Augmented World Expo: AR technology gains traction in new markets
Augmented Reality -- or super-imposing computer-generated images into a real-world environment -- is slowly gaining traction in new markets. But experts say, while many businesses are currently trying to cash in on the technology, we're only experiencing at a sliver of its real potential at the moment. CGTN's Mark Niu visited the Augmented World Expo in California to find out more.
At Augmented Reality World Expo, companies show how AR can be used to diagnose problems from afar to keep operations running smoothly.
ORI INBAR CO-FOUNDER, AUGMENTED WORLD EXPO "Recent surveys are showing that over 70 percent of Fortune 1000 companies have already adopted AR or are planning to adopt it in the next couple of years."
Using Atheer's Augmented Reality software, Porsche has been able to reduce customer resolution time by 40 percent.
When facing a mystery problem, technicians slip on a pair of AR glasses and call an expert to guide them through the repair.
AMAR DHALIWAL CEO, ATHEER "In the past, if the technician couldn't fix a car, Porsche would send one of their experts to the dealership or the dealership would send the car back to Atlanta or wherever they needed to tend to. That's both fabulously expensive, time-consuming and customers get upset."
The industry is well aware of workers' fears that robots and artificial intelligence will soon be taking their jobs. But some experts believe AR has the potential to make human workers more productive by training them only when they need it.
SCOTT MONTGOMERIE CO-FOUNDER & CEO, SCOPE AR "If we can literally teach you what you are doing, give you a quick refresher when you do your job or while you are doing a job, instruct you what you are supposed to do, that's going to be much more cost effective than spending weeks or years doing repetition."
MARK NIU SANTA CLARA, CALIFORNIA "There's even an eyewear museum with spectacles of AR and VR history. While a few of the products are being tinkered with, the vast majority never hit the market and were discontinued."
While AR glasses have made inroads in enterprise, companies are still having trouble finding the right fit for ordinary consumers. Beijing's nreal is hoping to bridge that gap by announcing its 500 dollar mixed reality glasses will hit the market in limited quantities this year and the mass market next year. You can check your mail, play games and watch videos anywhere.
FRANCIS BEA MARKETING DIRECTOR, NREAL "At the end of the day for regular people or consumers to wear it, it has to be comfortable and also friendly on your face. We don't actually have any cameras that are taking images of people around you, so it's kind of a rather enclosed environment."
Augmented World Expo's co-founder believes eyewear of the future should not rely on capturing and selling personal data.
ORI INBAR CO-FOUNDER, AUGMENTED WORLD EXPO "I'm talking about the idea of collecting the knowledge across many, many people and that knowledge is very valuable, so you can use that to sell it to other people as a service. I think it could be much more valuable then what advertising is doing today."
While pioneering specs like the original Google Glass failed for being too invasive, the success of the next generation of AR may hinge on not only reinventing design, but business models as well. Mark Niu, CGTN, Santa Clara, California.