Synergy between contextual computing and AR/VR unlocking new opportunities

Contextual computing is the combination of various technologies that can collect and analyze data from a device’s surrounding environment then present relevant information and predict actions to the user. The advancements in the technologies that enable contextual computing will play a critical role in the growth and capabilities of Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) solutions to provide the visual and human-facing component and deliver a customized user experience. These advances will also be the catalyst that will drive more than 12 million shipments of Artificial Intelligence (AI) integrated AR smart glasses and over 29 million shipments of AR smart glasses with embedded vision by 2023, forecasts global tech market advisory firm, ABI Research.

“Integrating AI assistants in AR glasses is an upcoming trend that adds more value to the device, allowing users to more quickly accomplish tasks and better interact with applications,” says Eleftheria Kouri, Research Analyst at ABI Research. “Real-time language translation, navigation, and hands-free access to information without breaking the workflow are highly valuable applications for smart glasses. For AI assistants to reach maximum value, a combination of numerous technologies spanning multiple areas is required, and only when seamlessly combined, the best product and experience will be possible.”

Mobile devices and AR/VR headsets rely on technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Simultaneous Location and Mapping (SLAM), and computer vision converge to capture and understand a user’s environment and finally, accurately overlay the virtual content. Eye tracking, gesture recognition and location sensors can add additional value and opportunities when combined with these other technologies as well. Better quality sensors, more sophisticated machine learning algorithms, and 5G deployment can significantly enhance the user experience in contextual compute scenarios and allow the development of better quality and more advanced AR/VR applications

More and more AR glass manufacturers are including sensors and cameras in the devices (embedded vision capabilities) and are preparing for next generation devices in order to enhance the user experience, improve the quality and the accuracy of sensors and applications, and improve power consumption and GPU load. AR glass manufacturers such as nreal, ThirdEye and Rokid Vision apply SLAM algorithms for environment tracking, and HoloLens 2 and Magic Leap leveraging eye tracking sensors for more immersive experiences and hands-free interactions. Platform players such as Aisle411 and Phiar are looking to enable that hardware with the necessary and appropriate contextual data.

 “Contextual computing technologies in combination with AR/VR tools are able to provide valuable insights and metrics across use cases to optimize products and services and efficiently manage assets and workflow. AR is the bridge between digital and physical worlds, which brings to life virtual elements and assists users to communicate and interact with any item—physical or digital—naturally and in context,” concludes Kouri. 

These findings are from ABI Research’s Contextual Computing in AR/VR Applications technology analysis report.This report is part of the company’s Augmented and Virtual Reality research service, which includes research, data, and ABI Insights. Based on extensive primary interviews, Technology Analysis reports present in-depth analysis on key market trends and factors for a specific technology.

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