At the NeuroGaming Conference, an expert panel was there to discuss the future of augmented reality. There were a lot of discussions regarding how augmented reality technology could grow and affect our social lives. In a world where people are almost always connected to their smartphones, socializing has stopped. Our lives now revolve around our phones and we interact with others mainly through these devices. Even our postures are getting affected with this constant interaction. Let us have a look at what some of the panelists had to say about augmented reality potential.
Brian Selzer, Daqri VP of business development, said in the conference “I think it’s a natural evolution that we will all be wearing some lightweight, head-mounted display in the far future.”
This inevitable future was also supported by majority of the panelists. Virtual reality involves strapping a pair of goggles to our head and getting completely immersed in the virtual world. But augmented reality shows both the virtual and the real world to the users with devices like Google Glass, Microsoft HoloLens, etc.
This makes it tough for developing augmented reality experience for the consumers as the technology is not limited to a controlled, virtual environment.
Selzer said “A lot of the use cases [today] usually have an understanding of the environment beforehand. You’re in a classroom, you’re on a factory floor, you know what the lights are like, and you can design and craft the environment to support that experience. If you’re out in the real world, that’s where it gets challenging: Day, night, lots of trees, reflective glass, all that kind of stuff.”
Augmented Reality will Continue to Develop
Despite the difficulty, augmented reality will continue to develop. In fact Digi-Capital had recently predicted that by 2020, AR could be four times bigger than VR as it aligns with the developing mobile ecosystem. Rony Abovitz, the CEO of Magic Leap thinks that AR glasses could even replace all computing devices, including smartphones one day.
Many panelists believe that augmented reality could help us get past the phone-addicted slouching phase and overcome the social limitations.
Conor Russomanno, the CEO of OpenBCI said he saw a distinctive change in the behavior of his fellow subway riders when he rode New York’s M Train from Manhattan into Brooklyn the first time. This change in behavior was seen when the train moved above ground.
He said “Most of the time on the subway, it’s the only time you’re walking around in public and looking at people’s faces. But the M Train, you’re going over the bridge, and everyone’s down, staring at their phones.”
Dave Chavez, the CTO of ZSpace said “I think the Apple Watch is like that, in a way, where you’re not stuck looking at [your phone],” Chavez said. “I think we want to look at each other and interact with each other because that’s how we’ve evolved for however long it’s been. That’s too much of a barrier, to be looking at your phone while you’re at dinner.”
So, we can hope a future where we are not slouched and busy typing away on our smartphones. With immersive augmented reality our postures and our social lives could be fixed.