Augmented reality experiments are now solitary experiments which limit social interactions and communications between users of augmented reality solutions. The cloud AR and its benefits for the AR was first mentioned by Ori Inbar. The latter is the founder of an investment fund (Super Ventures) on augmented reality but also augmentedreality.org which aims to democratize AR uses.
The concept of AR Cloud is to create a system of interaction between the devices and the platforms of RA by pooling the tools of content and calibration (link between digital and real).
The AR Cloud will be the infrastructure connecting the AR applications to each other and to the real world for true interoperability.
For this, we create a system of calibration / universal positioning consisting of a digital representation of the real world and a tool for recognition and monitoring of the real. We must also integrate a mobility 6DOF (movement of a body in 3 dimensions). This whole system will then be used by augmented reality applications instead of having a system specific to each application.
The latest generations of smartphone (iPhoneX or Samsung S9) and connected glasses (Hololens or Magic Leap) will allow to scan the real world to feed the AR Cloud. With the upcoming advent of the 5G, the recognition of these digital elements and the real world will be able to be done in real time despite the large volume of data needed. Between scans and content, a copy of the real world will be superimposed on reality in real time, welcome to the AR Cloud.
Regarding the content, we can imagine two possible scenarios:
- Technology giants standardize their content to be used on multiple devices.
- An open source system is set up and powered by the developers.
The content, in both cases, becomes universal and exploitable whatever the smartphone or the helmets used.
The AR Cloud is comparable to the QR Code in 2008 where a dozen 2D coding system and readers existed.
Charlie Fink (consultant/author of books on the AR) best describes what will allow the AR Cloud: “The World is about to be painted with data.” Be careful because with the AR Cloud there will be only one digital world, the location of the content will therefore rage.
Today, the AR Cloud is a promising concept for augmented reality. However, everything remains to be built and to demand a real will of sharing between the actors of the RA.
From a Retail perspective, we can imagine that the augmented reality content of an Ikea could interact with that of a property developer for example through interoperability.
The development of the AR Cloud is a major stake for the future of the AR in our daily life. The latter will allow to create a new user experience, much more immersive. Moreover, it is not trivial to note that the company Niantic, creator of Pokémon Go, invests heavily to create this ecosystem.