(Photo: Iron Man 1, 2008)
Do you remember the user interface in Minority Report, where Tom Cruise can control the holographic screen via his giant gestures gloves? Or the scene in Iron Man, where Robert Downey Jr. is modifying his new iron man suit via an Augmented Reality (AR) holography? After 8 years, in 2016, Pokeman Go (AR mobile game) stampeded on worldwide street, you could see people catching Pikachu in the middle of street, especially in Taiwan, check the picture below. These Taiwanese people were just playing Pokeman Go. Everyone was holding his/her phone and trying to aim for the best angle.
(Photo: news.ebc.net.tw, 2016)
This year, Apple unveiled its AR platform, ARKit during WWDC17. It is a set of tools for 3rd parties’ developer to build AR into their apps. In one example, Apple showed on stage, a user saw a battle taking place right on the table via his iPad. It brought the otherwise empty table right to life. The quality was pretty amazing. Apple CEO Tim Cook said he can predict that AR will be a huge part in Apple’s future.
(Photo: Apple/ARKit WWDC17, 2017)
Suddenly, I realized a big trend that Steve Jobs indirectly pointed out in his WWDC17’s speech. He mentioned that several billions of iPhones and iPads will be able to run new apps which supports ARKit via iOS11. How about Google’s Tango? This platform started earlier than ARKit, but it requires 3D sensor, which only “2” devices can support it (Lenovo Phablet 2 Pro and Asus ZenFone AR). Even Google’s talented engineers can overcome this hardware limitation. Use software to instead of 3D sensor function… Cruelly, check the picture below, Steve Jobs in WWDC17, proudly announced only 7% of Android devices installed or updated to Android 7 version. On the contrary, iOS devices are 86%, and a lot of Android devices do not want to upgrade, because there is a huge number of Android devices in the world that are still in Android 4.4 version. Because they need to avoid Google’s CTS (Compatible Test Suit) test for cost saving, Android 4.4 already can support 90% of apps.
Therefore, Apple will become the biggest AR platform in the world very soon, and Apple can keep dominating it for at least several years. The one who can control the "closed system" or "pay for VIP memberhip," controls the users. The one who can sell billions of closed system devices or VIP memberships, controls the world. Now the answer cannot be more obvious... Apple devices and Amazon's Prime (and Echo).
(Photo: Apple/WWDC17, 2017)
So what business opportunities can we seize by this AR trend? Just typing “AR” or “Augmented Reality” to search Alibaba.com, you will find out a lot of products can still get you profit, such as AR gun and AR toys, check the pictures below.
(Source: Alibaba.com, 2017)