The future of handheld augmented reality

If you’re annoyed with how attached to technology your customers are today, it’s unfortunately not going to get any better.

Next month, Apple plans to introduce a new set of iPhones, one of which is a premium model that can scan 3-D objects. Samsung also recently introduced the Galaxy Note 8, which has a fast dual-lens camera.

“2018 will be the year where the smartphone camera takes a quantum leap in technology,” said Philip-James Jacobowitz, a product manager for Qualcomm, a chip maker that provides components to smartphone makers, told The New York Times.

In this new augmented reality marketplace, consumers shopping for furniture will be able to point their camera at their living room floor and place a virtual rendering of a coffee table down to see how it looks. That’s not an imagined possibility – ARKit is a tool kit for app developers that will work with Apple’s iOS 11 to easily create augmented-reality applications, and Ikea has already developed its Ikea Place app with it.

Imagine bringing that technology to boating, and being able to show customers what your boat would look like in their slip or in that third stall of their garage. It may seem like weird futuristic technology or a fad, but if we’ve learned anything over the past two decades, much of the digital innovations we think are crazy at the time become part of the social norm (except maybe MySpace, but that’s an entirely different story). Smart boat businesses will keep an eye on this trend and find ways to bring it to the boat buying experience.

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