Back to (augmented) reality

Like many a smart tech invention, augmented reality (AR) has its roots in military and aviation. Ivan’s Sutherland’s headset, first developed at Harvard in 1968, was the forerunner of early systems that superimposed virtual geolocal information and simulations to offer pilots an enhanced view.

However, AR would have to wait until 2008 for its first commercial application. That’s when BMW enabled a computer’s camera to ‘read’ a Mini press ad so the viewer could see the car from different angles, simply by tilting it. Quickly adopted by major brands such as National Geographic, Coca-Cola and Disney, AR then forged ahead with Apple’s watch launch in the 2010s. This developed the ‘virtual try on’ now increasingly common in the online marketplace.

At Abel + Imray we’re working with XYZ Reality Ltd to apply AR to the construction industry for the 21st Century. By using an AR headset displaying the architects’ site drawings, builders can greatly reduce out-of-tolerance errors and improve project efficiency. For the technical implementation of AR, we joined forces with Adlens Ltd. This company is advancing adjustable lens technology in wearable devices to solve the ‘vergence accommodation’ conflict – a brain/eyes focusing mismatch – that has long been a challenge in the AR field.

USD $61.39 billion
The estimated value of the global AR market by 2023.