With however many million iPhone x and 8 models out in the wild, plus iOS 11 supporting ARKit down to the iPhone 6S, there is now enough hardware out there for serious investment in augmented reality apps. Those, partnered with rapid sales of Google Pixel 2 and other Android models supporting ARCore, present a sizeable high-end market for developers to address with novel and exciting AR apps.
That means going beyond the typical gimmicks or AR photo mode or fashion AR mirrors and looking at what the technology can really deliver for users. An analyst piece suggests that AR will continue to beat VR in the market, that a massive mobile upgrade cycle in 2018 will bring the technology even more to the public eye and those users will definitely want more than gimmicks.
Brands and developers are key to AR being seen as useful, engaging and practical, with mobile use continuing to outstrip browser-based interaction.
Other tech trends to watch out for include chatbots, that could well start interacting with augmented reality features to provide multiple-layers of interaction. This could help move the desktop AR market along with users instructing the AR engine via a chatbot to create custom products, images or enter data into virtual forms.
The possibilities are intriguing and with free-to-use innovative products like Snatchbot, capable of creating chatbots for mobile apps, Facebook Messenger, Skype and other services, all for free with analytics and a clever scripting tool, chatbots will be appearing in even more places in 2018. With anyone able to build a chatbot in a couple of hours, the barrier to entry is very low, so expect huge numbers of useful bots in the new year.