Head Mounted Displays
Most augmented reality is tied to your mobile device, but tech like the Microsoft Hololens breaks the chain and frees the users hands to interact with virtual elements. These wearables allow for more natural movement and freedom that lead to more immersive experiences and lasting impact.
Looking in a magazine or catalog and wondering what that sofa would actually look like in your humble abode is a thing of the past. Companies like IKEA and Crate & Barrel are embracing AR and allow their customers to place their furniture exactly where they’d like to and preview, at scale, if it matches their decor.
Lack of Public Awareness
Being that augmented reality is a fairly new medium, the public at large still hasn’t seen the full potential of the medium. This changes every day. When popular applications like Pokémon Go incorporate AR elements very loosely, people begin to pigeonhole their definition of what AR is. Designers and programmers alike have to work together to push the medium forward, outside of gaming, and show the value that it brings.
Sure, there are apparent dangers to cell phone use while driving, but what about while walking? The length of a user’s engagement with an augmented reality application can lead them to use it for extended periods of time, often while they are walking. Whether it be something as harmless as our friend above or even more dangerous incidents, app developers need to be aware of the dangers and implications of their work.
Living in the information age, it’s important that the tech around us add value to our lives. AR presents a great opportunity for companies to help users learn more about the world around them. Google Translate has the ability to translate real-world objects in real-time, educating the user and giving them the power to navigate through any country in the world. Smart Lens applications eliminate confusion while educating the user on the world around them.
Takeaway: The true value of AR comes through in applications that enrich and empower users. The more people experience the utility of augmented reality outside of gaming, they more they begin to expect and demand of the medium.
Alternative Input Methods
Immersion is birthed in natural interactions. Smartphones abstract these experiences whereas reaching, grabbing, and pinching make the user feel more at home within the application. The introduction of controllers and more powerful technology unlocks the potential for more immersive experiences.
Takeaway: As the medium moves past mobile, input methods will be the basis that interaction is judged on. The more natural the interaction, the more immersive the experience.