2022 Year in Review : Augmented Reality

Adrian Blackwood
5 min readDec 28, 2022
Not all AR glasses will look goofy : design and form will soon overtake function.
Not all AR glasses will look goofy in 2023: expect to see design and form to soon overtake function. Photo by Unsplash

Introduction

I’ve been in the AR industry for more than ten years now and I can tell you that this is the most exciting time to be involved. 2022 was pivotal from great new hardware platforms, and great (early) content projects, to universal market adoption of naming and platform fundamentals. The possibilities are endless, but we still haven’t agreed upon what AR means or is just yet. We will enter 2023 knowing it’s not just a tool, it’s an entire platform with limitless potential applications. We’re talking about everything from medical diagnostics to retail sales experiences, but there are some common threads between these different industries.

Augmented Reality (AR) is the future, even though we are still deciding how best to define that future.

With the next generation of hardware coming in 2023, Augmented Reality (AR) is an entirely new experience. It is not a replacement for virtual reality — rather, it’s the perfect companion to VR. While AR may have started as a technology, it has since grown into something more elemental: an experience that can be managed and shaped by companies in order to create emotional connections with their products and services, and ultimately between their users.

AR is not just about hardware, but also about software and data. The most successful AR experiences will be those that are created with a deep understanding of what people want and need from their machines — and the key to figuring out how best to achieve this goal lies in understanding how consumers define themselves through their devices’ use cases.

AR is more than a tool and has the potential to enhance every industry.

AR is a tool, but it has the potential to enhance every industry. It can be used in retail, medicine, manufacturing, construction and so much more. look out in 2023 for the first real market-supported tools and platforms to emerge.

The biggest challenge for AR developers in 2023 will be access to data.

The biggest challenge STILL for AR developers is access to data. Access to rich, relevant data is the backbone of creating engaging AR experiences. The more accurate and detailed the data you have, the better your end product will be. But getting access to the location's correct, relevant, and relational information is challenging and time-consuming.

If you’ve worked in any industry where your work requires a lot of research or analysis to come up with something new and unique (i.e., advertising), then this may sound familiar: You spend hours scouring the internet looking at other projects that are similar but not exactly what you’re looking for. Then you spend more hours trying different keywords until finally finding something that seems like it could work but isn’t quite right either… only then do they realize they don’t have enough depth and/or product maturity to support everything you’ll need so far — so now there is no way to launch any good minimally-viable or simple products online because they just won't contain enough quality data early on!

The biggest challenge for companies looking for enterprise AR solutions is finding a single common framework.

Imagine if every company used a different operating system to run on their computers and phones, making it impossible to share files and apps between corporations. That’s what we have today with AR, where there are no standards or protocols that make it easy for non-developers to build AR apps. Even most developers struggle or outright stumble to build multi-channel products — it sucks (currently :-0 )

This problem has gotten worse over time because of the recent explosion in consumer-facing mobile AR games starting with Pokémon Go! and Ikea Place, which don’t play well with enterprise tools. in 2023, AR apps availability will explode.

The result is that we have a lot of independently-built apps that don’t talk to each other and don’t integrate into existing business processes. There’s no way for an AR game developer to make money from their app if it can’t be used by anyone else. The same goes for developers working in other industries like construction or healthcare.

Immersive user experience + Interactivity = 2023 Engagement

Augmented reality (AR) is more than a tool, it’s an opportunity to enhance every industry. Again the biggest challenge for AR developers in 2023 is access to data. We are providing the tools for companies to access their own data and make it available for predictive analytics and advanced decision-making.

The biggest challenge for companies looking for enterprise solutions is finding a single common framework that integrates with existing IT systems and can be easily deployed across diverse industries, locations, and cultures. The winner here has a real chance at becoming a deca-corn.

The biggest challenge in 2023 is scale, especially for those who work in industries like retail and medicine.

The biggest challenge for those who work in spaces like retail and medicine is scale. As AR becomes more common, it will be important to ensure that your technology is scalable and adaptable to multiple types of environments: different store layouts, varying customer demographics, etc. This means that you’ll need a robust system that can handle these varying demands while ensuring an engaging user experience.

There’s still time to get in on the ground floor

With the advent of augmented reality, many people are wondering what this means for their businesses. It’s true that AR is a new technology, but it can be applied in many ways to enhance your current products or services.

There are many ways you can get involved with AR:

  • The best time to get involved was ten years ago; now is the next best time. You have an opportunity to be at the forefront of this emerging technology in your industry and help define its future!
  • There are already several major companies making big investments in augmented reality (like Facebook/Meta). As more money pours into these ventures, it’ll become easier for smaller businesses like yours to start using augmented reality technologies themselves — which will also create more jobs thanks to increased demand on products and services that use AR technology.”

Conclusion

Augmented Reality is still a nascent technology but has already proven itself to be as revolutionary as the smartphone. It could become the next (next) Internet. We are at a point where every industry can benefit from augmented reality and we can only imagine how incredible it will be once all of these tools are combined together. The bottom line is that if you don’t start exploring now there will be no time left for experimenting later.

Adrian Blackwood

@adrianblackwood

Exploring the future of reality — Healthtech | Spatial Reality | Ambient Intelligence — adriankyleblackwood.com

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Adrian Blackwood

Adrian explores the future of reality through four exciting areas: Applied Ai, Spatial Reality, health-tech, and Ambient Intelligence.