The world redesigned: the rise of augmented reality

AAs work, shopping, socializing, travel, fitness and even schooling continue to be a complicated and complicated uncertain party, the need for augmented / virtual reality solutions is only accelerating. Persistent uncertainty means the shift to the virtual world isn’t slowing down anytime soon, so we need a lot less watching and more experience. This is exactly what AR / VR can offer.

The past 18+ months have forced much of the world to change the way we work, train and socialize; instilled a craving for the need to remodel or redecorate; and made travel, until recently, nearly impossible. Working in this new world has meant a lot more hours spent staring at small screens rather than sitting around a conference table with colleagues. Rather than meeting at our favorite watering hole, we tried to take advantage of Zoom (ZM) cocktails or virtual high-fives. The passive nature of sitting in front of a TV, computer, or tablet all day long left most of us completely bonkers and cranky, but what could we do?

After early spring’s enthusiasm for a reopened world, the future is increasingly uncertain (again) as we try to deal with a alphabet soup of coronavirus variants and the impact of global supply chains reminiscent of drunken lemurs with a sketch. In the midst of all of this, more than a few people are seriously rethinking where and how they work.

By providing an interactive and immersive experience that enhances real world objects in your surroundings with additional visual, somatosensory and haptic components to simulate a whole new reality or enhance your current reality (pause and step back here dear reader), Reality augmented is the next logical step as life moves more and more into the virtual sphere. Plus, it can be fun – bonus points if you can manage to match the word “somatosensory” in a conversation today.

Back in March, Microsoft (MSFT) hosted a special event within their community virtual reality platform Altspace to showcase a new product called Microsoft Mesh which is intended to provide their AR platform HoloLense and their Windows Mixed Reality VR platform with a platform. shared form for meetings. It offers users an AR / VR meeting space in which to interact with other users as well as 3D content. Click on this link to get an idea of ​​what is possible.

Instead of struggling to pay attention to passively gazing at a small flat screen, such augmented reality tools could turn an online snoozefest webinar into an immersive and highly memorable experience. From a business point of view, investing in such technology is obvious when it comes to savings. Employees can work together or attend events from anywhere in the world, eliminating the expense of travel and location as well as lost productivity due to time spent traveling and the exhaustion it can cause. This is especially true these days when traveling can mean needing vaccination documents, proof of a negative covid test, passports, tickets, assorted printouts, etc. An AR device, which typically costs less than a night in a large city hotel room, makes it possible to travel anywhere and actively learn with anyone. What not to like?

But isn’t all of this very Player One Ready? Not really. According to eMarketer, 59 million people in the United States will use virtual reality at least once a month in 2021, and 93 million will use augmented reality – a 28% increase from 2019. This AR / VR world not only encompasses the game, but also the virtual. fitness, collaboration with co-workers, distance learning and thrives in healthcare and customer service. And that will only get better with the rollout of 5G wireless service, as the higher speeds are expected to increase the viability of the technology by eliminating the technical challenges caused by limited bandwidth.

So who are the players? We’ve mentioned Microsoft before, and you’ve probably heard of Facebook (FB) Oculus system, but Apple (AAPL), Alphabet (GOOGL), and Samsung (SSNHZ) would all work hard on their own solutions. HTC Vive has solutions for both gaming and business, and then there is obviously Sony (SONY) PlayStation VR headsets. Seiko Epson Corp (SEKEY) developed the Moverio smart glasses, intended for a wide range of applications, from education to entertainment. Vuzix (VUZI) has designed solutions for commercial and educational applications.

Ultimately, reality is going to get a lot smoother, and if we’re lucky, maybe a lot more fun.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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