POV (Perspective)
AR Is Ready For Its Close-up In 2020
  • Friday, Jan. 24, 2020
Christopher O'Reilly, co-founder of Nexus

According to Statista, the augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR) market is forecast to be worth $18.8 billion U.S. dollars in 2020, almost double from 2019. That number is expected to continue to rise dramatically in the coming years. The alacrity in the AR market has also been boosted by brands’ growing frustration over the limitations in traditional advertising mediums. Investment in AR by big tech has also steadily increased in the past few years: Facebook announced an update to its Spark AR platform at the F8 conference in May 2019; while Apple and SAP extended their partnership to focus on increasing augmented reality adoption among businesses.

Taken together, these developments offer big opportunities for the production and postproduction communities, but that can only happen if brand managers, studio executives, marketing directors, and the creative industry at large recognize the medium’s power to entertain, engage and persuade. 

The challenge is agencies and studios still see AR as very much a tabletop experience, or more specifically an “object tracking experience.” For them, 2020 may be the year their minds are officially blown, thanks in large part to the emergence of two technologies: the AR cloud and 5G networks. The advent of new technologies brings a new type of AR experience that is far more intelligent, immersive and useful for brands, and best of all it’s here ready for the creative undertaking.

With the AR cloud enabling something we at Nexus call “Enhanced Locations,” a new kind of reality is starting to appear directly on top of the world we live in. Far more than just a semi-intelligent sticker that sits on top of a surface, this new AR understands the real-world location you are in with a high degree of accuracy. With it, we can guide users to a doorway with centimeter precision. We know that you are looking at a specific building, not just a generic GPS location. Think of this as a digital layer twinned perfectly with the real world you inhabit. 

Creative storytellers will soon see how location-based AR has the power to transform public venues--concert/sports venues, museums, stores and malls, educational institutions all over the world--into a new canvas for creativity. The technology will provide a new suite of utilities that provide the connective tissue between the real world and online.

With the emergence of 5G networks along with new VPS technologies, like Scape and 6D.AI, alongside our own creative tool set we call Gilda, we can now accurately locate ourselves within the real world and create an accurate digital twin. The result is the ability to bring to life engaging content and experiences in real world locations like never before. 

These technologies, when harnessed effectively in the pursuit of genius creative, mean we can finally elevate AR as a real tool for branding. We have the tools, now let’s let 2020 be the year we apply our collective creative energy to its full application.

Christopher O’Reilly is co-founder of Nexus Studios

MySHOOT Company Profiles