using the Microsoft HoloLens technology. The device is eminently suitable for interactive product presentations because it enables 3D visualisation in a way that is new and impressive, and even large products can be easily demonstrated regardless of location.
Augmented reality offers an almost unlimited range of applications. Softability has also delivered AR solutions to aid and support service and maintenance, the operation of equipment and production. A good example of this is the AR application that facilitates maintenance work for the customer. In addition, AR applications bring added value to product development, design and planning, and training and learning – and not forgetting the world of entertainment.
Remote solutions mean greater efficiency and reduced costs
Modern technology also makes it possible to use live video for remote support and advice, and the field worker can be in video contact with an expert in the office thanks to a mobile device or AR glasses. The worker transmits a real-time video image of what he or she can, and an expert working remotely can place markings on the video and give step-by-step instructions on how to complete the task in question. The solution means the task is carried out more efficiently, with greater ease and at reduced cost, because the expert can provide guidance at a distance for more than one employee without having to travel to the site.
X-Reality solutions can assist humans at work
A collaboration between a human being, intelligent equipment and robots goes beyond what a human being can do alone. Augmented reality applications can also incorporate machine learning, and some AR mobile applications already have this feature. Smart AR devices are particularly effective when used by people at work, because they visualise data in a very vivid way, make essential information available to the user, control the workflow, and use sensors to measure the surroundings, refining data to make it beneficial. Augmented reality is not the future – it is happening right now. X-Reality makes the most creative ideas come true!
Softability Group Oy, Mikko Luukkonen, Solution Sales, mikko.luukkonen(a)softability.fi
Softability Group Oy, Hanna-Kaisa Jauhola, Marketing, hanna-kaisa.jauhola(a)softability.fi
Softability Group Oy is an innovative and growing Finnish software company. As a productive partner, we deliver added value in our customers’ product development projects. We design and create intelligence software and user-friendly digital solutions, to meet the needs of industry and medical clients. Our special strength is our comprehensive expertise, covering software development from embedded systems development and cloud services to quality assurance and X-Reality solutions.