We’ve heard a lot about the potential of Augmented Reality (AR).
The Pokemon Go craze in the summer of 2016 demonstrated dozens of examples of how an AR economy could work.
Some people went as far as saying that Pokemon Go would revolutionize how we navigate cities, thanks to its innovative pull into the AR world for its game.
Pokemon Go didn’t transform our economy like some thought it would occur during the height of the craze though, but it did demonstrate the potential of what AR could bring. However, we just haven’t seen the definitive examples yet on how AR is going to become an industry of its own and become a topic of the economic conversation. Until potentially, now.
While the practicality of the Virtual Reality (VR) economy has been accepted by the press, for the most part, AR hasn’t gone through that same validation.
Sure, Microsoft has been working on the Hololens for the last few years, and it is easy to account for the amount of Sci-Fi reality comic books, magazines, television shows, and movies that have referenced AR throughout pop culture, but we just haven’t seen it referenced much in the press… until these last few weeks.
But, why now? Why is AR now being billed as the next big frontier, the new hype train to get in on?
Sometimes all it takes is one iPhone app to turn the tide, coincided by an announcement that Apple made themselves a few months ago at WWDC 2017.
During that announcement, Apple introduced AR development to the masses with ARKit, a framework that allows you create augmented reality apps for the iPhone and iPad much more easily.
Listen to Tim Cook, CEO of Apple explain his thoughts on Apple introducing ARKit with iOS 11.
“I regard it as a big idea, as the smartphone. The smartphone is for everyone; we don’t have to think the iPhone is a certain demographic, or country or vertical market: it’s for everyone. I think AR is that big; it’s huge. I get excited because of the things that could be done that could improve a lot of lives. And be entertaining.”
You read that right.
He compares AR the same as how he compares smartphones.
This is a big deal.
Apple’s goal is to create the largest AR platform in the world and put it on equal footing with the smartphone.
ARKit will allow all app developers, enterprise businesses, and startups to leverage AR technology for their apps in much less time and labor than before. Apple did the heavy lifting by creating the logic, the hardware, and the distribution.
In a way, it’s a similar opening of the floodgates when the App Store was introduced back in July of 2008.
But what’s the app that has convinced so many people that AR is truly the next frontier?
The new IKEA app has caught the imaginations of interior designers, renters, homeowners, real estate agents; the list goes on…
And it has done that by demonstrating the practicality that AR has for all.
But let’s get back to the ARKit technology.
How will it work with apps?
An app asks permission to access the camera located on your iPhone. From there, it will identify its surrounding (think walls, chairs, tables, flat surfaces, etc.) using the logic created by Apple for ARKit, and then, magic.
App developers can create whatever they want that can now display in the real world.
You can interact with the real-world through an app.
You can walk right up to whatever is augmented, with the ability to “virtually” touch it.
You can walk 360 around it.
You can walk in another room, come back, and its placement remains the same.
It’s as if it is there because ARKit establishes the logic to make it so.
This is a game changer. There is no simpler way to say it than that.
The IKEA app lets us imagine the next generation of apps using ARKit for the furnishing industry. The furniture shopping experience that IKEA provides via they could be your experience that being in the store provides.
Your customers shop your catalog and see if the furniture will physically fit in their real-world environment before they buy. You will be able to see if your dream couch will fit, how to best decorate your home, etc.
Imagine seeing how your home might look with different colors on the wall?
Or if you were to knock out a wall and add that kitchen island that you have been dreaming of for years?
And that wonder snowballed our thinking further about the future applications of AR.
Imagine sports and entertainment?
Going to a Philadelphia 76ers game, and tracking the players in real-time, seeing their statistics, and the game score above them. Being able to watch replays with the real game going on. Bringing the experience reserved only for television to the game, in real life, and fully interactive.
Imagine going to a theme park, and receiving directions on your phone instead of carrying a park map. Maybe one day you’ll look through your phone to see the speed of the roller coaster running passed you. You could make waiting in line both a social and interactive experience with the other park guests and the amusement park itself. Just imagine that. Imagine what AR can do to the experience of waiting in line at Six Flags. Riders may eventually come for the experience of being in line.
What we are most excited for is what app developers like us, that needed a lot of time and money to access the technology like ARKit, now have the chance to produce; it will be nothing short of the groundbreaking The next AR app that significantly enhances or even changes lives could come from anywhere, anywhere.
With ARKit, this is now possible.
The hardware is in the hands of millions of people already.
This isn’t the same battleground that VR is facing trying to turn virtual reality into something mainstream.
It is up to us, the app creators, the entrepreneurs, the businesses to produce real value and create this next frontier. And now is the time.
You see, if you’ve been wanting to get into making the next big app, there has been no better time than now.
Remember when the App Store was relatively new, the lack of saturation in the marketplace? How a few apps that did exist generated thousands of downloads, hundreds of thousands (if not millions) in revenue?
This is the time to get into AR now.
Years from now, you will be kicking yourself for not going into it sooner.
If you’re a theme park, don’t wait until your competition has already done laps around you.
If you’re a furniture outlet, do not wait until all your competition is outselling you.
If you’re an indie video game developer, do not wait until everyone else is developing AR.
This is it. This is the time to innovate and be the brand that sets the benchmark.
Go to where the market is going to go, not where it currently is.
Be the leader.
At Chop Dawg, we’re ready to bring your AR apps to life. If you’re interested in scheduling a free consultation to discuss more, email us at Hello@ChopDawg.com. Let’s see what kind of magic you can bring to the next great frontier of application development.