The future of augmented reality. AR trends for 2023: devices and applications

Category: Business, Devices
December 8, 2022
Jowita Kessler

Technology advancement isn’t slowing down any time soon. Quite the opposite – all signs on heaven and earth indicate an even more incredible pace of development in hi-tech areas. 

While we appreciate various solutions and equipment, including state-of-the-art 3D printers, flying motorcycles, or bionics, we’re focused on our field – AR.

Is AR still in?

Augmented reality will remain one of the most important technologies in the upcoming years. Its wide scope of applications and usages spanning various industries consolidates its core position. So, is augmented reality the future? We’d say it is (in maaany fields of life), and we’re ready to die on that hill.

With 2023 just around the corner, here’s to the vital AR trends in equipment and software.

Top AR trends 2023

Artificial intelligence

The progressing utilization of AI in AR has a bright future. The technological advancement (along with decreasing prices of processors) will allow for increased adoption of smart solutions aimed at streamlining, e.g., error handling, efficient assembly, and overall better manufacturing. Upcoming years will be a time for enterprises to scale or eventually incorporate AI-assisted AR in their operations to achieve desired benefits: increased productivity, savings on training execution, improved knowledge sharing and collaboration.

The Metaverse

The integrated network of 3D virtual worlds is still in its infancy, but we’d put odds on its further growth. Overcoming barriers of what's real and virtual, Metaverse will liaise between service providers and consumers, and that’s the time for AR to shine. It’s augmented reality that gives surroundings an extra dimension, enriching them through sounds, images, and additional data. The moment the additives become available and convincing, the Metaverse becomes more attractive to future users. Citing the man behind Metaverse, Mark Zuckerberg, it’s AR that will redefine the relationship between humans and technology.

Spatial mapping

The technology requires AR smart glasses to map surroundings, allowing us to place digital objects on real surfaces. Without spatial mapping, revolutionary concepts like the Metaverse would lose their charm, as the technology allows users to create their virtual space and enjoy it to the fullest with others. On a slightly less crowded side of the audience is spatial mapping’s application in industrial processes, enabling better adjustment of processes to on-site conditions. The solution is expected to change the way operations are carried out. Thanks to a better evaluation of the surroundings, it makes procedures more efficient and less time-consuming.

Spatial sound

Further development of acoustic technologies brings closer the so-desired immersiveness of the virtual world. Creators of the Metaverse and AR applications strive to incorporate all of our senses to make the experience beyond recognition of what is real. 

Mobile augmented reality

AR doesn’t always require dedicated equipment, as smartphone and tablet users can also appreciate its potential. One of the anticipated benefits the upcoming year will bring is the growing popularity of everyday devices capable of delivering a unique AR experience. Advancement of computer vision algorithms and everyday devices combined with customization lead to a new quality of human-technology interaction. Geolocation and navigation, entertainment, experiencing products, and digital services, everything available in everyday use.

Manufacturing

The usage of AR in the industrial environment will only grow, and that’s a statement backed by hard facts. 2023 will be another year of companies transforming digitally to match the demand of Industry 4.0 – and augmented reality is one of their most powerful allies. It’s not just about the digits presented by market analytics, discussing how impressive the worth of industrial AR will become, but about actual applications behind better and more efficient manufacturing processes. Augmented reality serves many purposes, from product design to production efficiency to overseeing facilities’ functioning and staff training – the watchful digital eye will oversee the industry.

WebAR

WebAR is a modern approach to advertising and digital interactions. Using just a smartphone, users can point at an object to launch a 3D complementary projection, creating an engaging and interactive experience. WebAR is highly advised to companies to advance their user journey, becoming more memorable for customers, and making it an appreciated marketing tool for addressing smartphone users.

Retail

From live stream shopping to convenient try-before-you-buy solutions, retail benefits from AR solutions. Shoppable digital content is in full bloom thanks to the popularization of AR devices. Benefits? Increased shopping convenience, unique contactless customer experience, and better decision-making on purchased goods, leading to greater overall satisfaction. Not to mention strengthened brand awareness, improved client retention, reduced staffing costs, and minimized returns – AR has all the aces up its digital sleeve.

Best industrial-grade augmented reality (AR) glasses 2023

With the constant advancements of everyday devices, smartphones and tablets will continue to significantly lower the tech threshold for those entering the AR field. Nonetheless, it’s the dedicated equipment that is the center of attention. Read below for a list of smart glasses best suited for industrial conditions:

RealWear Navigator 500

realwear.com

The successor to the well-received Realwear HMT-1/HMT-1z1 is a next-generation ruggedized assisted reality device created to empower frontline workers. 30% lighter, 118% more powerful, and with a hot-swappable battery, the Navigator has it all that makes it a top-notch companion. A modern design combines an improved display for better readability, a more convenient boom arm, and physical, programmable buttons to avoid interfering with voice commands. What makes it stand out, even more, is its modularity (including the recently released thermal camera module), allowing users to adjust desired elements to fully answer their needs.

Microsoft HoloLens 2

microsoft.com

Appreciated for its 6 freedom degrees, spatial mapping, and over 200 enterprise-ready solutions to choose from Microsoft’s offerings, HoloLens 2 delivers a unique experience to industrial workers. The augmented reality headset can be easily operated using protective gloves and is compatible with hard hats, making it one of the best choices for industrial-grade AR glasses. HoloLens 2 comes with built-in spatial sound and an array of functions, including Air Tap, allowing users to manipulate objects in the distance makes it a great solution for indoor operations.

Vuzix M4000

vuzix.com

An all-in-one enterprise AR smart glasses built with revolutionary high-end optics. The first wearable augmented reality device with a dedicated XR1 platform, designed to deliver greater immersion and create an efficient environment to carry out industrial processes. The device comes with a transparent Waveguide display, outstanding ergonomics, high resilience to external factors, and triple noise-canceling microphones, making it a future-proof choice for professional use.

Project Cambria

The Meta-originating new AR/VR headset isn’t here to replace the Oculus Quest 2 (known now as the Meta Quest 2). Instead, the recently released piece becomes a centerpiece of a whole Metaverse strategy, aimed at introducing the virtual environment to a wider public. As for now, it may be a little over the top to call Cambria a leading device, but surely it’ll cause some stir in the upcoming months.

Apple AR glasses

With 2023 just around the corner, anticipation for the wearable AR device from Mac and iPad creators reaches its peak. Expected to go up against the Meta Quest 2, Apple’s device remains mysterious – we’ll see it go live in January. As for now, the device is expected to include the M1 computer processor, 8K display, external cameras, and eye-tracking. Will it be enough to make the piece a worthy opponent to the most advanced market leaders? We’re about to find out.

What is the future of augmented reality?

The future of AR is shaped right before our eyes. Augmented reality will continue transforming business and the industry digitally, and there’s no doubt about that. While being positive about the AR’s impact on the modern world, we can only wonder how big actually it will become in the upcoming year. Estimates say the AR field will be worth $60 billion and mobile users will reach 1.4 billion worldwide. The user-centric approach will boost the growing adoption of AR in various fields of life. Supporting frontline workers no matter the conditions they work in, delivering unique in-store experience or the contrary – bringing retail and homely e-commerce purchases to a new dimension, AR  soon will be found in every field of life.

Authors
Jowita Kessler
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