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Augmented Reality for the Industrial Enterprise by Leah Hunter

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Chapter 3. Key Technologies for Building AR Experiences (and Why They Matter)

Now that we’ve looked at the reasons AR has entered the “usable by humans” phase in Chapter 1 and we’ve seen some amazing enterprise use cases in Chapter 2, it’s time to make sure a couple things are clear before you plan an AR project and pick tools to create it.

The first thing to get very clear when looking at the space: AR is not eyewear. An article I recently read reported that “augmented reality will ramp up...[from] 400,000 units this year to 45.6 million units by 2020.” I want to be clear that augmented reality doesn’t come in units. The hardware is different from the technology. It is an important distinction to make, and it is an issue to keep in mind when shaping your own thinking about the space.

Here’s one reason for the confusion: a lot of people have been waiting for the headset market to evolve, mature, and settle on clear winners before investing in AR. It’s understandable. No one wants to be on the wrong side of a VHS vs. Betamax call. The VCR analogy is a good one here. Tape was replaced by DVD, which was replaced by streaming—all in relatively short order (this is a brilliant visual timeline of that evolution). That will also be the case with hardware.

For a lot of different reasons, analysts, journalists, and investors have woven AR and VR together up until now. Occasionally, that comes from misunderstanding the tech. Some of it stems from inflating category potential and numbers. ...

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