Innovation

Forecasting the future of augmented reality

Expect some speedbumps in AR and VR adoption, then hyper-fast growth powered by mobile, says Patric Palm, co-founder of Favro.

TechRepublic met with Patric Palm, co-founder of Favro, to discuss the future of augmented reality in the business world. The following is an edited transcript of the interview.

Palm: "I think, if we talk about form factor, I think that the smartphone is actually going to be a significant form factor for awhile. I think the conversations a little bit different with AR vs. VR because with VR there's so much going on with headsets, there's going to be arcade holes vs. play on home, so forth. There's just a lot of stuff happening there in terms of where and how do we experience VR. With AR, I think the smartphone is a pretty good form factor for how we're going to use it. So we're going to see using your smartphone when you're simply going to the supermarket, just going to hold it up, what does this cost? Does it compare with other things. Simply click the screen and that's how you buy and then you're going to get it delivered at home. So going into store is going to be more like going into showroom. It's more ... I mean the things like Tesla how they are selling their cars. I think even going to the supermarket's going to be like that. You go in and you basically make some choices and then it's going to arrive at your doorstep.

SEE: Virtual and augmented reality policy template (Tech Pro Research download)

So, I do think we'll see a lot of that, but then there's of course, a huge factor here we haven't talked about which is when we get something that looks exactly like the glasses that you're wearing right now, you know? And you're probably saw what Intel released quite recently, which I think is really pointing the way for glasses looking pretty much exactly like the one you're wearing, but they're going to project what's going on. With Magic Leap it's very exciting. With Microsoft it's very exciting. So, it's not really a question of if, it's more a when we're going to. First we're going to have tethered glasses and we're going to experience AR through glasses, and then at some point we will untethered glasses and that's how we're going to experience it.

That of course takes everything to kind of the next level, which is going to be very exciting, but just with the smartphone there's definitely a big market. It's going to be a lot of killer apps there. Both businesses I was mentioning, but of course there's a lot for entertainment.

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Image: iStock/hakule

About Dan Patterson

Dan is a Senior Writer for TechRepublic. He covers cybersecurity and the intersection of technology, politics and government.

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