Why AR is the future - and VR’s days are numbered - Jack Mason, Dreamr

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Being involved in the ever-changing tech industry, the future of technology is of pivotal importance to Dreamr, and we fully embrace the acceleration of innovation in this arena, writes Jack Mason, CEO of Dreamr.

Making sure that we stay ahead of the game is crucial to our success and sometimes, that involves making bold decisions about the future and the focus of the business. With that in mind, we have recently made the decision to focus on AR and move away from VR.

Virtual reality’s days are numbered. Consumers are losing interest and sales continue to decline.

All four major VR headsets from Sony, Samsung, Oculus, and HTC have seen a drop in sales recently, with consumers falling out of love with the devices which still are relatively expensive to purchase - in fact, a complete HTC system costs over £1,000.  HTC recently announced layoffs, a huge 25% of its Taiwan-based manufacturing operation. 

While early adopters have been known to sing praises of the top of the range equipment, it’s not been without issues. VR headsets like the HTC Vive are well known for their complicated setup, and we’ve trialled multiple versions here at Dreamr. It’s easy to lose interest when sensors placed on the walls start not to work as expected. For a rather expensive consumer-focused device, this can make even the most seasoned techie feel shortchanged.

Looking ahead, I see its demise somewhat similar to that of 3D in the living room. Interestingly, retailer Curry’s did not list any 3D TV’s at the time of writing, a stark contrast to three years earlier, where CES in Las Vegas was calling it ‘the next big thing’.

In contrast, Augmented Reality (AR) - which uses devices already in your pocket - is rising in adoption. Apple recently announced improvements to its platform for developers, which will see more and more AR applications in the near future. And, last year, Ikea released an update to their app which allows consumers to “try out” furniture in their own home before setting foot in a store.

With no specialised equipment required, AR has the potential to revolutionise the way we see the world around us. At Dreamr, we’ve already seen firsthand prototypes of apps for use while shopping, showing you nutritional information and recommended dishes overlaid on top of grocery items on a supermarket shelf.

With Apple and Samsung both doubling down on their AR software, we have an interesting time ahead. AR will soon become a regular part of our lives. Expect a wide array of uses for this exciting technology, from AR games to interactive cookery books.  

There’s a new world opening up, which is overlaid on top of what we see today. A world that can be shared and enjoyed with others, all from the palm of your hand.

Jack Mason is the CEO of Dreamr.