2016 has proved to be a significant year for Augmented Reality.

Beginning in early Spring, investments in AR surpassed a billion dollars for the first time ever, Pokémon Go astonished the world with its incredible success, and it received high praise from Apple’s CEO Tim Cook. Most recently, the White House is creating an app that implements AR onto a real one dollar bill, revealing a virtual tour of its grounds, history lessons, and interactive animations. Considering all that has occurred, it’s no wonder that many have been wondering about the future of AR and where it will stand in the coming year.

Thus far, it appears that AR is going to make quite the impression in 2017.

Many have reported that there will be major progress and, most likely, continued success, as the technology has now proved to be a game-changer for both work and entertainment purposes since it’s first real showing on the market in 2015. In November, Research firm IDC predicted that 30% of consumer-facing companies in the Forbes Global 2000 will experiment with AR as part of their marketing efforts. Backed by investor 21 Century Fox, Osterhout Design Group has recently raised $58 million dollars to develop new mobile AR glasses that will refine the technology and make it more accessible to people in a broad range of industries.

Niantic, the company responsible for the development of Pokémon Go, believes that AR’s delivery of relaying information will not only assert itself as useful for a multitude of industries and consumers, but will surprise people with its ability to be immersive and productive in a healthy manner that is not obtrusive to the real world. According to its CEO John Hanke, “Augmented Reality is the spiritual successor to the smartphone that we know and love today…in the end, I think that it’ll make our lives better.” In an animated short, he explains how, for 20+ years, technology has been designed to serve all of our needs, but in a stationary stance that requires us to be tethered to a singular screen at all times. AR’s capabilities will allow us to reimagine the design of technology, delivering an experience that is less seclusive, and more social, engaging, and integrated into our day-to-day lives

Although it remains to be seen if offices will be filled with employees wearing HoloLenses, or if children will be scanning every day objects instead of reading textbooks to learn about history, it’s clear that AR is expected to make larger-than-life waves in 2017. We have high hopes for AR in the coming year.

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