Augmented reality continues to conquer more and more sectors of the business world, and, although it is developing very quickly while also offering many new opportunities for growth, it is essential to be aware of the risks it brings. Privacy, data protection, health, and meaningful engagement are just a few examples of the potentially difficult areas that we will discuss later in this article. Read on to find out more!
Development perspectives of Augmented Reality
In the next few years, dramatic changes in market conditions such as business models and consumer preferences are sure to occur. As part of this, augmented reality (AR) is a technology that will powerfully shape our world in the coming decades. According to a report by MarketsandMarkets, the augmented reality market was valued at $14.7 billion in 2020 and is expected to reach $88.4 billion by 2026. The most significant demand for AR technologies currently comes from the creative economy industries, in particular gaming, live events, video entertainment, and retail. But the opportunities don’t end there – AR is also increasingly finding applications in healthcare, education, the military, and real estate.
Applications of Augmented Reality
The rapid development of AR technology, as well as its growing number of applications and their widespread availability, means that almost anyone can use it. However, the purpose and method of use will depend on each user’s individual preferences and views. For some, AR technology will be a tool for technological support, for example in professional work or education. For others, it might be a source of entertainment and a way to spend leisure time, or even a means to achieve financial success.
Wise and conscious use of augmented reality should bring measurable benefits, which will be seen in increased effectiveness at work, in education, and in well-being, and in tangible increases in income. Inappropriate “social” use of AR technology, on the other hand, may raise moral and ethical concerns and, in extreme cases, may even exceed the established legal standards and rules of social coexistence. It is also worth noting that the overuse of AR technology can have a negative impact on human health, both mental and physical, with side effects including eye issues, ear problems, and states of mental dependence.
What real-life dangers does augmented reality pose?
While widespread digitization and adaptation of new technologies can bring a lot of benefits to humanity and the development of economies, it is also essential to be aware of the risks. The key ones in the case of AR are:
Privacy and data protection
It is important to know that AR devices capture the real-world scene, analyze it, and then overlay additional visual information to augment reality. Therefore, data collection is an integral part of how AR works. Devices using AR technology collect data about their users and the people viewing them. Due to this, the role of privacy and data protection becomes crucial.
Hacker attacks and security
Despite its many advantages, AR technology is vulnerable to security threats and various types of cyberattacks. The consequences of such actions can have very adverse effects. For example, hackers can misdirect a vehicle using an AR-enabled navigation system and use it to cause an accident. Therefore, it is always advisable to apply the principle of limited trust and verify the presented data yourself.
It is becoming easier and easier for people to experience virtual reality. Because of this, the amount of time people dedicate to this technology is growing significantly. Younger generations in particular may find it difficult to resist the lure of VR and choose other activities. It is essential to remember that young people need time to experience the world as it is, not as it might be represented on a screen, and they might not get this if VR takes over their lives. To avoid the risk of AR addiction, it is crucial to monitor the use of this technology.
Although the prospect of using AR in various industries usually evokes positive emotions, we must also be aware of the real risks associated with augmented reality. This technology, like any other, may be risky and error-prone, even for people who use new gadgets responsibly. Therefore, when experimenting with augmented reality, it is necessary to monitor its use at all times and to react to any negative signals immediately, before they become problematic.