At the beginning of 2020, before the pandemic, we suggested Augmented Reality would be a big deal in 2020! And boy were we right!
My mom, a 65 year old homemaker, has been regularly using Augmented Reality software to take tours of homes she was looking to buy. With a high risk due to age and other health factors, my mother was not comfortable leaving the house even when some of the restrictions were lifted, so her realtor was able to show her houses using various technologies.
Now, that's what my 65 year old mother is doing. Imagine all of the other technologies being used during this time to give people a semblance of normalcy and connectivity.
Boom in the Industry
The augmented reality industry has seen a boom this year, and much of that boom can be attributed to the fact that we have been stuck at home for months.
The greatest increase in augmented reality use has been in the education and health care sectors, and then the events and conferences industries. Of course, this makes sense. Parents, especially, can understand these increases as students across the nation were being home-schooled, and doctors and therapists needed to continue to treat their patients from safe spaces.
Many people I know attended church or concerts online throughout the pandemic as well. Wave, formerly Wave XR, has recently raised $ 30 million. They are an “entertainment technology company and creator of the world’s first multi-channel virtual entertainment platform for live concerts.” As we wait for a vaccine for COVID-19, large venue and large audience events will be scarce; this creates the perfect space for Wave.
While states are starting to open back up, there are still many restrictions, but still technology experts do not see this uptick as fading as the stay at home orders fade.
The founder of Axon Park believes augmented reality is the “next ubiquitous computing platform much like we saw with mobile devices and home computers.”
The augmented reality industry is predicted to see growth from $22 billion this year to $161 billion in 2025.
In late May, we wrote a blog encouraging business owners to move customer training and sales to an online platform and to develop interactive modules that will allow the customer to have the same customer service experience as they would in the store.
Seek XR is a company which describes its product as a “one-of-a-kind, patented software [that] makes creating, integrating, and viewing app-less augmented reality experiences easier than ever before. With Seek, you and your customers will have access to the most advanced technology available — making every interaction an unforgettable experience.”
Seek has produced 10 million experiences to over 100 million users.
AR and the Military
And if all of this does not convince you that augmented reality will be a significant part of our new reality, consider the fact that Lockheed Martin has just invested an undisclosed amount into the AR company Red Six. Red Six has also received a $1.5 million grant from AFWERX (the US Air Force tech incubator) to use augmented reality to solve what co-founder and CEO Dan Robinson calls “the military’s multi-billion dollar pain point.” Red Six is a startup in Santa Monica, CA that seems to have the confidence and trust of large money.
Fun and Games
On the lighter side, Snapchat has implemented AR that allows users to identify a breed of a dog by just taking a picture of it!
Snapchat has used augmented reality cameras for years to allow users to apply the infamous filters on their pictures. Now that same technology can be put to use to identify dog breeds and plant species, to find nutritional information and to solve math problems! Scan is the feature on Snapchat that allows users to do all of these great things. It was rolled out in 2017 and has only grown sillier and more useful since!
Gaming saw huge uptick as well as more people were home with extra time on their hands.
Companies have many options and possibilities to engage and connect with their employees and customers even if they cannot all be in the same physical space together.
They just need to find the space!