Futurologist Robert Scoble Makes 8 Predictions on AR/VR Technologies

Catherine Strohanova
Business Development Manager

One of the most famous futurists in the world and the author of Scobelizer blog, Robert Scoble told why the technologies of virtual and augmented reality can change everyday life and what is not enough for a breakthrough in this industry.

It will be easier for us to use AR and VR

Like any technology, AR and VR have the negative side – they are quite difficult to use by now. It starts from wearing AR-glasses for the whole day, tired eyes (especially it was noticeable in the early versions of devices) to excess of information we get.

But people will adapt to this, in parallel with the development of technology. A great example is Microsoft HoloLens.

Today Microsoft HoloLens is a complicated and expensive technology with dozens of limitations, but in a couple of years, it will overcome them.

The main advantage of HoloLens is Virtual screens, it allows a person to create as many screens as necessary. Any surface becomes a screen. You can play on the table, use walls and ceiling. And this is what people look for. When I show someone HoloLens, they tell me – “Oh, it’s superpower!”- says Scoble.

AR and VR technologies in future

AR and VR will be developed together

It will be increasingly difficult for us to draw a line between virtual and augmented reality.

The new iPhone, according to Scoble, has 3D sensors that allow you to determine the position of the phone very accurately, while other devices on the mass market do not have such an option yet, but this is where the potential for the development of the industry lies.

People still do not understand that the new iPhone uses AR and VR technologies in such a way that there will not be much difference between them. You can make sure of this right now on the Apple AR World page.

Apple has learned how to create virtual doors through which you can get into the world of VR. And if you do not open the door, you will be in the AR space, says Scoble.

For the whole world, it takes 1-3 years to use AR/VR

The main deterrent to the development of these technologies is the lack of mobile devices that support AR/VR.

The pioneer here will be Apple, and after it, according to Skoula, developers of cheaper devices on Android will also be drawn – first of all, Google, Samsung, and HTC.

The new iPhone release showed, it is possible to use the virtual reality in the phone, and then from almost zero users who are currently working with the technology, the market will expand to 400 million users.

Now the market is very excited about the soon release of new items, manufacturers have begun to make more AR/VR programs. And in 1-2 years the market will massively welcome Android-devices.

The next stage in the development of the industry is glasses. They should be stylish, light, inexpensive, but for now, everything is the other way around: that means the technology has not yet “grown” to the mass market.

The next three years will be “Apple’s time”

Now in the development of AR / VR case for Apple: the company must show that there is a market, and this will be the momentum for its development.

Being a pioneer in mobile AR/VR, Apple will win in speed, as it was at the time of the release of the first iPhone when other companies took time to realize the serious changes in the market are happening.

Scoble gives other companies three years to understand the potential of AR and VR and start producing mass devices with support for these options.

Hype around AR/VR will fall in a few months

The hype regarding the technology of virtual and augmented reality can be compared, perhaps, only with the blockchain and artificial intelligence.

According to Scoble, now there are too many talks about AR/VR-technologies, because, in fact, almost no one uses them. Though they are likely to become a part of our daily life. And by 2020 Facebook is going to release own glasses, but it seems it won’t be something new, it will be ordinary.

The popularity of AR/VR can potentially damage the market (for example, mediocre apps made just to be in trend will make people think that the industry is just built on hype), but for most good products this won’t be a minus, says Scoble, because they are understandable and provide good user experience.

The future of AR/VR is ruled by companies that have more data

AR/VR market will be ruled by companies that own a large amount of data, including their own users.

The trend is evident in the use of AR-glasses: it is extremely important for their users to get accurate information, and manufacturers will start from this.

It is interesting to watch for Apple and Google. Microsoft may be left behind, despite the development of HoloLens – their technology is likely to be replaced by something more modern.

There are also companies that have very “interesting” and important data – for example, Amazon, who know what customers buy on the Internet.

Amazon already has an Echo system, and most likely soon we will see AR-glasses with the ability to order products on the Internet.

These companies should be watched

Last year Scoble advised buying shares of Nvidia since then they have grown to 4 times (and until now it will be a good investment). He also highlights Apple’s shares, which have grown by 40-50% over the year.

Looking ahead, promising companies – Google and Facebook, yet – Amazon and Snap, as well as Chinese leaders – for example, Huawei.

Samsung – is the leader in the production of displays, which makes screens, including for the new iPhone, can prepare something brand-new.

Magic Leap can surprise everyone when they release new programs and apps for virtual and augmented reality.

The Chinese market is interesting to observe. It can make a breakthrough at least because of the huge population – there are 730 million Internet users in China, while in the US there are only 320 million citizens. These figures will determine the development of companies.

Technologies will change all spheres of life

Scoble is confident that the development of AR and VR will affect absolutely all areas of life, where there are calculations and computerization – from medicine to training.

Scoble mentions the development of Rescue Assist app from Mercedes, which is used to save people, right after car accidents: the system sees how it is better to cut a car to help people inside.

AR/VR has been used in medicine: the University of Washington studies indicate that patients with severe burns often feel better when using AR/VR instead of the standard pain medication; WoeBot helps to cope with depression.

While the funds that are spent on development are billions, corporations will run this industry, because small companies and startups have no big amounts of money.

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