The Showdown for the AR Glasses Market Space Is Starting

December 22, 2017 - 4 minutes read

Augmented reality (AR) made the news frequently in the last five years. From speculation to newly emerging companies intent on carving out their own niche in the market, AR glasses are taking the tech world by storm.

Investors are flocking to own a part of these companies, and for good reason — 2017’s $11.4 billion AR market is expected to grow to $143.3 billion by 2020.

Strike Out Until You Strike Gold

“We know what we really want: AR glasses,” says Oculus chief scientist Michael Abrash. “They aren’t here yet, but when they arrive they’re going to be the great transformational technologies of the next 50 years.” He added, “these glasses will offer AR, VR, and everything in between, and we’ll wear them all day and we’ll use them in every aspect of our lives.” It’s such a priority that it rivals artificial intelligence and machine learning for the Big Five tech giants.

Many of the biggest contenders have fumbled their launch into the AR market. But it’s okay because the industry itself is in its infancy. Even developers in San Francisco and Silicon Valley don’t have a clear vision of where AR is headed, although they’re certainly trying to be apart of it.

These companies have made it clear they’re in this for the long haul. They can afford to invest millions of dollars at a loss in this product’s profits while recouping the loss through their tried-and-true products. Eventually, all (or some) of these companies will strike gold, and that’s what they’re banking on.

A Leap into Mainstream Culture

Florida-based Magic Leap recently announced its planned launch for its mixed reality glasses for 2018. So far, the AR consumer base has been tough to please, but the hype surrounding Magic Leap feels optimistic.

By next year, mobile phones will already come equipped with the basics of AR software. Experts are now dubbing artificial reality as the Fourth Platform in computing. But unlike the other three waves of platforms rising, tech companies are pivoting to meet future demand while helping shape the future. They are trying to avoid being overcome by the Innovator’s Dilemma, which is the inaction of pivoting before it’s too late; the innovator is too focused on his wave of creativity to work on the next technology.

Molding Our Vision of the Future

But there are other aspects to consider. How will we regulate what companies can and cannot put in front of our eyes? There is only a small timeframe for us to discuss the ethics, effects, and evolution of augmented reality glasses before they’re ubiquitous. And although we can’t say for sure how AR will affect our world, it will certainly be scary, exciting, and game-changing all at the same time.

For AR app developers, the prospect of AR everywhere can be daunting. We can’t control where AR will go, but we can contribute to its advancement and innovate with noble intentions. It’s crucial that we do this because if anything is clear, it’s one thing — AR will transform how we see the world.

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