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AR Cloud 101

In this blog post, AICoreSpot will taking a look into what AR Cloud is, and provide a brief explanation on the emergent technology. 

4 years ago, Tim Cook, Apple CEO, made a strong statement: “Augmented reality is going to change the way we use technology forever.” 

4 years have passed and Augmented Reality (AR) has had much fanfare and hype associated with it, obtaining massive visibility in the consumer electronics segment. In some way or the other AR tech is pretty widespread at this point, with AR fitment rooms, QR-based shopping experiences, and a lot more in store for this nascent advancement. 

The following statistics should put the AR hype into perspective: 

  1. The AR field is forecasted to be valued at $50 billion in 3 short years from now. 
  1. 7/10ths of customers hold the belief they will shop online more frequently, leveraging AR technologies. 
  1. By next year, a major portion of the AR userbase will be from the entertainment and gaming industry. (43%) but vital services, such as healthcare (15%) and engineering (14%) are gaining ground quickly. 

The speed of adoption is escalating across all fields and domains. AR is no more viewed as an ‘emergent’ technology, according to some commentators – although this is debatable. The Gartner Hype Cycle holds this opinion. AR was removed from the updated iteration of the Gartner Hyper Cycle as they no longer viewed it as an ‘emergent’ technology – rather it has experienced evolution into a maturing tech that’s vital to the eventual proliferation of multi-experience platforms. As a matter of fact, Gartner forecasts that AR will be in place in one-third of all businesses by the end of this year, in some fashion or the other. 

The next wave of emergent AR tech ups the concept of augmented reality even more, providing a user experience that guarantees immersion within the combined physical and digital worlds. This is referred to as the AR Cloud. Gartner estimates it will be one of the leading four most influential emergent technologies this year. 

AR Cloud 101 – What is it? 

Imagine that you’re travelling to a new city. You wish to explore nearby eateries and try out the local fare. You could take your smartphone and look for scores and reviews for each restaurant in your vicinity, take a look at what they have to offer, look at images of their dishes, in an effort to determine which one you want to try out. 

But in today’s day and age, that sounds like a bit too much legwork. 

Now visualize that you could discover all of this data overlaid electronically nearby every restaurant you can see in your line of sight, through augmented reality. You wear your AR glasses, take a stroll, leverage a voice assistant to look up restaurant reviews, and identify the outlet with the best ratings – all with barely looking at it. 

You walk toward the facility, take a look at their offerings, and put down your order prior to even physically getting to the destination. 

When you’ve gotten to your reserved table, an entire integrated collection of technologies and services have provided you with the ideal dining experience on the basis of crowdsourced data and electronic services. This is what underlies AR Cloud. Convenience is at its core. 

AR cloud is the term for technologies that facilitate the delivery of consumer-centric contextual electronic content which is featured through augmentation over real-world objects on gadgets such as phones, headsets, or a head-mounted display. (HMD) It leverages present digital and connectivity technologies, consisting of: 

  1. Smartphone technology 
  1. 5G telecom services 
  1. Edge computing 

How the AR cloud functions 

AR cloud furnishes an abstracted medium for real-world spaces, objects, and people where electronic content and experiences can be customized for each end-user. The streamlined delivery of useful data superimposed on such an abstraction layer will facilitate customers to make data-driven decisions with regards to purchasing and navigation, amongst other use cases. 

While dedicated AR products for manufacturing, engineering, and healthcare domains are broadly leveraged, AR experiences for the larger customer end-user base are not yet at scale. AR cloud is poised to alter this trend and Gartner forecasts the technology to get to the market, latest by 2029. 

AR Cloud is not merely a technology. Its core values are user facilitation and streamlined experiences leveraging new technologies, business frameworks, and services. The first iteration of AR-driven solutions have mostly been purpose-developed for the gaming and entertainment end-users. 

Presently, though, AR cloud has come up as a confluence of current technologies and processes which consist of: 

  1. 5G connectivity, Edge Computing and IoT – Gigabit connectivity is crucial to provide data in closer proximity to the intelligent edge of the network where a majority of the computation and data process is occurring. 
  1. Digital-first business models – Business enterprises within the retail sector will have to evolve their business models and integrated augmented reality capacities to their products and services. A streamlined digital client journey will be critical to provide a ubiquitous experience in the physical and cyber space. 
  1. Artificial intelligence in Computer Vision – Data-heavy computation and delivery of AR overlays will need progressive and more effective models, creating pathways for the ideas of Advanced Computer Vision and Digital Twins, two of the most powerful emergent technological trends, going by Gartner. 
  1. Packaged business capabilities (PBC) – Well-defined capacities provided through software components to actualize a particular business function. PBC consists of the data schema, event channels, APIs, and services that can assist in delivering a business functionality with no external dependence. 

AR cloud vendors 

No vendors presently provide AR cloud as a cumulative solution, as, for the time being, it’s an amalgamation of several disparate technologies. 

The future is AR cloud 

While there is massive prospects for the AR cloud, it’s a bit premature to identify whether and in what fashion the technology will witness mass adoption. 

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