Augmented Reality has been touted as a potential disruptor technology for tourism marketing in the future. Now the planet's biggest company is backing it's ability to bring elements of the virtual world, into our real world, thus enhancing the things we see, hear, and feel.
Apple’s acquisition of Akonia Holographics, a small Colorado-based company specializing in smart glass lenses, has added fuel to rumours that Apple is working on augmented reality glasses that could complement and eventually replace the iPhone in the future. Apple’s CEO Tim Cook has often expressed his interest in augmented reality and his belief that the technology would eventually shape our everyday lives. Plus, in 2017, his company introduced ARKit to facilitate the development of AR applications for iOS devices.
According to Statista's Felix Richter, Tim Cook is not the only one to see huge potential in augmented reality. While still in its infancy, many believe that AR will eventually become bigger than virtual reality because it has the potential to blend seamlessly into the real world. According to latest estimates by market research firm IDC, AR device shipments will increase more than 30-fold between 2018 and 2022, outpacing the growth of the Virtual Reality market, which starts at a much larger base though, to be fair.
In augmented reality, digital information is overlaid on the real world as in the popular game Pokemon Go. Mobile phones use their camera system to do this on the phone’s screen, but major technology firms are racing to create glasses that will show digital information on transparent lenses.
Akonia said its display technology allows for “thin, transparent smart glass lenses that display vibrant, full-color, wide field-of-view images.” The firm has a portfolio of more than 200 patents related to holographic systems and materials, according to its website.