Innovation Congress starts tomorrow, but its creator, Jason Keath, spoke to Next Reality today about the future of augmented reality.
Innovation Congress is an event meant to discuss strategies for businesses to stay competitive in the future, with technology trends shifting so drastically within the next 3-5 years. This includes two sessions this week on how AR is going to change the business game in the future.
The founder of this event, who is also the CEO of Social Fresh, a social media conference series, Jason Keath gave us insight into what he believes is the future of AR. Keath is a keynote speaker, writer, and entrepreneur. He boasts creative arts roots — with a BFA in Fine Arts — which makes him stand out due to his approach that focuses on the creative thinking side of business success.
We first asked Jason how he believes companies are going to be competing in the AR market in the future:
AR is a platform now. It's in the earliest stages, but it will grow into its own massive and integrated set of platforms from different backend providers, namely Apple, Facebook, Google, and Microsoft. The best way to think about what this means for vendors and businesses in the future is to look at previous new platforms like search engines and social networks. One or a handful of players will own the platforms. Vendors that can build on those platforms will see success. Software to help businesses perform better in AR or to provide AR analytics are some early competitions that someone will be first to market with. Consumer adoption will ultimately flow toward the easiest platform to use with the most open API or DSK. Apple seems to have a clear advantage there today, because of the strength of their developer network and app store revenue opportunities, but nothing is certain.
His suggestion implies that though many companies have not truly integrated AR into their platforms, AR is soon going to become a competitive platform that many will want a piece of.
We also asked how he believes augmented reality is currently impacting brands and marketers:
Right now AR is more of a stunt than anything with AR. And that's how technology works usually. Brands play with it and experiment, finding the places where it can do the most good for a business. When I look at projects like Lockheed's School Bus to Mars or Sephora's makeup app. I see the beginning of really useful utility coming to the AR world. Fashion and retail are clearly one of the first consumer applications that will be adopted successfully, allowing customers to try on, size, and purchase clothing or makeup through a camera experience. Furniture brands are right there as well, trying on large purchase items inside your home through the camera. What you see here is a freedom from location or distance. Data becoming location and object aware. It's a new way of thinking that requires a reset from brands. They need outside experts and dedicated groups to get ahead of what will soon be a massive UI revolution.
From his own standpoint, Jason Keath also told us what he believes are the two main opportunities for AR usage right now, as it begins to rise in the business world.
AR has two main important opportunities right now. First as a skill improvement. Every engineer, architect, mechanic, surgeon, and anyone doing detailed manual work will soon have an AR lens that gives them additional data, visuals, and instruction for doing their job better, more efficiently and more safely. Second is consumer search. This will take a larger leap and more time to perfect, but eventually, every street, storefront, and store aisle will be mapped into an AR version of our world. Every location and object in the world will become a storage device with extra features and data attached to it. The opportunities for the average human to share in information in this completely new way is mind boggling.
He also adds that there is an opportunity for AR beyond just business:
To a lesser existent, I'm also excited about the design and art side of AR. Viewing the world through a lens means that certain limitations of our world disappear. Imagine AR fashion that can only be seen through a lens.
Keath is a huge proponent of augmented reality and truly believes in its future in the business and marketing industry. He recognizes that while it is not totally developed into a game changing platform, it certainly will be sometime soon and that companies need to start getting ready to meet the needs of a future AR focused market because one day AR will be everywhere.
Innovation Congress kicks off tomorrow at 12 PM and continues starting at 8 AM on Wednesday at the New School in NYC. Check out their website to register for the event.