AR/XR have for long been considered technologies whose time is about to arrive, and we’ve been hearing it from about 2015 or so, but somehow they don’t really arrive, they keep on being the prospective tour de force which makes the future bright and shiny; but all we see is flat screens even today. One must however realize, that the reasons that keep them back is the content and there is little development on that front. Investing in HQ graphics, 3D objects and animations is the need of the hour but they are not very useful in the technology that make money today.
Take an example of 3D modelling which is the key to even a basic AR application. How much time and investment does it take to create the object? How many existing graphic artists or tools are capable of creating real looking 3D assets which can then be used cheaply by App creators for furthering their product models?
The problem with 3D is not just about their creation, they are infact quite useless in our current world, if only available in parts and pieces for high end interactions, they give no real world impetus when it comes to creation of videos, graphics, training material etc. Why would someone invest in them? What are the immediate returns?
Also, there have been other serious attempts in the past, especially with glasses, and while the glasses were seen as the future, they weren’t accepted well. Where will you carry the glass with you? And to what ends? When does the information become useful enough for you to start taking them seriously?
Today however, recognizing the gap the tech companies are investing silently but heavily into creating what could now be called the “3D World” in the active technology interaction ecosystem of windows/android/Macs.
And there are three aspects to this push
- For a normal user getting acquainted with the objects in 3D world there are new versions of PowerPoint and paint which render and create 3D objects, and these are the tools even amateurs use all the time.
- For a technology entrepreneur looking for scalability – There’s also a push to make AR rendering more feasible, all android phones (>8.0) are now equipped to take up AR, even the cheaper ones that lie just above the budget range. Google play store has created a segment category called Augmented Reality to push these apps up the marketplace.
- For Developers moving into AR – AR core is easier to handle than ever before in terms of coding and an increasingly larger repository is available to create different use cases, AR is now being pursued by college students as their final project.
Besides, google is working on a new Machine Learning Algorithm which is specifically designed for understanding and replicating 3D objects.
It would be safe to say, that we are on the brink of the revolution, as more and more AR rendering devices find their way into people’s lives, and more people are able to convert their existing graphics into 3D objects, we might just be looking at whole ecosystem coming up which would rather not look at the past for any inspiration.