Augmented reality trends

Billions of dollars invested in Augmented Reality by Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Sony, Qualcomm, HTC will lead to a new generation of displays and user interfaces. But what will the future of these technologies look like?

AR

is in its simplest form a rectangular display that overlays digital information on the physical world. Smartphones are currently most convenient to use for AR, as they are equipped with all the necessary hardware. Camera transmits picture to screen and then it is overlaid with digital content. It can be used as headset when inserted in one of various VR Kits that doesn’t block the camera. Such type of headset has a slight delay, because the image from the camera needs to be processed and forwarded to display, so you can get a bit dizzy after longer usage. For now this option is better for VR usage, but with more powerful and specialized devices it is possible that any smartphone will be capable of AR usage.

Google Glass

-is an optical head-mounted display designed in the shape of a pair of eyeglasses. It has a little screen in the upper area of your visibility field, where digital content is presented. It is operated with a little touchpad, motion detection and voice commands. It is lightweight and intended to be worn in everyday situations. Its look is a little geeky at the moment, but we can expect that stylish equivalents to what the well-dressed fashionistas are wearing today will appear in the near future.

Hololens

-is also an optical head-mounted display, but the display covers most of your field of view. Demonstration units were 30°×17.5°. It uses sensual and natural interface commands: gaze, gesture, and voice. It is a really powerful device with lots of possible applications, from games to heavy industry. Due to its relatively high price it is mostly used in enterprise or business experiences. In the future, prices will surely drop so it will surely penetrate the consumer market and become part of everyday entertainment and work.

HUD or head-up display

-is any transparent display that presents data without requiring users to look away from their usual viewpoints. Initially developed for military aviation, HUDs are now used in commercial aircrafts, automobiles and other, mostly professional, applications. Many car manufacturers have displayed their prototypes of cars with HUDs used for navigation, alerts on dangerous situations and display of usual dashboard instrumentation, so we can expect them in commercial market in future years as common equipment in cars.