Augmented reality is growing more mainstream every day. In addition to being integrated into games and movie experiences, AR is making its way into schools, the workplace, and interior design. AR’s popularity doesn’t seem to be waning anytime soon. According to Woodside Capital, AR sales could amount to $80 billion by the year 2022. And yet, since AR is still a relatively new development, it comes with its own set of unique challenges. The following are three common challenges in AR product design, and what is needed to overcome them.
Challenge Number 1: Augmented Reality App Design & Development Standards are Insufficient
Software applications depend on standardization for securing net compatibility. As stated by the International Organization for Standardization, the non-governmental association that deals with standards in all industries: “International Standards make things work.They give world-class specifications for products, services, and systems, to ensure quality, safety, and efficiency.” Rather than building towards a unified development, every Augmented Reality concept stands alone and isn’t necessarily compatible with other AR creations. Fortunately, the solution to this challenge is already underway. IEEE, “the world’s largest technological professional organization dedicated to advancing technology for humanity“ initiated eight projects for both VR and AR. These initiatives include: “Device Taxonomy and Definitions,” “Immersive Video Taxonomy and Quality Metrics,” “Immersive Video File and Stream Formats,” “Person Identity,” “Environment Safety,” “Immersive User Interface,” “Map for Virtual Objects in the Real World,” and “Interoperability Between Virtual Objects and the Real World.” The IEEE VRAR Working Chair, Dr. Yu Yuan, says these are “just at the beginning of [their] efforts to actively identify standardization needs in the technology space.” Unifying standards for AR, however, are well worth the wait.
Challenge Number 2: The Chasm Between Technological Devices
Another difficulty with Augmented Reality is that AR devices tend to differ technologically. For instance, an experience designed for AR gear doesn’t automatically translate into a seamless experience for a smartphone. It’s estimated that approximately 5 billion people own a mobile device, and over half of those devices are said to be smartphones. Additionally, because AR headsets can cost up to $3,000, individuals are more likely to engage with augmented reality if they can access it on their cell phones. However, design-wise, smartphones may have limitations with AR. The solution to this technological divide is a matter of making AR gear more affordable for more people.
Challenge Number 3: Optics Aren’t Static
The majority of AR product design projects involve superimposing a virtual image onto a real-world backdrop. Challenges arise when simulations fail to correspond with one’s physical environment accurately. Sometimes, for the AR experience to reach its full potential, it’s imperative that the placement of the virtual image must be exact. Another optical difficulty with AR is stray light. With headsets, stray lights can occur due to the gear’s design or the outside light. How can AR product design tackle these external restraints? The key lies in creating AR technology that continually takes the outside world into consideration. Cameras, for instance, can provide real-time data that can make the AR experience more realistic.
Like any new technology, AR has its complications. But none of these difficulties are impossible to solve, and innovations aren’t perfected overnight. We should feel confident that ultimately, solutions to AR challenges are simply a matter of time.
If you’re ready to see how AR can enhance your product development, Pivot is the single-source partner for you. At Pivot International, we have a track record of over 40 years of expert experience in collaborating with businesses both large and small to help them successfully bring new products to market. Contact us today and see what we can do for you.