You may recall Google’s launch of their smart glasses, Glass, in 2013. While the market was not ready for widespread consumer adoption of AR at the time, Glass has been in use in commercial, industrial, and medical applications for the last decade.
The corner is finally turning on the consumer market, with Apple expected to announce their AR/MR (mixed reality) headset in early 2023. By the end of this decade, a world where we are not using AR on a daily basis will be unimaginable. Very much like the frequency that we use our mobile devices today.
AR will unlock countless everyday conveniences like live directions as you walk down the street; instantly identifying plants, animals, or landmarks; spotting a piece of clothing or furniture, and purchasing it with a tap. Beyond some of those natural use cases, here are 7 ways augmented reality will change your day-to-day life this decade.
Fashion and beauty are proving to be some of the earliest categories penetrated by AR. Express yourself in an entirely new way with a full digital outfit on top of your physical clothing that glows, flashes, changes color and pattern, and streams text or other media across. Garments of clothing can be encapsulated, sold, and transferred as NFTs.
Big brands are already thinking about AR fashion. Nike acquired digital sneaker and apparel brand RTFKT in December 2021. Expect to see more activity from fashion brands in the months ahead.
Is that burger ready to come off the grill? How many calories are in that cup of pasta? Are you mincing the shallots fine enough? Get guided through a recipe, step-by-step, with video tutorials and helpful tips along the way.
3. Professional Networking
Camped out at a coffee shop or co-working space, you can see who you’re connected to professionally and strike up more organic conversations. At a networking function you spot somebody who works at the company you’d like to apply to. Information and context provided by your AR headset will allow for more natural mixing and mingling and may very well show us how small the world truly is.
Shopify recently launched an AR application that allows you to see how furniture would look in your home while you’re at the store browsing. With a simple scan of your living room, you can use it as a backdrop for any furniture or fixtures you’re shopping for in person. Make more informed and confident purchases with the help of AR.
What does Tinder in AR look like? Imagine walking down the street and seeing if someone is single and ready to mingle. They may only indicate their availability if you meet their criteria for a match — and vice versa — so everyone’s privacy remains preserved.
Ever order at a restaurant and not get what you expect? AR menus will allow you to preview the dish and size of the portion, to scale, in 3D before ordering your entree. Take the dining experience to the next level and never be surprised again.
7. IRL Communicating
Google demoed AR translation glasses at their annual I/O conference in May 2022. They deemed its functionality “subtitles for the world,” which immediately brings to light its accessibility benefits. AR headsets will not only be able to translate real-time speech, but also translate written text and signage in your native tongue.
These are just a handful of ways that AR will bring convenience, ease, and fun in your day-to-day. This is merely scratching the surface of the benefits that augmented and mixed reality will bring in the immediate years ahead. Some concerns have been raised that more advanced wearable hardware will make us less human and even more reliant on our devices. However, there is a promising future where technology actually fades into the background and lets us be more present again, standing upright and looking straight ahead.
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