The war of Augmented Reality has now been declared
Apple ARKit & Google ARCore lead the way
Google was a pioner in the battle as they created the first weapons of this technological war : Google Glasses in 2013 followed in 2014 by the solution Tango, which allowed to offer a high precision augmented reality (AR).
Apple waited for a long time before jumping on the topic. At their latest conference for developers, they annouced the launch of the ARkit which will be available for iOS 11.
ARkit is a framwork that allows developpers to offer solutions of augmented reality to a global audience (available on Iphone 6S and above). The user experience will go beyond the screen. On the contrary of Tango, ARkit does not require additional sensors on the camera of the phone. It however reaches a very high precision rate of 98% on the occlusion of the environment.
Google did not remain still in front of Apple and launched ARCore (a simlar framework to ARkit). This framework is already available on Samsung Galaxy S8 and on Pixel Phone with the operating system Android Nougat 7.0.
These two announcements could finally help the Augmented Reality Technology to emerge to the general public. Indeed at Apple, this is more than 500 millions iphones, which will be able to use the content developped with ARKit on the other side, at Google 100 millions smartphones will be compatible with ARcore content (eventhough there are 2 billions Android smartphones currently in use in the world).
A wide serie of tools for Augmented Reality for mobile devices are now available.
These 2 frameworks, Apple ARKit and Google ARCore, will push the democratization of Augmented Reality to next level. Much more than what Tango could have achieved. Even if the challenge appears to be more important on Google’side with Android, since they have less control on smartphone production, (especially cameras), we are witnessing the first steps of a digital content becoming ambiant and spacialized.
This content spatialization will allows furniture retailers like Ikea or Conforama to offer a brand new omnical experience to their clients without imposing augmented reality markers (usually QR codes, or catalogues placed on the ground). Directly from the application, the clients can position in their interior, in real size, the pieces of furniture they wish to purchase.
The automotive industry is also very enthousiastic to Augmented Reality. Indeed, Toyota for instance, already use AR in their latest user guide. For instance, an icon on the car dashboard blinks and the AR application tells you what it means.
With the fashion industry, we also imagine to be able to try on new clothes thanks to augmented reality, as seen with Zeekit.
In a word, the applications are endless… especially with groceries stores where scanning a food packaging could display information on the ingredients or suggest a recipe… potentially everything can become interactive thanks to augmented reality…
Augmented Reality is now the new battle field for the 2 american giants. It predicts the digital world of tomorrow, the famous 4th IT transformation which will drastically change the game in the coming 10 years !