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The four waves of augmented reality (that Apple owns)

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Jack Scharfenberg
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We’ve been saying for the last couple of years that augmented/virtual reality is the fourth wave of consumer technology, and that AR could become much bigger than VR.

Mobile AR hardware: dedicated smartphone/tablet AR hardware and software, like Google Tango phones.

Apple’s ARKit for iOS requires at least an iPhone 6s, iPhone SE, 2017 iPad or iPad Pro, with 300 to 400 million ARKit-compatible devices today.

Facebook migrated 15 percent of WhatsApp users to Status 10 weeks after launch, 29 percent of Instagram users to Stories less than a year after launch and 54 percent of Instagram users to Direct four years after launch.

Until a major breakthrough in battery technology or device efficiency, a lightweight pair of standalone AR smartglasses doing heavy-duty AR is hard to power all day without a battery pack or hot-swappable batteries (fine for enterprise users, a harder sell for consumers).

As mobile tethered smartglasses are peripherals to, not replacements for, smartphones, users will need to pay for, charge and carry two devices rather than one.

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Jack Scharfenberg
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