Smart tech and augmented reality (AR) are technological innovations that have drastically altered the way we interact with our immediate environment. These developments are primarily focused on making human life easier and have contributed significant transformations for healthcare, home life, business analytics, and public safety, among other sectors.
To illustrate, while the wide network influence of smart tech makes it difficult to pin down its actual market value, GlobeNewswire reported that the market for smart appliances alone is predicted to reach $205 billion by 2026. Similarly, ThreeKit predicts the AR market value to arrive at $50 billion by 2024. This comes as big tech companies continue to invest in its development and push for mainstream adoption.
In light of how smart tech and AR continue to evolve and become more widespread, it’s crucial to understand how it truly affects daily life.
How smart tech and AR are bringing the future today
Despite having similar functions, smart tech and AR have distinct utilities that often overlap to offer a well-rounded experience for users. To give a brief background, the “smart” aspect of technology refers to a device’s ability to communicate and work with other networked technologies, such as Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, which enable remote access and other advanced features. For example, smart refrigerators and automated light systems may have functions where they can connect to your home’s Wi-Fi connection — from there, you can access the device’s features through your Internet-enabled tablet or phone. Furthermore, smart devices are often programmed to adapt to their users, taking note of usage patterns so they can learn and offer tailored predictions and suggestions.
In the last decade, apart from the aforementioned use in homes, smart tech has also revolutionized wearable tech. Notably, smartwatches have been a popular accessory for keeping track of health vitals and physical activity. Recently, sources report Apple smartwatches can expect a new Watch X update that will include non-invasive blood pressure monitor guidance. Besides health, smartwatches also have features that conveniently allow access to social media apps and take calls from your wrist. Given these advanced capabilities, smart devices are what enable many of the more popular AR programs today. AR is mostly concerned with delivering visual elements, sound, and other sensory information that can overlay with the real world. Today, many smartphone apps utilize AR features for things like online furniture shopping and virtual retail try-ons.
Besides smartphone programs, the convergence of smart tech and AR is also manifested in wearable tech, namely smart glasses. One of the newest smart glasses on the market is Ray-Ban’s smart glasses called Stories. Created in collaboration with Meta, these smart glasses are considered the first step in the AR metaverse's public introduction. Designed to make content creation and sharing more immersive, the smart glasses have dual-integrated 5MP cameras to capture unique first-person videos and audio for up to 60 seconds at a time. Furthermore, the glasses seamlessly pair with social media apps and enable direct sharing without needing to take your phone out. Similar to smartwatches, these smart glasses can also be used to take calls and even listen to music on the go. These developments being made for smart technology continue to improve user experience, thereby making it easier to integrate machine learning, digital personalization, and more into everyday life.
What else does technology have in store for the future?
Smart tech and AR working together will lead to numerous possibilities for future developments. One such example has to do with education and medicine. Research from the National Library of Medicine shows the present benefits of AR in helping medical students understand human anatomy and functions more thoroughly. According to Forbes, this kind of teaching technology will eventually trickle down to primary education levels, and children will be able to use AR machine-learning tools so they can visualize even abstract topics like ancient history and art. In addition to education, sources like National Geographic also anticipate further developments in using smart devices and AR technology to innovate navigation and travel. Specifically, current programs that run real-time street views while giving directions are to be expected in the near future, making it more accessible and easy to use.
As it stands, it is difficult to predict the entire range of ways smart tech and AR will continue to revolutionize how we use technology. However, it’s not far-fetched to claim that these technological innovations have more in store for the future, considering all their current contributions to improving daily life.
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