According to the Chinese calendar, 2013 is the Year of the Snake, a year where “all things are possible”.
It should come as no surprise that 2013 is also tipped to be a big year for Augmented Reality (AR), where the range of possibilities for this technology should truly come to life. AR is already going beyond the traditional gimmicky gaming use cases and has started to transform how we consume printed media, interact with museum exhibits and advertise via smartphones and tablets.
Here are five reasons why AR will grow even more in 2013:
1. Smartphones’ processing power has increased dramatically, with quad core 1.5GHz+ processors becoming more commonplace and tipped to represent 15%-20% of the market in 2013
2. Growth of the market share of tablets (and the high degree of user engagement with them). There are an estimated 240m tablets in use (according to NPD DisplaySearch). AR works beautifully on tablets thanks to the large display area and will help to "cross-sell" AR to smartphones as well.
3.The majority of readers consume news and media content in digital format today but still enjoy interacting with printed news and magazines via their smartphone. The easiest way to do so today is through AR. Esquire magazine already tried this in 2009. Ikea Germany's 2013 catalogue allows readers to view 3D animations of furniture items and so bring flat-pack to life.
4.We have just only begun to scratch the surface of the possibilities for augmented reality-type innovations. From advertising to property management and the healthcare sector, the use cases for AR are infinite. In healthcare, for example, being able to recognize skin diseases by simply pointing the smartphone’s camera at the affected skin area would by itself save millions in public healthcare costs (not to mention, save lives).
5. Mobile gaming is huge. So huge in fact, that the traditional console-based gaming sector will soon be overtaken by mobile-based gaming. We are no longer talking gimmicks. We are talking of a USD 20bn$ industry. Augmented reality gaming is carving out a good chunk of this revenue –even Angry Birds has its own AR-based mobile game. More will follow.