How augmented reality app development creates opportunities for business growth

By Lindsay Beth Wershaw

It’s nearly impossible to explore a news site today without finding at least one article mentioning the extreme success of “Pokémon Go,” an augmented reality app for your phone. Though the term “augmented reality app” often comes up when discussing the consumer space or the hardware behind augmented reality app development, these apps transcend far beyond the consumer space. In fact, many analysts across research firms have noted how these apps will infiltrate the enterprise space. The IDC’s most recent mobility report predicted that in 2017, one-quarter of enterprise IT organizations will test augmented reality business apps for use on smartphones.

What does an augmented reality app mean for your organization?

These apps have the potential to enact drastic change on an organization. For starters, more companies will utilize their IT departments to create the next-generation smartphone.

“An increasing number of phones will incorporate new technologies specifically dedicated to supporting augmented reality,” reported the IDC. “The first such phone is Lenovo’s Phab Pro 2, based on Google’s Tango technology.”

Instead of creating an augmented reality headset, where users would have to put on glasses to merge the physical and virtual world, businesses will create augmented reality app software located in the mobile device itself. By utilizing existing devices such as a company-liable phone, there will be no net hardware costs for the company. In the not-so-distant future, augmented reality apps will create an endless array of possibilities for the enterprise, including greater employee productivity, efficiency and security tools.

Augmented reality apps for the enterprise

Boosting communication and interactions

Augmented reality apps will change the way people interact as employees and consumers of mobile technology. Forrester Research argued in its report on emerging technologies that “IoT software solutions, intelligent agents and augmented reality and virtual reality (AR/VR) technology will blend the digital and physical, further elevating customer expectations.” Furthermore, “AR will overlay digital information and experiences on the physical world using combinations of cameras and displays.”

Augmented reality apps will also help the enterprise — and more specifically, the CIO — become a more insights-driven organization. This will result in new ways to interact with data and gather analytics as companies shift to new forms of digital content that combine augmented reality technology and cognitive services.

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Mobile app development gets a push

Augmented reality apps will ultimately transform IT organizations and the way they prioritize mobile app development. Gartner stated that by integrating multiple mobile touchpoints such as wearables, the IoT and sensor-rich environments, augmented reality business apps will go beyond a simple messaging app or platform. Augmented reality technology will create immersive experiences and environments through mobile apps for employees to engage and work with one another. This is an exciting time to be part of an IT organization as companies continue to build up resources and enter a new era of mobility and digital transformation.

Whether you are a CIO, CTO, developer, marketer or anyone in between, creating augmented reality apps will be a top priority as you enter 2017. As humans and machines begin to work together, a vast amount of data will be available to see trends, find abnormalities, manipulate objects and understand data sets. Although it might be hard for your organization to capture ROI for these apps, it doesn’t mean your organization won’t be affected if you don’t begin to test augmented reality app development.

It’s a race to the finish to see which company can turn out the best augmented reality app. If you want to succeed, these apps need to have low latency, clear graphics, long battery life, rich sensors and cameras to display an unparalleled experience. Who will win? It’s up to you.

Written By

Lindsay Beth Wershaw

Analyst, Market Development & Insights, Cloud Platforms & Infrastructure

Lindsay Wershaw covers mobile strategy and mobile computing at IBM focusing on the software and services business. She enjoys staying on top of emerging and leading edge technology trends and how they impact business growth and innovation. She is passionate about all things digital…