Augmented Reality: Then, Now & The Future

Augmented Reality is one of the most exciting technologies currently in development. The possibilities for AR are so vast that it’s really hard to predict where the technology may actually be headed.

The fact that Augmented Reality hasn’t yet become a part of our everyday lives, might lead some to believe that the technology has been coming along slowly, but taking a look at the history of AR shows us that it’s quite the opposite.

To get an idea of the rate at which AR technology has been developing, we’ll first take a look into the past, how it all began and how AR became what it is now.

Augmented Reality – Then (The Past)

1968 It all started in 1968 when American computer scientist, Ivan Sutherland unveiled his idea for a head mounted display. This display only showed very simple computer generated graphics, however, for it’s time it was very impressive, and it was able to kickstart the development of augmented reality which is still in progress today.

1974 – The Videoplace was created in 1974 by American computer artist and researcher Myron Krueger. The Videoplace harnessed projector and video-camera technologies to create an interactive environment where users could interact with projected silhouettes.

1990 – In 1990, the term “Augmented Reality” was officially coined by Tom Caudell, a Boeing researcher. He and his colleague David Mizell created an augmented reality headset that showed schematics for planes, improving the company’s efficiency.

1998 – By 1998, AR had advanced to a level where it had been used in industries such as theatre and the military. 1998 saw AR being used by the NFL to augment markers onto the field during a live game.

2000 – Hirokazu Kato released his ARToolKit in 2000. This open-source development app has brought AR development to the masses, allowing much quicker advancement in the field.

Augmented Reality – Now (The Present)

By now, the AR industry is worth billions. We’ve had very big companies such as Google (Google Glass) and Volkswagen (MARTA app) doing some very impressive things with AR technology.

We’re now seeing AR being used functionally to make our lives easier in such apps as the IKEA Place app and the Google Translate app.

AR has also proven itself in the gaming industry, everyone remembers the craze that Pokémon Go was.

Augmented Reality – The Future

It is predicted that by 2022, the AR industry will be worth over £156 Billion. It is likely that in the future, all of the areas and industries that can possibly benefit from the implementation of AR, will have implemented it in some way.

Here are some examples of how AR could be used in the future:

  • The Travel Industry – For travel and tourism, AR is perfect. If you’re exploring a new place that you’re unfamiliar with, an augmented reality app could augment graphics into your view to provide information such as directions, restaurant reviews, tourist attractions etc.
  • The Medical Industry – The medical industry could benefit hugely from AR technology. It is possible that one day surgeons will wear a visor or glasses with AR technology built in to show where to make incisions, how big they should be etc.
  • The Retail Industry – AR will likely be a widespread technology within the retail industries. You could have an AR system in place to show you how a certain outfit will look on you, or an app to tell you how something will look in your house (such as IKEA Place).
  • Real Estate – Maybe you’re looking at buying a new house, but it isn’t finished yet, so how can you be sure? Augmented reality could be extremely useful here. If you could take a virtual tour of the house and get an idea of how it’s going to look when it’s finished, it would really help you come to a much quicker and better decision.


Only when you reflect on the development of augmented reality technology, can you get a good idea of just how far it has actually come. However, to see what AR is really capable of, we may be waiting until the early 2020’s.

It’s still exciting though to see how it’s already being implemented, many companies want to get in before the boom of this expansive technology, and so for now we get to see new AR ideas becoming a reality on a constant basis.

Contact Appoly for Augmented Reality Development Services

If you’re looking to get in before the boom and have an augmented reality application developed for yourself or your business, get in touch and lets discuss your AR project. We’re always happy to listen to your ideas and to discuss how we can make them a reality.

You can contact Appoly by email or phone, alternatively, you can fill out the contact form on our contact page.

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