AR VR Trends dominating the Industry in 2021

By NIIT Editorial

Published on 21/01/2021

7 minutes

The immersive technology space is on an explosive trajectory. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic putting the brakes on a lot of businesses, this is one space that continues to go from strength to strength. By 2024, the sector is expected to reach a valuation of US $72.8 billion. Be that as it may, let us look at the AR VR trends catalyzing this shift in 2021.

Mobile AR


Both Apple and Google have been rolling out their AR development toolkits to facilitate developers. Apple released its ARkit 4 with functionalities such as location anchors, and a much-refined version of face recognition software. Not just that, the ARKit 4 is packed with a new API that increases the scope of creative development sure to benefit the LiDAR hardware iPhones. 


In direct competition with this Google launched its ARCore that now accepts user-submitted street view photos. The same can be used by Google Map users who provided their phone supports ARCore, will be able to see AR-enabled street images on the phone. 


These developments will bolster the public outlook towards AR and encourage its regular usage.


AR in Retail 


The pandemic wreaked worldwide havoc for retailers. As per Forrester, global retail has seen a loss of about US$2.1 trillion due to a shortfall in store-visits. But now that re-openings are on the up, technology must step in and save the day. Augmented reality is being applied to offer virtual trial sessions to shoppers who appreciate the feature in a socially distant world. It is expected that this virtual fitting room technology could create a standalone niche by 2027 valued at US$ 10 billion. 


IKEA built AR into its mobile app so buyers could see for themselves how the furniture fits into their homes. Smart mirrors and RFID tags are additional features on the same lines.


Augmented Reality + Artificial Intelligence 


AR won’t get much ahead without the assistive support of machine learning and artificial intelligence. The very reason AR mobile apps, the likes of which we spoke of above, can demonstrate object superimposition of realistic quality is due to the fact that their training models have been acclimated with thousands (probably millions) of such images. AI and ML are key to facial recognition a direct application of which could be in the virtual trial sessions. Reading customer expressions, AI could automatically judge the level of satisfaction of the customer, and subsequently recommend better fit apparel from the inventory.


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