Jul 29, 2016

    China idea: Choose fast food from options 'flying' in air


    AUGMENTED reality (AR) has caught attention again as the smartphone game Pokemon Go becomes a rage globally.

    AR can be applied in simulation training, games, TV live broadcasting, driving navigation and tourism exhibition, said Chen Guo, analyst with brokerage house Changjiang Securities.

    According to Kuang Wenbo, professor with Renmin University of China, high prices are one of the major factors constraining the application of AR, a concept that was put forward more than two decades ago.

    Besides, a series of technological factors also hinder the wider application of AR, such as lack of universal operating system and technical standards, the poor performance of camera sensors and network latency.

    "It takes time to popularise AR given the technological problems to be tackled," said Prof Kuang.

    "However, possibilities for new technologies are infinite. And we are looking forward to the future development of AR," he added.

    Data from Digi-Capital, a research firm, showed the market size of AR will reach US$120 billion (S$162 billion) by 2020, higher than the US$30 billion for virtual reality (VR) market.

    In the second half of last year, many international companies, including Legendary Pictures, Walt Disney Company and Warner Bros entered the AR field.

    China is becoming a major investor in AR technologies.

    Digi-Capital data showed US$1 billion out of US$1.7 billion of global investment in AR and VR fields came from China in the first quarter this year.

    "China is a very large market. A lot of current demand on the market can be met with AR technologies," said Zhang Junbin, general manager of YSTen Technology, a firm involved in AR research and development.

    "Perhaps when we are dining at McDonald's or Kentucky Fried Chicken, there will be a pile of coupons 'flying' in the air for us to choose," he noted.