Wherever you go (in an urban environment, that is), wherever you turn, everything seems to be molding itself into a pretty bad cyberpunk noir novel nobody wants to read. Dancing holograms and all. I’m talking of course, about the popularization of augmented reality and the inevitability of it weaving itself into every aspect of human existence. After all, what good is technology if it doesn’t offer a comfortable escape from one reality to another?

From smart headgear such as the Google Glass, all the way to VR porn, modern advancements are steadily erasing the boundary between anthropomorphic and artificial, slowly sculpting the augmented lifestyle of the future. With that in mind, here are the top four AR innovations that will reshape the future, and the definition, of reality.

Redefining e-commerce

The e-commerce industry maintains a strong upward trajectory, currently worth more than 2.3 trillion dollars, with projections for 2021 reaching 4.8 trillion US dollars worldwide. One can easily infer that e-commerce is not only a favored online activity for most people, but that this type of growth will only speed up with the implementation of AR.

In fact, augmented reality could completely redefine online shopping, bringing together the convenience of shopping from your smartphone or PC and the reliability of purchasing from a physical store. This can be achieved through the implementation of virtual changing rooms, allowing online customers to try on clothes as if they were in the store itself. Pretty neat, huh?

A whole new approach to marketing

In the modern world, marketing is omnipresent. Everything around you is the implementation of a marketing strategy, some better than the others, inevitably shaping your perception of reality, redefining your core beliefs. Feels a bit like a Truman Show type of scenario, but in reality, marketing serves an important purpose in modern society – supporting the free exchange of information, inclusion, and ultimately, prosperity.

With the implementation of augmented reality into the marketing industry, brands will be able to truly stand out from the competition and deliver unparalleled customer experience the demographic of the future wants.

Slowly but surely, brands are starting to incorporate AR into their marketing campaigns in order to boost engagement – such as the Valentine’s Day Campaign from Starbucks back in 2011 allowing customers to send personalized cards to their friends with the use of their smartphone cameras and a cup of steaming java. Needless to say, this was only the inception of what is surely to become an everlasting trend of the future.

The evolution of gaming

The gaming industry is yet another field that is continuously attracting a greater following with each passing year, and the trend is only going to become more popular with the implementation of AR and VR. Virtual reality in gaming is nothing new, as the first VR can be traced as far back as 1991 with SEGA’s VR headset for the Mega Drive Console.

Nowadays, virtual and augmented reality has made it possible for gamers to completely immerse themselves in unparalleled gaming experiences depicting a variety of settings, play styles, and genres. From PC and console games, to the colossal popularity of PokemonGo, the gaming industry stands as one of the biggest beneficiaries of VR and AR.

Utility apps of the future

Utility apps such as Google Translate, Maps, and thousands more, don’t really enjoy the praise and recognition they deserve. After all, where would the modern homo sapiens be without the help of a trusty smartphone app guiding them through life at every turn? Probably at the wrong address.

As if these apps weren’t doing an excellent job at keeping humans from losing their collective minds already, augmented reality will only make them more convenient to use, and increase their overall functionality. For instance, combining AR with bike helmets will allow the user to enjoy a smooth riding experience rather than having to look at the phone every few feet.

A whole new world

A computer or smartphone screen is a boundary. And humans have always displayed an unrelenting desire to break boundaries – such is the nature of the intelligent mind, to strive to learn more and achieve greater feats. Inevitably, the screen barrier is going to get broken as well, delivering a completely immersive experience to the user, and creating a new world of possibilities.

These four innovations, although grand feats of human ingenuity, are but a precursor for what the future will unveil.

Posted by Raul Harman