We’ve reined in some of the initial excitement about glasses-based AR, at least in terms of its time horizon to consumer ubiquity. The technology isn’t there yet. But in the meantime, the AR world is keeping itself busy, as we discuss in the latest ARtillry Brief (video below).
Beyond specs (battery life, FOV), the thing missing from AR glasses is a form factor that’s sleek (and cheap)-enough to sway consumers to get over a key point of friction: personal style. As we discussed recently with Presence Capital, that concern goes away in enterprise contexts.
But focusing on consumers for now, the bar is high for anything people are going to put on their face. The good news is that the stepping stone — or gateway drug as I like to call it — is mobile AR. That addressable market isn’t the low-millions of headsets, but 2.6 billion smartphones.
Of course those aren’t all AR compatible in terms of optical components. But they will be over the next few replacement cycles. ARCore will become compatible with 2 billion global android devices, and ARkit will reach almost a billion iPhones. Both achieve AR through software.
This has democratized what we call True AR: SLAM-based graphics that have dimensionally accurate interactions with physical objects. ARkit did that by not only achieving area mapping and depth sensing through software, but will also scale it up by putting it into the hands of developers.
Looking forward, we can expect a lot of AR apps as ARKit and ARCore gain footing. But more impactful will be years of third-party innovation with both SDKs. That could rival in creativity and impact, the growth of the app economy itself, kicked-off ten years ago with the first iOS SDK.
See the latest ARtillry Brief below for more.
Disclosure: ARtillry has no financial stake in the companies mentioned in this post, nor received payment for its production. Disclosure and ethics policy can be seen here.