Could the 2020 be the decade where AR glasses replace the smartphone?

Augmented Reality (AR) glasses are expected to be the next most trending pieces of tech in infotainment over the next decade. The technologies capabilities will permit us to overlay virtual objects on top of our surrounding environment, allowing us to experience virtually created objects as if they were non-fictional and residing in our real world. 

The nature of AR technology will give us the ability to experience and create exciting new opportunities, dramatically impacting the way we interact and communicate with one another, giving birth to new applications and Hardwear. Still, one of the main issues for tech giants to consider before AR glasses are adopted and accepted widely is that they are unobtrusive and work perfectly without default. 

Why? Because currently, there numerous devices that can support AR such as our smartphones. Therefor for AR glasses to rocket in sales, they will need to function with the same specifications and speed as our current technology, if not better, to win us over. Past attempts have been unsuccessful due to reluctance and concerns over ethical issues such as privacy and security of AR glasses. 

Fast-forward a few years, and now it turns out the popularity for smart-glasses has increased again, thanks to new developments like Spectacles. On an enterprise level, AR-based glasses are now being used in factory and manufacturing settings, enabling remote assistance and improving workflow, but is there a market for them at the consumer level? 

Many major tech organisations such as Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Amazon are currently working on different types of smart glasses or headsets which will eventually change how we view and interact with the world around us. The future could, in fact, the transition from a smartphone focused world to a smart glasses focused world, using apps and talking with others by directly speaking and looking through glasses. 

“AR glasses” Example

With its potential to be the next most significant technological advancement, the race to become the first to create AR glasses is imminent and the successor will create glasses that are sleek and fashionable enough to wear daily. With this in mind, here are a few reasons why AR glasses could replace the smartphone in this decade. 

AR glasses aid in increased natural human experiences

A trend such as AR glasses and scenarios which create its adoption in infotainment give us future insight into how this new technology can translate. Infotainment can be described as the way we interact with electronics on a personal level and in numerous industries and domains such as Entertainment, Healthcare, Education and general communication. Dominant designs in infotainment systems such as digital cameras and audio home controls such as Alexa and Siri in smartphones have indicated a shift. The gradual sequence of trends suggests an ongoing demand for increased mobility. This means that the interface between tech today and human beings has decreased massively. We can now use our technology without even touching it. AR glasses will give its users the potential to use and interact with them in a way we currently can’t with smartphones. 

It will allow us to not only see virtual objects in our real world but interact with them without needing to hold a device. For example, you will be able to place furniture around the house through the use of AR glasses before even buying it. This could at large, not just transform industries but even social media platforms. It will give us the ability to carry out tasks without needing to touch our phones such as get on the go directions and have a virtual assist wherever we go all controlled by voice commands to our glasses. AR glasses may give birth to new types of advertising and change the landscape of consumer behaviour with virtual AR pop-up adverts.

Infotainment trends

On the contrary to the above statement, future infotainment systems will allow us to experience the virtual world as if though it was real, a popular notion. The electronics that do this will enable us to interact intuitively with virtual objects. Doing so will mean we will be using all our senses, even smell and taste which go a miss when it comes to our current technology. The possibilities of being able to do this and more are what will drive the next-generation infotainment platform such as AR glasses. Their capabilities and possibilities offer more than our current smartphones.

Virtual objects and overlaying them 

AR glasses will allow us to enhance our perception of the real world as they overlay contextual information and/or virtual objects in our real-world settings. They will create tremendous possibilities in numerous industries and will change the way we not only communicate but also collaborate. Some prototypes and ‘first AR glasses’ are already emerging, and in the years to come, their performance and specifications will gradually improve to become true AR products. AR glasses do have the potential to become a new platform competing against smartphones and replacing them. The health care industry can benefit largely from technology like AR glasses, speeding up diagnosis and assisting surgeons in operations. 

Future developments for AR glasses 

Apple is planning on diving into the AR market in 2022 with a speculated launch of their very first AR headset. Currently, Apple’s iOS platform consists of many AR apps which are already supported on its devices such as its iPhones and iPads, making the technology accessible for all and to prove its usability to its audience. Due to the extensive offering of these AR apps, not only does it indicate a shift in the pattern, but also where the companies future focus might be. Apple has acquired many AR-related firms which stipulates AR glasses might be the next big thing from them.  

Without hesitation, Facebook has already tipped that it has an AR wearable in the works and that they identify that Facebook’s immersive future will rely heavily on AR technology. The social media juggernaut has partnered with Ray-Ban’s parent company Luxottica to develop AR glasses. Internally referred to as Orion, the glasses are scheduled to launch between 2023 and 2025 and are designed to take calls and let users stream videos between themselves. 

Facebooks communication platforms could easily translate to a pair of glasses where users will be able to use Facebook Messager and Whatsapp to call or talk to one another. Currently, Facebook has an AR developer tool called Spark AR, which is used for face tracking. However, it has enormous potential to be implemented in glasses and thanks to Facebook’s billions of active users, and they could beat their competition and sell Ar glasses at an affordable price. 

Gaming with AR technology to go beyond the realm of smartphones 

AR gaming has taken off and now thanks to Niantic, they are developing a pair of AR glasses which is specially designed with gaming in mind. The Pokemon Go phenomenon has been one of the biggest successes for AR gaming on a smartphone, and with this in mind, the AR glasses will be a crucial enabler for handsfree gaming on the move, as so will begin the extinction of the smartphone. Although it’s still quite early to predict what the outcome will be, the hope that something spectacular is on the horizon is surely exciting.

To infinity and Beyond AR glasses 

The need and want to keep inventing and changing the landscape of technology means that it’s not long before a new device is launched, which outwits is competition. Due to this, AR glasses may not receive the full level of concentration and support its needs to fulfil its potential like smartphones from Smartphone Checker. One of the major drawbacks when it comes to AR glasses is design. Creating visually appealing glasses integrated with hardware is quite a challenge. The dream would be to buy a standard pair of glasses which could turn into smart ones at the click of a button, without having to compromise too much. 

Despite the thoughts of future technology going beyond AR glasses, even before we have them, such as implemented mind computer chips, the potential of AR glasses and their ability to work flexibly in a way which consumers trends are gravitating towards indicates the threat they pose to our beloved smartphones. Without trying too hard, AR glasses will be able to offer us much more than our current tech and by incorporating these exact technologies with better support, it has the strength to bring on the extinction of the smartphone and the revolution we’ve all been waiting for. 

Written By: Yasmita Kumar

She has been writing about various topics over many years now. Yasmita enjoys writing about technology and its impact on our everyday life. Other then this she also covers Health and Fashion and previously worked for the NHS.

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