By: Caspar Thykier, CEO, Zappar
What a week it was in AR last week with Facebook's acquisition of Surreal Vision, Apple's (still unconfirmed) purchase of Metaio and Shazam's PR push around its new visual search functionality.
Barely a week goes by now it seems without a new hardware announcement, feature update or acquisition in the world of wearables and AR. We are definitely in the eye of the VR/AR hype storm.
Mary Meeker's State of the Nation earlier in the month meanwhile also made for fascinating reading with the inexorable rise of mobile as the means by which we consume most media (5.6 hours per day in the U.S. accounting for 51% of internet traffic according to her report). This continued move to mobile fundamentally changes the way content is consumed and should be served up to end users: these are increasingly on-the-go, snackable sessions more suited to bite-sized experiences.
Now VR is getting a lot of attention and rightly so as it stands to herald the next big technological shift in the way we consume media over the next 5-10 years. But in the short-term smartphones will continue to dominate. To put this into perspective, looking around at analysts' reports VR sales are estimated to reach c. 40-60m units per annum by 2018. But if you compare that to the 1.8 billion estimated shipments for smartphones per annum you can see the huge gulf when it comes to mass adoption and usage of these devices.
The pace of change in AR and VR and the rise of the new mobile canvas across devices creates a new need: the delivery of the next generation of software tools to build mobile-first experiences that are AR-ready out of the box and deliver immersive and interactive bite-size entertainment.
At Zappar we've been at the forefront of delivering content for this new canvas. We've spent the last five years understanding how to develop a new language to cater for snackable and truly engaging mobile experiences which we've been creating ourselves at Zappar HQ. But our mission has always been about democratising AR and supporting the content creators of the future. So after 2 years of development these tools are now ready to share with the world. We call it Zappar Studio. We'll be premiering it for the first time at Augmented World Expo in Santa Clara on Tuesday 9th June. Beta registration is now open at https://zapcode.it/studio/.
We're looking forward to seeing the epic content that people around the world bring to this brave new frontier. Come join us.