We are about to become involuntary participants in a technological revolution that will influence not only our economics but also our lifestyle.
Apple are finalising the implementation of ARKit and Google are racing alongside with ARCore.
Both of these developments will allow the existing users of iPhones, iPads and Android devices to begin downloading applications and games that utilise AR (augmented reality) as part of their user experience.
In the case of Apple, this will be in the next few months with the full release of IOS 11.
Even in gaming, the numbers are staggering. Apple are expected to sell over $3bn of in-game purchases from those who have downloaded Pokemon Go – in just 2 years.
The application of AR goes far beyond gaming.
You and I will be using AR daily on our smartphones to conduct our retail research, to shop, to investigate the world around us and to connect.
E-commerce driven by AR – pointing your phone across a busy city square to identify restaurants that have tables available, to look for the shop that sells the running shoes you are looking for, to identify a hotel with rooms available that fit your profile on price and quality. Then book or buy before you walk through the door.
Social media driven by AR – a permanent connection to everyone you know that instantly notifies you when others are close and automatically records your life story as it happens.
Healthcare driven by AR – your medical advisers predictively maintaining your health by alerting you when the readings from your body indicate action required.
“AR is big and profound,” Apple chief executive Tim Cook told investors earlier in August. “and this is one of those huge things that we’ll look back at and marvel on the start of it.”
For most of us, being ready for this isn’t about learning the technology but it is about being open to change.
The innovators will make fortunes (and the investors who back them) – small teams of very young entrepreneurs who are flexible and lean enough to experiment.
Think Instagram – 7 people who sold to Facebook for $1bn. Think MeetEdgar, a young couple who built £3m+ annual sales in less than 2 years, with a team of 18 freelancers.
I’m not personally interested in gaming, in spite of the billions that other people spend, it’s not my idea of fun. I am interested in how AR will affect the three things that fascinate me:
what makes people tick
what makes a great business and
how technology can change our lives for the better