3/7/2017

Augmented Reality: A Big Reality

Augmented reality: a huge trend for 2017 in the UX world. At this point, everyone has heard of at least one app that can turn the normal world into an interactive game of knowledge and power (and that app is most likely Pokémon GO). And let’s face it, Pokémon GO was huge! It was on the news everyday, drumming up local business with PokeStops. You couldn’t go anywhere without seeing someone playing that game. But the truth is, AR has been around a lot longer than Pokémon GO. Google Glass came out 3 years earlier, but, as we know, wasn’t very successful. I can even remember taking picture of my house and virtually painting wall colors years before either of these things came out!

Other apps serve more resourceful purposes. Google Translate allow viewers to translate languages from a picture (which, by the way, is great for menus in other countries). Another app guides forgetful consumers to where they parked their car. Another acts as a mechanic, showing you where and how to change the oil in your car.

Although they all serve different purposes, these AR apps are changing the way people go about their every day lives. AR in areas like retail is expected to grow this year. Other trends are even turning 2D drawings into 3D renderings. Perhaps the biggest thing is seeing new AR headsets and wearables on the market that are more functional and affordable than Google Glass. Wearables allow  you to check Facebook, emails and routes without ever looking at your phone. This reality may someday be built into our contacts and prescription glasses.

But what does this mean? All of this new technology changes the way we function. It can make our lives easier, but it can also make us lazier. Even worse, it can control us. Anyone who has seen the first episode of Black Mirror knows what I’m talking about. These people can see one another’s profiles and ratings just by looking at them. Talk about major Facebook stalking! Not to say that we will ever reach the point where we live based on online ratings, but seeing a Facebook profile next to the face of a stranger is very much a possibility.

There’s no doubt that AR will continue to grow and take a part of our lives more and more throughout this year and the years to come. AR offers countless opportunities for designers and developers to enhance people’s lives, and it’s exciting to imagine all of the possibilities the future may hold. However, I do believe that we have to be mindful of how far we take it. AR can be a very dangerous and invasive form of technology (think back to all of the robberies that happened during the Pokémon GO phase). No longer will UX designers be just designing websites and apps, but they will be creating new, extraordinary realities for ordinary people. The work we create from here on out will impact our lives, for better or for worse, let’s just hope it’s for the better.

Happy Creating 🙂

Sources from this article:

12 Mobile UX Trends

Top 15 Augmented Reality Trends

Best Augmented Reality Apps

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