Why AR Will Grow Quickly in 2021 and Beyond

I remember when we first heard of the pandemic in the USA last year in 2020, it felt like time froze. Everyone canceled their meetings, people lined up at the supermarkets and prepared for what felt like Dooms Day, and the news was streaming non-stop on all devices at all hours of the day. The days, weeks and months started to blend together as people huddled in their homes listening to the latest reporting on the pandemic. Losing the concept of time and space, we all quickly re-adjusted to the new normal of working from home, teaching children from home, cooking in the kitchen, and keeping in touch with family and friends through our cell phones and laptops.

Now we’re in 2021 and we’ve all gotten used to cooking more often, teaching at home, working at a time that best fits our schedules (including many times on the weekends). Because of this new reality we live in, we believe Augmented Reality will grow quicky from 2021 and forward.

There are three key factors that are pushing Augmented Reality into existence:

  1. Remote Living
  2. 5G
  3. LiDAR

Remote Living

As the pandemic allows for humans to globally work from new places, it brings about a new shift in working from home. Dolly Parton’s “9–5” song is a story of the past as the concept of the 9am-5pm work week, 5 days a week work-life feels like a lifetime ago. As remote work, remote living, and remote education integrate into our daily lives, it pushes forward much needed technology to support this new lifestyle. As people form communities online and less in person, as they work online and less in the office, and students learn online and less in the classroom, the infrastructure to support these new ways of communication, expression, and education will continue to grow in 2021.

5G

Luckily, 5G helps to support the much needed fast and seamless infrastructure the world needs in order to stay better connected. It could not have been distributed in a more timely fashion. 5G and AR can become a big part of building new pathways to allow people to communicate more clearly as visual communication becomes even more important in this remote living ecosystem. Think about all the times you use Zoom to reconnect with friends, family, coworkers or even meet new people. Our dependency on seeing someone through a square box has become completely normal and necessary to survive. Immersive content, created by AR, can become a major driving force for everyone to create new creative spaces and environments, as well as build more immersive content to share with others. 5G technology will make communication, video rendering, and immersive content flow more seamlessly into our devices and AR will help enhance communication with a new form of 3D immersive video content.

AR also will have major impacts in not only how we communicate, story-tell and generally express ourselves, but broaden the way we teach native mobile users. This new generation of children being raised with parents working from home and more dependent on their devices for work and staying in touch, the new generation of children will also mimic their parents in seeking out new tools that help engage them intellectually and spiritually.

LiDAR

Apple and Android devices are also quickly improving along with the connectivity of 5G supported by the Telco Companies. Our devices got a major upgrade with LiDAR technology implemented in our cameras, creating the ability to build more realistic scenes using AR. With the new iphone 12 Pro and Max, LiDAR tech includes depth sensing and allows for instant AR experiences as it quickly scans the environment via your camera. With the hardware (smaller and faster chips and devices), software (LiDAR technology and faster processing) as well as the 5G wireless connectivity, this environment creates the perfect space for AR to thrive.

Dana Loberg is CEO and Founder of Leo AR, the first augmented reality communications platform that gives anyone the power to enrich the world around them with realistic 3D and 4D animated objects and photogrammetry. Follow her @luckyloberg.

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