Last week, the doors opened for Mobile World Congress 2023. The show brings together tech companies from all over the world to unveil their latest and greatest creations – you can check out our rundown of the MWC best bits!
This year, AR technology was running throughout the show like the pattern in a stick of Brighton rock. We saw the Xiaomi Wireless AR Glass Discovery Edition in use. Elsewhere, Oppo had glasses on display.
It seems that others are readying themselves to join the fray. Apple's Reality Pro headset has been rumoured for months now, while Meta is also said to be preparing a device.
Whether you like it or not, it seems like AR is set to be the future of consumer technology. But many still question how useful it is in day-to-day life. Currently, most applications for AR and VR headsets have revolved around gaming, but that certainly wont be enough to convince casual gamers, or those completely uninterested by gaming, to take the plunge.
That may not be not all it's used for, though. At the launch of the Xiaomi event, footage was shown of a user setting up a virtual screen for watching TV. The screen size could be adjusted to fit the space with just a simple hand gesture. That could be great for users who travel a lot – no more straining to watch shows on a phone screen!
But beyond that, it could have professional uses. I'm not talking about the kind of virtual office environment that we've seen used in VR, but rather as a way to keep working away from your desk. The ability to virtually drop a monitor in front of you at a train station, or in an airport waiting room, without having to faff around with laptops or tablets, could make for a much better experience.
Newer AR releases take a much more traditionally fashionable approach to design too. It wouldn't look massively out of place like a Meta Quest 2 might, for example.
Of course, were still some way off of this being the new way of working – many of the devices mentioned are yet to even get a commercial release date. But the concept is there and I honestly think there's a place for it. It may not be as glamorous or stimulating as the gaming side, but it's arguably much more useful, to a much wider audience.