Written by Fred Bailey
With Microsoft, Google and Apple diving in, by 2020 the combined annual market for AR and VR could be well over $100B. At present, business-wide surveys show there’s a higher percentage of investment in AR than in VR, and the gap is likely to increase in the coming few years.
Bearing that in mind, here are three possible arenas for investment in the technology involved in developing Augmented Reality.
Dramatic shift from 2D to 3D computing
The vision is there. We’ve seen it imagined in sci-fi content as diverse as Terminator 2, Minority Report and Black Mirror, where information and animation is overlaid on reality, either through an HUD (Heads Up Display) like a visor or helmet—or through some kind of miniature device actually implanted in the human eye.
The latter is still science fiction, but the HUD isn’t. It’s like projecting pocket monsters onto a view of the street in Pokemon Go. Or Google Map directions being seen on your windshield instead of your cellphone.
But scanning, tracking and distinguishing the real world is not an easy task, especially when it’s on such a gigantic scale. This involves mapping everything everywhere so that the hardware can track your location in order to overlay how you’re looking at it with AR content. That's going to take some prodigious technological growth, but the promise is there.
Dynamic shaping of what we see
Accomplishing the above provides the groundwork for content creators to customize, enhance and even intensify your world view with a virtual coating, and that’s going to require a new set of tools for capture and conversion. It’s the next step in gearing up.
Decisive removal of long distance as an obstacle
Collaboration with co-workers on opposite sides of the planet…massive public events like 360o participation in a concert held somewhere across the continent…trouble-shooting in an industrial emergency hundreds of miles away… Those are just some of the possibilities for specialization as AR technology morphs and evolves in response to demand.
All this is achievable through the transparent processing of data and having it right there in front of you, in your own field of vision. You don’t have to look down at a laptop.
The prospects for constructive and rewarding investment are exciting.
HH&E Venture is taking a long-view look at this kind of expansion. It’s a joint project of Hanhai Studio and Eagles Fund, based in California, and we’re focused on investing in the most influential tech and business innovations in the U.S. We’re working hard to put the resources from both China and America to good use, delivering high profits through strategic development opportunities.