5 App Categories AR Is Going To Overhaul Completely
Augmented reality apps are nothing new at this point, but in some sense, they’re still just getting started. One can make the argument that since Pokémon GO and the announcement of the ARKit and ARCore mobile development tools roughly a year later, there haven’t been significant advances in AR – just new apps now and then.
The big change that industry watchers are all waiting on is the arrival of glasses that will reach the consumer market in a significant way. Apple’s long-rumoured AR glasses will improve AR experiences likely in more ways than we could possibly imagine at this stage. In the most basic sense though, these glasses will transfer AR from phone screens to lenses, making most every conceivable app more convenient, more mobile, and more satisfying. Some even seem to believe that AR glasses will essentially revolutionize our entire notion of everyday mobile tech.
Now, with this sort of improvement coming in AR, we’re faced with the reality that certain types of apps are going to change drastically. Some will undoubtedly be adequate or even better in their traditional form. Furthermore, a great many AR apps will be purely original, rather than being direct improvements on traditional mobile programs. In some cases though, we’re going to see AR completely overhaul experiences we’re used to enjoying on our phones.
Some categories that could see this kind of overhaul are listed below.
It’s actually already being written that the best workouts take place in augmented reality, and while this is at this point an easily disputed statement, it hints at a near future in which AR fitness is a major category. From enhanced cycling to simulated sports, to basic fitness tracking, AR is going to completely change how we think of working out with our phones.
Photo Editing Apps
There seem to be about a million photo editing apps available for download, and many of them can help you to turn your average iPhone shot into a professional-looking photograph. The trouble is that you really need to know what you’re doing, and you need to be able to physically manage it on a fairly small screen. Augmented reality could potentially change this by blowing up photos in 3D space, giving us a better perspective and a better ability to make clear, intentional changes.
This may not be the most vital category, but it could become a very beautiful and immersive one. Right now, many of the best weather apps on mobile devices will show the weather in the background in addition to telling you the specifics. So, for instance, the app may show rainfall, possibly even with sound effects, to let you know there are showers outside. Now, imagine this same idea in AR. Through AR glasses, we might essentially see full simulations of the outdoor weather around us – only without getting hot, cold, or wet, of course.
Casino apps actually represent one of the more innovative categories in mobile entertainment, in that they’re always working on new things to attract attention. They largely focus on trying to give players good deals to lure them in, or on showcasing new themes and graphics for games. But they’ve also embraced 3D gaming, virtual reality, and live dealer feeds in the last couple of years. If AR is the next step, it stands to completely change how we think of these apps. The tech can make the games feel just like the real things, such that cards are being dealt, or a slot machine is materializing, right in front of you.
This is a broad category that actually touches on various app genres at once, but suffices it to say there are a lot of different storytelling mechanisms in app stores. Many of them have game-like components to them, such that they essentially become playable stories; others focus on animation so that they can bring their tales to life visually. Most any app in this category can be enhanced by AR though. We might imagine anything from flipping the pages on a virtual book to playing through a mystery with interactive elements, to seeing characters come to life to narrate to us. It will be an exciting, varied world or a category.