This report aims to showcase the fundamental technologies that enable contextual computing, and where AR and VR can integrate into this contextual compute ecosystem. Mobile devices and AR/VR headsets rely on numerous technologies in order to capture and understand a user’s environment and finally overlay virtual content. Computer vision, AI and Simultaneous Localization and Mapping (SLAM) algorithms play a catalytic role in the growth and the establishment of AR/VR solutions both in consumer and enterprise markets. Eye tracking and gesture recognition systems enable more immersive and realistic experiences and at the same time assist employees to be more flexible and access data hands free. Computer vision and AI algorithms are able to monitor machine status and deliver valuable insights to employees with the assistance of AR apps, either for proactively informing them about potential machine errors/downtimes or by leveraging captured data and provide virtual guidance for maintenance and repair tasks. In the consumer market, AI algorithms and face tracking systems are essential for e-commerce apps and real time virtual try-ons, while computer vision and context awareness are fundamental for retail apps such as furniture purchases. Moreover, the growth of location based and AR navigation apps heavily rely on computer vision and SLAM algorithms in order to identify user’s location and orient the device to overlay virtual content, at the same time AI algorithms are able to provide useful recommendations to users for nearby locations/activities or purchases and overlay them with the assistance of AR.
This report presents ABI Research’s forecasts for the total number of AR smart glass shipments (by each region) that will include AI processing and embedded vision capabilities, with more and more manufacturers are introducing and preparing for the next generation devices. In addition, the report includes some company profiles for those active in AI, SLAM and computer vision technologies with an active AR/VR go to market. For example, Mano Mation provides a gesture recognition framework, Tobii is an eye tracker solution provider for AR/VR devices, ThirdEye is a SLAM SDK and smartglasses provider, and Phiar is an AR navigation app that leverages computer vision and AI. Moreover, some use cases are examined, including Smart factory, Navigation, and Contextual Commerce, which leverage numerous technologies to enable contextual compute and AR/VR.
Finally, the report presents some key learnings and recommendations about these technologies, and how they operate independently as well as interact with each other. AR and VR tools heavily depend on AI,CV and SLAM technologies in order to deliver high quality experiences, while computer vision and AI can leverage AR to visualize valuable data and insights.