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Augmented reality applications more than just gimmicks: ABI Research

Jack Loo | Aug. 7, 2012
ABI Research report highlights future applications and industry trends.

The future of augmented reality (AR) applications is likely to be found in interactive print, mobile shopping, and children's education, according to ABI Research.

The study, Mobile Application Enabling Technologies Research Service, takes a deep dive into various technologies that enable new and transformative applications.

It identifies early signals of how advances in areas such as Augmented Reality, HTML5, NFC, and Voice Recognition are translating into developer activity, as well as visionary predictions on how these enablers may reshape the industry in the future.

Companies providing software platforms for the development of AR applications stand to reap large rewards from the evolution of AR. Much of the current developer interest owes to Qualcomm and its Vuforia platform, but there are also a number of other players aiming high.

"Vuforia's arrival in the market has pulled augmented reality almost single-handedly to the smartphone era," said ABI Research senior practice director Jeff Orr. "While doing so, it has also prompted industry incumbents, such as metaio and Total Immersion, to innovate further and make their software more accessible to developers. HP's Aurasma could prove a similar catalyst for innovation, considering the potential of its image-recognition technology."

Meanwhile, one major development area is eyewear-based interfaces, with Google's Project Glass an example.

"The issue here is that for any eyewear to enable appealing use cases it needs to have lenses that are large, light, and aesthetic," said Aapo Markkanen, senior analyst, ABI Research.

"The display technology of those lenses needs to be more sophisticated than anything available today, and they will also need to support constant wireless connectivity for long periods of time. And all this needs to be delivered with a bearable battery life. It's a circle whose squaring will take longer than five years," added Markkanen.


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