Augmented Reality will literally change the way we see the world.

It seems all the major players have jumped on board the Augmented Reality train as we head into 2016, with AR popping up on all the “next big thing in technology” lists. Whether it’s called AR, virtual reality or Ambient User Experience, this combined with the “device mesh” is tipped to be the next big thing in technology.

AR definition

In its most basic form, AR is a technology that places a computer-generated image, audio or other sense enhancement on the user’s view of the real world to create a composite view. If you’re thinking holograms in Star Wars or 3D Minions climbing out of the movie screen, you’re not aiming high enough.

The present

AR has been steadily gaining ground for a few years now, so you may have already crossed paths. In its current format, beyond gaming applications, there are apps to bring print to life by using your smartphone or tablet, or to place objects into the real world using your phone’s camera. Sports fans would also have experienced it in overlays on sports coverage.

The future

But it’s what lies ahead that is truly exciting. Apple, Google, Facebook, Microsoft and Amazon have all invested heavily in augmented reality with exciting and groundbreaking things in store for everyone. While the immediate future will involve headsets, devices or the like to apply AR, Amazon is already leading the charge for a 3D augmented reality environment[1].

The device mesh

A term you won’t be able to escape in 2016 is device mesh. The device mesh is where all devices act together to form one unified interactive environment. Devices will include traditional mobile devices like smartphones and tablets, as well as cars, home appliances, wearables, and anything else within the Internet of Things. It will transform the way we access applications and information or interact with other people, our social communities, government and business.

Augmenting your reality

Being surrounded by this Internet of Things will synchronise our digital interaction into one borderless ambient digital experience, using real-time contextual information as the environment changes or the user moves from one place to another. This device mesh will blend physical, virtual and electronic environments, creating an immersive environment that preserves the user’s experience across devices, space and time. Your devices will constantly be learning, adapting and anticipating your needs. Virtual will be superimposed on real, blurring the lines between fantasy and reality.

What it will look like

  • You’re in the car listening to music and arrive home. The music continues as you exit the car and seamlessly accompanies you into the house.
  • You walk into a meeting room and fall in love with the chairs. Your phone can identify the make and model, and order the same for your meeting room.
  • You can stay on the couch and enjoy the in-store experience with virtual makeovers to test colours or styles, try before you buy experiences like test-drives, product demonstrations and more.
  • You can easily learn new skills with complex training procedures animated directly on the equipment you are using.

And this is just the beginning. The possibilities are endless.

Our curiosity for what the future holds keeps us on the lookout for the next big thing in technology, and 2016 won’t disappoint. Don’t miss the AR we’ve added to our corporate catalogue and keep an eye out for what we’re yet to launch in 2016.