It has been a couple of weeks since iPhone X is launched, but people are quite keen to lay hands on this beauty. While we are mostly aware of its fantastic features and specs, its exclusive iOS 11 showcases a special Augmented Reality (AR) engine that can bring your photos to life.
What is AR all about?
Augmented Reality, being a computational technology, brings subtle modifications in the images taken by the users. One can add some textual content to make the image more informative. Also, they can make drastic changes in the capture by editing, omitting or highlighting its components.
Though AR is still in its development stage, there are already a few apps using this technology. Snapchat, that offers lots of selfie filters to its users, uses AR technology to find out the natural patterns of face. Another such example of AR includes Google Translate through which the user can get a quick translation of any text just by placing your smartphone’s camera over it. And let’s not forget mentioning Pokemon Go that utilized the same technology to enable players search for and collect Pokemons in the real environment.
The foremost head-mounted display was created by Ivan Sutherland in 1968, and since then, the developers have been experimenting and revolutionizing the concept of AR technology. As a result, it has gained huge recognition and acceptance today in the technological era.
Till date, the app developers and designers who were keen to make use of this technology had only one option of developing AR capabilities into applications on their own. Because of the absence of a segregated AR engine, it resulted in completely different user experiences and was quite expensive as well.
However, Apple brought this transition with the launch of iPhone X, and further rolling out of the latest iOS 11 that supports AR. The phone sports vertically placed dual front cameras which perfectly capture 3D Augmented Reality experiences, when held in landscape mode.
Giving Google’s ARCore a tough fight, Apple’s ARKit can get that overnight fame because of two reasons:
- As iOS 11 will be introduced on zillions of Apple devices, a massive customer base ready to use AR will be automatically created.
- As AR engine is present in iOS 11 itself, there won’t be any requirement of developing personalized AR solutions.
Moreover, Apple is more competent that Google and Android because its iOS updates quickly reach to all of its users in one go. In fact, many organizations believe that the optimum use of AR will help them in improving the customers’ experiences while buying products. Say, IKEA has designed an app named Place that utilizes this mainstream technology to show how appealing your home would look with specific furnishings. It also takes measurements of the corners, and replaces the current furniture.
Importance of AR for UX Designers
Undoubtedly, the latest developments in AR will enhance the reliability and efficiency of the expert tasks. This will also minimize the scope of manual errors and assist human operators in a more efficacious manner.
However, it’s still unpredictable to know the effect of AR on mass market communication apps. Practically speaking, it only depends on the innovation of application designers and how customers react and adapt to the technology.
As per the stats, people usually delete 40% of the applications within an hour of downloading them. If ARs want to be successful, they must build a sense of trust among their customers, and then, steadily prove their worth.
How many people will agree to use it?
According to Business Insider, AR market has the potential of generating $162bn revenues in just a few years. However, it will depend on how many users find this technology really valuable, and to what extent it manages to woo the customer base.
Does AR enhance user experience?
Earlier, we told how IKEA is using AR to enhance its user experience when it comes to buying furniture. But the success or failure of such apps depend on two factors:
Will a new customer bother relying on such apps?
Even if he does, will the app be able to meet the customers’ expectations about quality?
However, one cannot judge the customer behavior or reaction in advance, but still, the quality provided by these applications will be the final deal breaker or maker for customers.
Is it feasible for designers to apprehend customers’ requirements in AR?
UX developers will first have to analyze what customers expect and create products and services accordingly. The main objective of UX designers will revolve around creating such consumer experiences that are amazing and spectacular, and at the same time, something which even the users are not aware of if they want. Majority of the customers have no idea of AR, its benefits and the applications it supports.
Apple stands out as a brilliant example when it comes to assessing the customers’ wants beforehand. When they devised an iPod, they thought from the user’s perspective, and came up with the device that was portable and easy-to-manage.
Screen based interactions
From past 50 years, there has been a compete evolution in the simple style of conducting human interactions. Now, we can interact with screens by mostly using keyboards and mouse. AR has higher chances of acquiring bigger market share as people can use it on their gadgets such as phones, tablets, etc. AR won’t change the way people make interactions with machines, but they’ll certainly modify the ways through which the information is showcased to them.