Despite the fact that many believe it will ultimately have more of a daily impact on society than virtual reality, augmented reality has had something of a slow rollout. It caused a lot of excitement on mobile devices a couple years ago now, but has yet to advance significantly since that point. Do some reading on AR tech though and the issue becomes fairly clear: We’re waiting on glasses, which will transform AR from an intriguing mobile tech gimmick into an extremely useful technology.
There’s really no end to the things we might do with AR glasses once we actually have them. Here though are five tech-based concepts that figure to improve significantly and immediately when the day comes that we’re wearing these glasses regularly.
1. Messaging & Notifications
While some will be hesitant to accept an idea like this on the grounds that we already have our phones in front of us too often, there’s really no denying the convenience and efficiency of having messages and push notifications flash quite literally before our eyes. Most of us like to be on top of messages as quickly as possible, and research shows more people are engaging with push notifications than ever before. AR glasses will simply make both things even more useful and convenient – and it doesn’t mean you have to drop everything to read or respond. More likely is that we’ll just see very faint alerts about messages, news stories becoming available, or whatever else it may be, and then pull out or phones if and when we want to engage. Basically, it just means instantaneous notifications.
2. Tabletop Gaming
From board games revived via mobile, to tabletop strategy concepts, to an increasingly large array of games put forth by casino sites, there are all sorts of digital games these days that mimic activities that used to take place on surfaces. It’s almost as if we yearn for these tabletop games – Monopoly, Catan, poker, blackjack, etc. – and have sought to make them more accessible and convenient via mobile means. Soon, we’ll be able to bring them back to life without sacrificing that convenience, effectively by projecting the games through AR glasses onto tables and surfaces in front of us.
3. Home Design
Most never really saw it coming, but almost as soon as augmented reality became popular on mobile, home design applications became popular too. Different apps have different specific functions, but the concept is for AR to help us to imagine furniture and decorations arranged in certain ways, by actually projecting previews into physical space. More specifically, you can use your phone screen and camera to look at a corner in your room and see a new chair you’re thinking about buying as if it’s already there. It’s a very neat function that’s essentially bringing about a whole new aspect to home design, but it will be even better with glasses. In theory we’ll be able to conduct far greater home design efforts, looking around us at the environments we want to bring about, rather than the ones we’re actually in.
There’s already talk of Apple building up AR maps, and just like that you realize that this could ultimately be one of the very most significant applications of augmented reality through glasses specifically. Right now the majority of people who need directions while driving are relying on their phones, and while voice assistants can make this fairly safe, plenty of us are still looking at our phones while we drive as well. AR glasses should eliminate the need to do so altogether by simply mapping out routes and providing relevant data and updates right before our eyes. This won’t obscure drivers’ views, nor distract them from the road, yet it will still show the way.
5. DIY Tasks
It’s a broad idea, but the potential of augmented reality in completing DIY tasks is also fairly exciting. Wearing AR glasses, we might see step-by-step visual instructions for anything from changing a tire to building a garden shed. Think of it as a new version of Googling step-by-step instructions, or even watching instructional videos. It’s even conceivable that there will be applications applying AR in this way to things like cooking, or visual art. It’s a type of application that should ultimately make more people capable of more things, and perhaps even give us easy ways to master tasks that we once would never have bothered with.