Augmented reality (AR) has yet to catch up to the aspirations many developers have for the technology, with high-end devices like Microsoft’s HoloLens 2 and Magic Leap 1 still relatively bulky – certainly not stylish – while consumer smartphone-based AR has its own limitations. British semiconductor IP and IoT software company Arm recently commissioned a report on AR’s future, consumer interest in the tech and what needs to happen for widescale adoption.
Consumers aren’t that averse to AR, in fact, there’s a great deal of positivity towards the technology thanks to current efforts; both for mobile and glasses-based AR.
The report mainly deals with glasses-based AR, looking at consumer interest for standalone ‘Everyday AR Glasses’ which are the hardest to achieve in engineering terms and those which require external connections – either to a mobile device or battery/processor unit – like Nreal Light.
58 percent of respondents said they were either extremely- or very likely to buy AR devices designed for everyday use – dropping to 47 percent for a wired connection.
While hardware design will play heavily into whether consumers want to wear these devices, they also need solid reasons to in the first place. Use cases such as interactive entertainment and guidance for tasks such as DIY or cooking heavily featured but topping the poll was language translation (56 percent of respondents). Apps like Google Translate already offer a basic AR function to translate signage or menus into a required language, having it built into glasses would be a boon for those who love to travel (when everyone can travel again).
When it comes to preferences across the genders women were found to be most interested in using AR to make life easier. Men, on the other hand, were simply attracted to the latest technology and especially interested in the gaming potential.
Unsurprisingly, those who have to wear regular glasses showed a higher interest in AR version, but not by much. The highest category of interest came from far-sighted users at 67 percent with interest from those who don’t use any glasses for visual impairment dropping to 53 percent.
As for age groups expected commonalities occur. The 16-24 age group showed the most positive response to wearing AR with the 55-64 the lowest (79 percent and 45 percent respectively). The report also found that the younger generation are actually happier to stay connected to their smartphones while each subsequent age group showed a greater interest in using AR to make tasks easier.
AR most certainly has a future with major companies like Facebook, Microsoft and Apple all working towards similar connected goals. Arm expects this to happen in the next ten years. How this will happen is a different question entirely.