Augmented people, Mixed Reality and Business Model changes

  • 11.03.2021
  • Article

As a result of the last technology trend from the IDC 2021, Tablets are a common device, and closed in on personal computers in terms of functionalities, 2020 has about 20% sales – 52 millions units.

Apple leads with 36% market shares, Samsung 19%, Lenovo almost 6%, then behind Amazon, Huawei and some others.

Today there are almost no new features, but tablets are still evolving, they have more power, better sensors, and last but not least: LiDAR.

What’s LiDAR?

LiDAR is a technological method that operates similarly to radar, but emits pulsed laser light instead of microwaves.

For which purpose? It is a method for measuring distances (ranging) by illuminating the target with laser light and measuring the reflection time the light takes to return to the sensor.

LiDAR is one of the technologies that might increase the interest in tablets and helps increase sales, others are of course Mixed-Reality (MR) or AR occlusion.

Fundamentally, AR occlusion is essential for experiences to be immersive. Virtual objects should be displayed only when there is no physical object in between them and the camera. This is an important feature which, unfortunately, was missing in today’s mobile AR applications.

How is occlusion currently being solved?

LiDAR has been around for 60 years, aiding everything from the Apollo missions to mining. But it is only recently that it became manageable enough in size to become part of our everyday technology, embedded in smartphones and tablets. Today, LiDAR scanners are already available on smartphones such as the Galaxy S20+, with its ‘Time of Flight’ sensor, and on Apple’s iPhone 12.

A game changer for AR experience

LiDAR increases a scene’s potential of interactivity. Notably, when content becomes more interactive, it becomes more memorable and engaging.

One of the most important advances in augmented reality in the new iPhone is the improved ‘occlusion’, which allows real-world objects to appear between the camera and the augmented reality effect.

Whereas ‘traditional’ AR was limited by the fact that the AR element always had to be in the foreground of the experience, occlusion means that an AR element can now disappear behind a real element.

In this example, the blue element is a virtual 3D element, while the white wall is representative of the real-life environment. In both pictures the blue pillar is in the same position behind the wall, the difference being that in picture 1 LiDAR technology is used to accurately portray this in Augmented Reality.
Thanks to occlusion (LiDAR) the 3D Element is only partially shown behind the real object in the first picture. Without occlusion the blue pillar would show up in AR as indicated in picture 2.
Thanks to the LiDAR technology, the device can calculate and display the real position of the object.


“Getting occlusion correct in AR is vital to maintain the illusion of immersive reality”


Occlusion is also branded as MR (Mixed Reality by Microsoft).

AR, an emerging technology?

AR (augmented reality) is no longer considered as an emerging technology and is now ready to move to productivity in the enterprise space (Gartner hype cycle).

According to Gartner, augmented reality has matured so rapidly that it is no longer considered an “emerging technology”.

This means that AR has matured into a proven technology that executives can safely invest in to improve and innovate their business.

“Key learning from these early commercial deployments is the role of AR in complex business solutions: it thrives when used in combination with other technologies, rather than a stand-alone feature. AR acts as an indispensable component for highly tailored solutions that require a deeper integration between digital and real worlds within the enterprise.

Catalyzed by a global pandemic, augmented reality will become more ubiquitous and move to where it should be – blended with the world around us.”
(source: – Martin Herdina)

Tablets, what else?

Tablets are perfect devices to view AR, conventional smartphone screens are sometimes too small. Why not rugged tablets for industries, they are designed to support dusty environment, or high temperature. As MR (Occlusion) and AR will become more and more common, a merge between industrial tablets can be the next stage to complete the concept of augmented people.

AR / MR Glasses are the other channel made to improve user experience. One of the best MR examples is the Microsoft Hololens. Hololens competitors are also engaging into these niche markets where there is high value for many purposes.

In this rapidly expanding digital world, customers/operators expect personalized/enterprise service for more value-based solutions. This drives the creation of new business models and easier and faster users adoption.

User experience (UX) is one key factor of the entire Industry 4.0 concept; employees, customers, partners, and suppliers expect a mobile-first, tablet-first, anywhere, any-device UX.

More productivity?

Improving UX with MR or AR can improve employee productivity and adoption.

Like  the video game industry, AR / MR can use the same adoption method

Running MR or AR, the entire multi-channel supply-chain management can be simplified to the point that a single employee can manage the entire end-to-end process from input to quick payment.

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