The world keeps changing around us at a frantic pace. The barriers to AR & VR mass adoption are falling one by one. Fast.
External trackers, sensors and wires are quickly disappearing. Untethered and/or cheaper headsets are on their way. There is more and more solid content available and some titles start generating serious revenue. And 500 million iPhones will be AR enabled in the next 12 months. Even good old Windows will be MR friendly next month.
Everything that has played so far was only a giant rehearsal, but the real action begins next year.
With AR and VR becoming mainstream, they’re also no longer fresh or new. Both will need to justify their place in this world. For a lot of companies deploying VR solutions, this year is all about demonstrating ROI and having a distribution strategy for VR content. Or to put it another way: How do we make money with this shiny new thing? And who’s going to be able to see our expensive VR content? In some areas such as VR training or healthcare, the benefits of VR are starting to become really obvious.
New paradigms are being tested and the rule book for good AR-enabled apps has to be re-written. For the first time, AR requires devs to think ‘outside the phones’ as the AR world lives all around us… yet we’re still constrained to the small window of your phone (until we have mainstream AR HMDs, that is).
Oh, and there’s also the cool side effect of new techs colliding and giving birth to entirely new services or product categories. How AI will augment AR is a hot topic right now, for instance.
In 2018, we’ll suddenly live in a world where most phones will be AR (or VR) enabled, and where anyone will have access to standalone or PC-based VR hardware for about $200 - $300. Simultaneously, the first solid use cases of VR will have been tested, and will be deployable at scale.
A perfect storm of changes and opportunities is lining up for next year. Some of us will ride the wave to new heights while others will drown, unable to cope with change.
The question is: is your strategy sharp enough? Are you well positioned to surf the tidal wave ahead of us?