Published on December 31st, 2019 | by Emergent Enterprise0
4 Enterprise AR Trends to Watch in 2020
It should be no surprise that AR headsets need to become lighter, more powerful and more affordable to reach widespread adoption. This post at VentureBeat by Jeremy Horwitz reports that companies value the same things that consumers do in an AR solution: a superior user experience and tech that is affordable and useful. 2020 will show that the AR innovators are headed in that direction and some amazing augmented reality will be here sooner rather than later. Get ready for your surrounding world to explode with information.
Photo Above: Varjo
Augmented reality’s rocky road to consumer adoption hasn’t stopped the same technologies from being adopted by enterprises. Some of AR’s key hurdles — fashionability, broad usage scenarios, and affordability — aren’t preventing big, expensive, and narrow-purpose headsets from succeeding as business tools, on at least a limited scale.
After a few years of slow growth, enterprise AR appears poised for impressive leaps forward in 2020. Here are four big trends that will be worth following over the next 12 months.
Throughout 2019, the components necessary to create better AR hardware began making their way into the marketplace, most notably including smaller and/or higher-resolution displays and new chipsets custom-designed for AR and mixed reality devices. In 2020, we can expect more of these components to make their way into actual products.
Varjo has already pioneered enterprise-focused AR and XR headsets with human eye-resolution visuals, some optionally offering controller-free hand tracking and Ultraleap mid-air haptic feedback — at $5,000 to $6,000 price points. Multiple companies, including Apple, LG, Samsung, Sony, and Syndiant have been developing tiny displays that promise to deliver more pixels and/or greater “holographic” depth inside wearables. Clearly, the trend is toward more detailed and believable visuals, likely with wider augmented fields of view than most current AR headsets offer.
Above: Qualcomm’s Snapdragon XR2 platform concept glasses.Image Credit: Qualcomm
The other major step forward will be better processor and sensor technology. Earlier this month, Qualcomm introduced Snapdragon XR2, a new platform designed to power “premium” AR and VR headsets. XR2’s major advantage over prior Snapdragon chips — including the low end-focused XR1 and device-agnostic chips such as the Oculus Quest’s Snapdragon 835 and Hololens 2’s Snapdragon 850 — is that it’s packed with features standalone headsets need. These include support for dual high-resolution, high-frame rate displays; seven simultaneous cameras for hand, head, and face tracking; and 15 trillion operations per second (TOPS) of AI power for handling background tasks.
Not every AR device released in 2020 will include these new features, but they’re signs of what will generally be coming to market throughout the year.
Better mobility with new wireless tech
Another big theme throughout 2020 will be freeing AR users from the constraints of current headsets — bulky head-worn hardware or nearby tethered computers — in favor of more robust wireless solutions. While the Snapdragon XR2’s primary wireless marketing focus is enabling AR headsets to connect to 5G cellular networks anywhere, developers may choose to focus on its new Wi-Fi capabilities to improve mobility indoors.