Augmented Reality (AR) is shaping up to be the coolest, most promising tech in recent years, with a projected global market of $165 billion by 2024. In 3-5 years how we interact with our devices will seem old and antiquated with the intertwining of AR into our computers and iPhones, forever altering how we interact with them. The gestured based interface seen in IronMan 2 is no longer science fiction. It's real, it's here, and it's coming to a computer or iPhone near you sooner than you may think.
At Apple, they are betting big on two areas of tech, health and Augmented Reality (AR), and the role each of these will play in our lives. Tim Cook recently compared the game changing potential of AR to that of the smartphone, and said that he is so excited about what Apple is developing in this area he "just wants to scream".
Apple's not the only company betting big on AR. Google, Microsoft and many other tech companies are each working on their versions of an AR future as well. A small company based out of Silicon Valley, MetaVision is working on an operating system and office workspace called Meta 2 that promises to replace our monitors with AR based glasses.
Apple's next version of the iPhone and iPad operating system, iOS 11 is due for release in September of this year. iOS 11 will usher in the first version from Apple to include AR Kit built-in to the system, enabling developers to create Augmented Reality applications for the iPhone and iPad. By the end of this year, anyone running iOS 11 on their iPhone or iPad will be able to download and use AR based apps for everything from games to maps to education to who knows what else. The release of iOS 11 will single-handedly catapult AR into the mainstream. Virtually overnight millions of iPhone and iPad users will be using AR apps, presenting developers with a large enough market to push everything to the next level.
The sky is truly the limit and we're only scratching the surface. Augmented Reality has the potential to take our iPhones to another level, and maybe, one day entirely replace them with wearables such as watches, glasses and other forms of jewelry that will display holographic images blended in with our environment, rather than existing only within our small rectangular screens in our hands..