Augmented Reality: An Investor's Guide

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Augmented Reality: An Investor's Guide
June 5, 2017

Summary

 

Augmented Reality is a huge upcoming technology.

 

The technological requirements are explained.

 

Some major industries that will be affected are listed.

 

Augmented Reality (or AR) is a new technology that is receiving a lot of attention. This article will detail the technology and highlight some of the implications for the investor.

 

Alphabet, Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL) has its new Lenstechnology that will literally understand what you are pointing your smartphone camera at, and display relevant information. [More here]

 

With Google Lens, your smartphone camera won't just see what you see, but will also understand what you see to help you take action.#io17 pic.twitter.com/viOmWFjqk1

 

- Google (@Google) May 17, 2017

 

Then, of course, there is the rage in games, Pokémon Go by Niantic (private) and Nintendo (OTCPK:NTDOY), where fantastic creatures pop up on your screen along your daily walk around town. This is another example of AR.

Finally, Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) CEO Tim Cook has said:

 

I regard it as a big idea like the smartphone. The smartphone is for everyone, we don't have to think the iPhone is about a certain demographic or country or vertical market: It's for everyone. I think AR is that big, it's huge." [Market Watch]

 

So questions for investors are:

 

  • What exactly is Augmented Reality?
  • Why is it so huge?
  • What are the technical implications/hurdles?

 

Since many articles have been written on the first two points, I will focus on the technical issues in order to give the investor a deeper understanding of the various pieces of the AR puzzle, and hence a better view of the plethora of opportunities.

 

What is AR?

 

Simply put, AR is the display of some sort of data superimposed over a visual view of the real world. This view might be on a smartphone or tablet, special glasses, or some other device.

 

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