Many companies, tech experts, and journalists believe that augmented reality (AR) will be the next “big thing.” So far, the world is seeing a relatively simple augmented reality. AR Gadgets like Google Glass are not really revolutionizing anything. In the near future, however, it could become a major and ground breaking technology.
So what is augmented reality? Augmented reality refers to the use of devices to change the real world around us. Basically, AR takes the real world and applies digital augmentation to it. This augmentation, in turn, changes the way we interact with the real world. Confused? This augmented reality definition was quite a mouth full, so let’s go over some examples.
Augmented Reality Examples
An easy example is the recent Pokemon Go game. People could use their smartphones to find Pokemon in the real world. The Pokemon only existed on the smart phone’s screen, but in order to find them, people had to interact with the real world by going to specific locations and completing other tasks. Pokemon Go is one of a few augmented reality apps already on the market.
Another example are Google’s discontinued “Glass” glasses. These glasses allowed you to use Google Maps and other things. If you used the Maps feature, images would come up on the glasses themselves, giving you directions. Google has discontinued the glasses, but the tech company has continued to stay involved in augmented reality.
While Google Glass didn’t quite pan out as well as the company hoped, the glass form factor currently appears to be the most popular concept. These glasses would make it easy to create AR overlays for the real world. Many companies are now investing in glasses, hoping that they can make the right pair that adds a lot of value to customers and thus generates a lot of cash.
Why Augmented Reality Is Important
First, augmented reality is a relatively novel concept. Take Pokemon Go, it allows people to both play a video game and interact with the real world. For many people, this is fun, interesting, and different than their daily routine.
Second, AR can add a lot of value to people. For example, if you had a pair of Google Glasses and found yourself lost, you could use the Maps feature to get directions. Following directions that are laid over the real world would ultimately be much easier than following directions on your phone.
Augmented reality is different from virtual reality. With augmented reality, the digital and real world is combined. With virtual reality, there is no real world, there is only the virtual world. Most experts now believe that augmented reality, rather than virtual reality, will be the dominant technology of the future.
Investing in Augmented Reality
Given that augmented reality promises to be a hot field, many investors are now looking for ways to get involved. Investing in the next hot technology is a great investment strategy, and investors should constantly be on the lookout for great new investment opportunities.
People who invested in Apple or Microsoft at the beginning of the computer revolution would have made a ton of money if they held onto those tech stocks. There’s a good chance that augmented reality companies will produce similar returns.
AR Investment Options
If you want to invest in augmented reality companies, there are numerous options. Nintendo’s stock exploded after Pokemon Go became a smash hit. Google continues to invest heavily in the field, and will likely produce ground breaking products in the future. Microsoft has been aggressively pursuing AR and some of its products look potentially revolutionary.
Facebook is another company that is working on AR. Facebook and its CEO Mark Zuckerberg have announced that they would like to create a pair of augmented reality glasses.
Google, Facebook, and Microsoft are all great, profitable blue chip companies. They definitely deserve a close look for any investment portfolio. Obviously their business and operations extend far beyond augmented reality, but if one (or all) of them come up with a hot AR product, it could impact their bottom line.
There are also numerous startups and smaller companies that are working with augmented reality. It’ll be harder to invest directly in many of these startups because they do not offer stocks and are not publicly traded. You could become an angel or seed investor, however, and invest directly in startups. The risks for such investments are high, but the rewards can be tremendous.
Either way, and no matter how you decide to invest, AR should definitely be on your short list of technologies to invest in. Investing in emerging fields can generate huge returns! Risks are always high as many companies will fail, but if you pick a winner, you could make a ton of money off of your investments.
So make sure you keep technology in mind when you are investing!