Two of the areas that we are often asked about by big businesses with skin in the game are Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR). Part of my job is to brief top tier organisations on what the developer audience is focussed upon so the companies can make the best decisions. I don’t speculate — I’m not brave enough for that. Instead, like every analyst at the company, I use our data to find trends and outliers in this emerging sector.
I worked in the smartphone industry before it came of age. Our mission was “a smartphone in every pocket” at a time when simple feature phones like the Motorola RAZR were the must-have communications device. Within a few years of our early projects, the competitor, Apple, launched the iPhone. The rest is history. The App Store opened its doors, the stars aligned, the technology dream was realised and smartphones went on to rule the world.
Augmented Reality (AR) is about overlaying pieces of a virtual world over the real world (in contrast to Virtual Reality (VR) that is about replacing the real world with a virtual one). On mobile devices, this simply means enhancing what you can see through the device’s camera with multimedia content (e.g. you can point your camera at a movie poster and watch its trailer, or you can point it at a star in the sky and learn its name). So, basically AR comes down to the following three fundamental questions: where to display what and how.