Google and Apple are both looking to capture the ‘AR (augmented reality) on mobile devices’ space. As the two digital giants cross swords, the nature and scope of AR-driven solutions will widen. Google’s ARCore and Apple’s ARKit, both to be launched soon, will benefit not just customers but also a bevy of software developers, be it in the gaming space, or even meme-making. The AR potential however goes much beyond that. Consider products on shop shelves coming to life on the handset with market information, or for that matter, travel companies identifying neighbourhood points of interest, or real estate companies/brokers getting more interactive on locations and properties.
Swedish furniture major, IKEA, for instance, will soon allow users to drag and drop digital versions of beds, tables, chairs or any other IKEA product directly into their houses—enhancing the buying experience. American basic cable and satellite channel Food Network is on the verge of launching an app that enables the user to create custom digital desserts and the app returns a recipe that can help the user prepare it in the physical world.
In India, baby steps are being taken by carmaker Hyundai’s digital showrooms, and menswear Raymond’s digital trial screens, among others. However, though companies here are experimenting with the technology, AR hasn’t really taken off for lack of related content and platforms that deliver such content.
Besides, AR device development and marketing is yet to reach full throttle. Some analysts even hold that AR alone may not be a highly scalable global model and needs to be complemented with virtual reality (VR), in what has come to be known as mixed reality (MR) for a more immersive experience. As we wake up to this new reality, disruption remains the only constant. As for Google and Apple, may be their AR foray will lead them to developing their respective MR armoury.