The future of augmented reality in 2019

2019 is an exciting year for mobile apps. With the explosion of powerful mobile devices, augmented reality apps are becoming a hot commodity. Last year, Apple released iOS 12 for their mobile device lineup and with it, ARKit 2 – a massive leap for augmented reality on iOS. Apple also included a built-in AR application called Measure. With this, you can scan an area with your camera and place anchor points on the surfaces of objects within the frame. These points then display accurate distances between them. Seeing a native AR application included with Apple’s system toolkit looks promising, which may help familiarize users with the great utility AR has to offer.

Some types of AR applications we can expect to see more of this year include:

  • Shopping
    • Quite a few large brands have already gotten a head start on the opportunity. IKEA, Target, and Walmart have integrated AR into their shopping applications to display 3D modeled products like furniture. IKEA Place lets its user choose pieces from their product catalog and place it in their own home to get an idea for size and appearance.
  • Education
    • Augmented reality can be used to show scale models of so many things – from the human skeleton to an expanded model of an electronic device. Seeing things in real-time is not only fun and engaging, but also helps individuals better understand and learn whatever they are studying.
  • Games
    • Mobile games are now getting a new piece of functionality which opens up a whole new realm of possibilities. The most iconic AR game to date is Pokémon GO!, which was met with huge success, being one of the first mobile games to utilize augmented reality and making it accessible to so many people. With the new features in ARKit 2 like the “Shared AR Experiences,” it’s possible to see new features like the live player to player battles in the AR environment.
  • Utility
    • Like the Measure app mentioned above, AR has a huge market for making useful “overlays” to further identify objects and spaces. We could expand on the Measure app to include information like volume and similar things.

With ARKit 2 now out, AR Apps have been bumped to the top of the App Store’s top categories. We look forward to seeing a lot of clever and interesting ways developers continue to implement AR in 2019.

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