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在线翻译:
szdaily -> Opinion
Will augmented reality be the new trend?
    2017-May-8  08:53    Shenzhen Daily

Joseph Lotfy

michaelnagy99@hotmail.com

COULD it be true that the era of smartphones will be over in a decade?

Since smartphones were first ushered onto the scene in early 2007 by Apple, they have literally become an essential part of our lives with functions like messaging, making payments, GPS, video games and let’s not forget they still make phone calls.

Before the smartphone era, we used pagers and beepers to communicate with others. Eventually that faded away and along came smartphones, which have come to dominate nearly every aspect of our lives.

With today’s advancements in technology, it is possible that something new and adventurous could intrigue us, like augmented reality (AR). “Augmented reality is a live direct or indirect view of a physical, real-world environment whose elements are augmented (or supplemented) by computer-generated sensory input such as sound, video, graphics or GPS data,” according to Wikipedia.

Microsoft’s Alex Kipman recently told Business Insider that AR “could flat-out replace the smartphone, the TV, and anything else with a screen.”

The online shopping company Amazon recently came out with Amazon Echo with voice assistant, Alexa. It’s a small, portable, black, circular device you can place on your desk and ask virtually anything by saying something like “Alexa, can you convert 129 kilograms to pounds? Alexa, can you play a Metallica song? Alexa, what’s the weather like today?” and she will respond. The user gives Alexa a command and she can respond quickly and accurately.

How Amazon Echo can be used is just one example of how tech companies are still in the developing stages of AR.

In the early development of smartphones, nobody could have imagined that they would have been as useful as they are today, yet their functionality has exploded. However, today we are so reliant on them that some people wouldn’t even be able to live without smartphones for a few hours, except when they are sleeping.

So this begs the questions, what will AR look like a decade from now and how will it be used in our daily lives? Will there be a way for humans to interact with our phones without touching them, and what about ordering food online using these tech products or automobile companies collaborating with tech companies to make an AR car? Who knows what will happen? We are living in a world that sees a substantial increase in technological value every year. It’s simply the law of supply and demand.

But this kind of technology has not yet realized its full commercial potential. As scientists are busily developing AR with commercial uses in mind, we hear claims from platforms such as techcrunch.com saying that AR technology will completely change the way we see the world.

Every tech company is always trying to beat their competitors to the next “big thing.” Apple’s recent acquisition of AR startup, Metaio, shows they’re serious about future developments and want their company to be on the cutting edge.

If these tech companies develop and market their tech products then they will create a new line of demand that consumers would never have imagined before. AR and Virtual Reality (VR) could be a US$150 billion market by the year 2020, according to techcrunch.com.

Also, AR could branch out into different industries, such as gaming, theme parks, film/TV, commerce and hardware. Who could have imagined that one type of technological advancement would improve several different industries.

However, not all of us agree about the advancements of AR. In a recent fastcompany.com article by Kit Eaton, he describes three dangerous issues with AR. Namely, what happens when AR distracts you from real reality, theft issues and privacy issues.

Trying to determine which of those will be the most detrimental could outright frighten us away from the positives. Who could’ve imagined that our own technology would hurt us one day?

Right now, we are still in the early stages, and we will have to wait and see what happens. Yes there are going to be some flaws with AR in every industry, but hopefully over time there will be some types of preventative strategies so that these types of mistakes won’t happen.

This may sound as if it is strange and unfamiliar territory, but that’s okay, because it is. People will either love new technology or hate it depending on their personality. Every decade or generation will come up with some monumental invention that will last for many years, so as a society we should adopt a positive outlook toward the future of AR.

(The author is a businessman and freelance writer from America.)

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