For the past few years, augmented reality–or AR for short–has been among the hottest buzzwords. 2018 however, could be the year when AR jumps from interesting fringe technology to a useful tech solution that will begin to fully integrate itself into our lives and habits.
Adoption can be slow. Just thirty years ago, cell phones were something rare and far between. Ten years ago, smartphones were niche products for the rich and tech savvy. Now, everyone and their mother has a smartphone.
The same could prove true for augmented reality. Right now, many AR technologies are still limited to the tech lab. A few products have made their way into the wild, including the infamous Google Glass still used by Google for Enterprise and AR leader, CrowdOptic, but so far AR hasn’t quite hit the mainstream. That’s going to change. This year, next year, sometime soon. AR will simply be too useful to ignore.
Early adopters aren’t going to wait until VR becomes mainstream. Why should they? Fortunately, there are a ton of great VR technologies already making their way into the market. Indeed, you can find some of the best and most promising AR products on the curated shopping website, Gadget Flow.
Or, you could simply check out our AR tech product round up. Let’s look at which pieces of tech have the most potential to shakeup 2018 and pave the way for our VR enabled future.
Yeehaw Wand Uses AR to Let You 3D-Sketch in Thin Air
Often, the technologies that make the highest impact are cutting edge pieces of tech that can be combined with a more established technology. Smartphones combined cellphones and computers, for example. The Yeehaw Wand, using AR, could be the next combo-tech, combining AR and 3-D printers.
3-D printers are already becoming quite popular. However, they can be difficult to work with. That is, unless you have the Yeehaw Wand. This wand allows you to quickly create 3-D sketches out of thin air. Then, you can send the file to pretty much any 3-D printer and bring it to life. This is a great option for creatives who want to 3-D print but don’t know CAD or any other complicated computed-aided design program.
Moverio BT-300 Smart AR Glasses
Google Glass was ahead of its time. Quite honestly, the technology simply wasn’t there to fully deliver on Google’s vision. However, AR glasses are almost certain to make their way back into our lives. Expect the newest generation of AR glasses to deliver on the promise of Google Glass.
The Moverio BT-300 Smart AR Glasses certainly shows a lot of promise. Despite the small package, the Moverio BT-300 is equipped with an Intel Atom processor and enough battery life to run for six hours. These glasses run on Android, which will probably emerge as the most popular AR operating systems for AR glasses.
Imagina Books Human Body AR Educational Book
Remember pop-up books? You know, where you open the book and some clever paper crafting brings a 3-D scene to life? They’re still around but rather rare compared to the good old days. AR, however, might bring them back to the mainstream.
The Imagina Books’ Human Body AR educational book looks like a simple 2-D paper book. And it’s just that until you turn on the AR features. Using your smartphone or tablet, you can create a 3-D display of the book right on your screen. This Imagina book teaches kids about the human body, creating 3-D features that are very useful for educational purposes.
AR-enabled paper books could prove to be very useful for education. They’re engaging, information, fun. Those three elements combined generally make for a pretty good learning experience. AR in education is also something to keep an eye on given how the tech can bring concepts to life.
Structure Sensor: The 3D Scanner for iPad
3-D renderings are awesome for a huge range of applications. From showing off apartments to rent and houses for sale, to demonstrating virtual prototypes for new gadgets, many professionals are turning to 3-D to convey their goods. Problem is, generating a 3-D rendering can be time consuming and expensive.
That is, unless, you have the Structure Sensor for iPad. With this device you can quickly and easily scan rooms and objects. Once the scan is complete, it’s easy to produce an accurate 3-D rendering. Expect the Structure Sensor to become a hot commodity among investors, real estate agents, and others who frequently use 3-D renderings. Simply plug into your iPad and get to scanning.
No Matter What You Buy, AR is Going to be Hot
Augmented Reality is going to disrupt the consumer space, business, academia, and everything else. What that means is hard to predict. Back in 1970, few people knew how important computers would become and no one could have predicted how the industry evolved.
AR is in a similar position. The technology is only now making its way into the mainstream and developers are just exploring its potential. And with the great gadgets we outlines, consumers can start digging into that potential as well.