The buzz around augmented reality has cooled off a little bit since last fall when Apple and Google turned it into a mainstream mobile technology. But it’s still doing incredible things. Just recently we wrote about augmented reality apps that can redefine your life, and keep in mind we’re less than a year into the “age” of AR, so to speak.
Because the technology is still somewhat new, at least as it relates to the average consumer, it’s still fair to ask where exactly it might be going next. To some extent, this is pure guesswork, but based on what AR can already do, what people are saying about the technology, and what the near future of mobile is looking like, we have a few suspicions as to what the next interesting avenues might be.
As augmented reality has quickly expanded beyond gaming, one of the areas in which it’s thrived has been retail, and specifically retail fashion. Both in stores and for people at home, fashion brands, and major stores are using AR (and in some cases VR) to help people visualize outfits, look through options, and generally make buying decisions. It’s something that’s moved from a concept to a working practice for a lot of stores in short time.
What we’re not seeing quite as much of however is the same practice with accessories. Shoes are perhaps the closest thing, and there’s been a lot of AR focus on the idea of digitally “trying on” shoes. But what about watches and jewelry and the like? What if you could only hold your phone up to your wrist and hand and sift through a whole collection of bracelets, watches, rings, etc. as if you’re wearing them? This would seem to be a natural next step and a particularly useful one.
We have seen fairly early on that AR and VR are useful in things like digital painting. For that matter, Tilt Brush was really one of the first apps to gain mainstream popularity in VR. But it still feels that we have only scratched the surface of artistic creation in augmented reality. What if we could use the medium to create 3D sculptures and then have them 3D printed? Or imagine if we could write into an app and then animate the words and stories through augmented reality. There are entire genres of artistic expression that have yet to be realized in this format, but which have remarkable potential.
Online sports betting platforms are always looking for new ways to generate attention. Indeed, one resource in this industry puts it just like this, saying that it’s about finding creative ways to maximize enjoyment and profit from some of the greatest and most exciting sporting events. Despite these efforts, however, there isn’t much about sports betting that’s particularly interactive. The closest we get is in-play betting, through which people can wager on a game that’s already underway.
But imagine something similar played out in augmented reality? What if people signed in to betting platforms could look through their phones at a projection of a game or contest, and see the fun, interactive betting options to the side? It’s a somewhat random idea but again, this is a business always looking for new ways to get attention, and this could make it more game-like, which would bring in a major crowd.
One of the things that keep cryptocurrency in its own niche corner of tech and finance is that it’s so physically intangible. People just can’t always wrap their heads around a currency that doesn’t exist as matter. Augmented reality can change that, at least insofar as it can make it easier to visualize. You can actually acquire physical representations of crypto coins already (which speaks to people’s desire to make them more material). But imagine a cryptocurrency banking or exchange app, such as Coinbase, combined with augmented reality such that you can see coins, view interactive charts, and make investment decisions. There’s an argument to be made that it would open up the whole crypto market to a lot more people.
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