The AR and HUDs not only change our perspective, but also what we see with visual images, there is a question that both industrial and commercial applications have to face. How do you find the balance between providing the information you need without compromising your vision? The key question is whether it helps or disrupts the user.
The answer to this question will be sought in the coming years, especially as a unified approach will not work. For example, a pilot may want a lot of information from his AR headset and this can be accommodated thanks to the wide open sky in front of him. On the other hand, a surgeon working on a tight nerve cluster does not have much room to project visual information without hiding what he is doing.
The question of who sees what with which device will require a lot of cooperation, but Andrle says that leaning into these applications will pave the way. “There’s a lot to do, but I think it’ll work if you specialize in different applications and industries,” she says.
Market research firm Tractica expects annual HUD shipments to increase from 2.7 million units to 36.0 million between 2015 and 2025, and TechSci Research expects the global market to grow at an average annual growth rate of over 20 percent through 2021.
There is little doubt that AR and HUDs will have an enormous impact on technical applications. It could soon be possible for a world-renowned doctor in New York City to guide a surgeon through an operation in a disaster area, a parent on a business trip with his son at home to build LEGO in AR, or a detective to immediately analyze a crime scene for clues.
Looking ahead to AR and HUDs, Andrle says: “We are at the forefront of a brand new industry and a brand new way of doing things. We still have a lot to expect.”