Augmented reality (AR) is nothing new. Ask anyone and they will surely remember last year’s Pokémon GO craze, which engaged thousands of people globally in a gamified mixed-reality experience. And the AR hype is not going anywhere – with innovations such as the recent release of Apple ARKit in the iOS 11 software update, mainstream adoption of AR is expected to continue growing exponentially.
The beauty of AR is its inherent ability to extend beyond what actually is and visually depict what could be. This gives app developers endless new opportunities to engage consumers in a plethora of conceptual possibilities, illustrating stories that intermingle and interact with the environment around us. For example, an application developed by IKEA a few years back allowed customers to visualize how specific furniture pieces would look in their space.
Augmented reality at work
Yet AR doesn’t just stop at the consumer market – there are plenty of compelling use cases for it in the workplace – and for years now, many corporations have been experimenting with its applications in their day-to-day business. Examples include Boeing’s use of AR in product assembly, Bosch’s AR app to direct automotive repair work, and Thyssenkrupp’s AR guide for elevator maintenance work. The demand for AR at work is clearly there, and organizations such as the Augmented Reality for Enterprise Alliance (AREA) are committed to further accelerating its widespread adoption in the enterprise world by bringing together corporate leaders in this space to share best practices.
B2B adoption is expected to surpass B2C
Consequently, many analysts forecast fast growth of the enterprise augmented reality market, predicting that enterprise adoption of AR will actually surpass the consumer market. A Deloitte study on AR/VR applications lists some of the most compelling enterprise AR use cases: guidance and collaboration, immersive learning, enhanced consumer experience, and augmented design and analytics. Another exciting opportunity is in consumer-facing demos, where AR will provide a venue for hard to grasp concepts to be mocked up and explained visually in an engaging experience.
The mainstream use of AR is expected to take off with Apple ARKit and related technologies, providing businesses more opportunities to build immersive experiences for both consumers and employees. So how will AR redesign the way we work? Stay tuned, the possibilities are only limited by our imaginations.
Are you attending SAP TechEd Barcelona 2017? Be sure to check out the new A Data Journey Augmented Reality experience, powered by SAP HANA, built using the Apple ARKit. A co-innovation project by SAP, IBM, and Bluefin Solutions, this experience is designed to take you on a conceptual journey behind the scenes of advanced data processing. Not going to Barcelona? Register to be notified when this augmented reality experience will be publicly available on the Apple App Store.