The Pokemon Go game in 2016 completely dominated the market for the AR technology. This shows that there is a lot of scope for Augmented Reality. That is why all the tech giants are focusing on it.
Within a short period of time, Nintendo with the “Pokemon Go” game won more than 1 billion US dollars revenue. In addition, according to CB Insight, 49 AR companies have completed equity financing transactions since last spring, an increase of 75% from 12 months ago.
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Google, Apple, Microsoft, and Facebook have started investing resources in the field of AR. Google has two systems for AR. The first is Project Tango, which is an augmented reality computing platform. It utilizes computer vision to let mobile devices, such as tablets and smartphones, to detect their position relative without using GPS or other external signals. The second is for the Android device to build the ARCore developer platform.
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Apple has an ARKit developer platform. Developers will be able to three generations of iPhone (ie iPhone X / 8 and 7) for the development, which will ensure that developers provide a huge and potentially lucrative user groups.
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Microsoft wants to develop a separate virtual reality system and enhance the reality of the software in the operating system. At the same time, Microsoft has the only new “hybrid reality” headset HoloLens on the market, but this device is aimed at enterprise customers. It can help enterprises develop custom software to improve staff productivity.
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Facebook has completed the basic development of AR glasses technology. But Facebook uses a different approach to building the reality: it opened up a developer platform, the Camera Effects Platform, that allows developers to develop real-world features in Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, and Whatsapp applications.
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In summary, it is foreseeable that in the future AR hardware and application market will be dominated by Google, Apple, Microsoft, and Facebook. The advantages and the disadvantages the four giants have are not the same though.
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Google wants to get in hardware and the developer platform, but the Android system is can greatly benefit from AR. If Google’s Augmented Reality project is successful, they have a big market waiting for them. Of course, the shortcomings are obvious, that is, Google in the Android ecosystem has no dominance. Google has Tango and Google Lens, and also attracted Lenovo and Samsung as partners, but these partners are also developing their own systems. Samsung is also developing their own VR and AR products. In the future, Samsung is bound to compete with Google.
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The current market is most optimistic about Apple. Apple has the most complete ecosystem and is absolutely ruling. It is very easy to let their users experience AR on the phone. But Apple’s community strength is not strong.
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Facebook has a good community, but no one is in the complete charge of the community platform. Microsoft is focusing on Augmented Reality technology. They don’t have a strong developers platform.
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So who will be the king of the 4 tech giants when it comes to Augmented Reality? The first step is to enhance the reality of visualization and then focus on a seamless combination for a real scene.
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The above is also achieved step by step, that is, first to enhance the reality of visualization. One of the most critical is SLAM technology. Relying on the technical user in the information and services based on geographic information. While the user’s specific circumstances and needs will be recorded, so that at the right time the appropriate data content is shown.
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So it extended to the SLAM database. Right now Google, Apple, and Facebook are leading. After enhancing the reality of visualization, the next step is to make a scene. Make full use of relevant information on the real world objects and live coverage, in the process of covering the object and the true location of the living, to the greatest extent of showing a similar real effect.
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By that time, visualization is no more than just showing the image on a small luminous box. This so simple, but really can be integrated into the real world. It is also said that we might not have a physical screen on smartphones in the future.