How Augmented Reality is altering the future of technologyIt’s no secret that for most people, the use of technology has become as commonplace as breathing. Nor should it come as a surprise that there have been great strides in the world of augmented reality (AR for short) as a result. In fact, many of us are using AR for everyday tasks without realizing it—anyone who’s ever asked their smartphone for directions, for example, is using a form of augmented reality to get where they’re going.

What does this shift mean for the future of technology, and life in general? Well, experts have lost no time in hashing that out. While the size of the AR market is still relatively small (about 27 million US dollars as of this year), it’s predicted to balloon significantly in the near future—to as much as 209 million by the year 2022. These predictions are made based on current interest, and the assumption that the technology will continue to grow by leaps and bounds in the years to come.

While the advancement of augmented reality will mean shifts in the landscape for just about every trade and profession, there are a few that stand to benefit most of all. E-commerce, for example, has already made strides in that direction with the use of superimposition-based AR—people shopping for a new dining room table can hold up their smartphones and see how a certain style might fit in with the existing décor, a huge plus. Marketing is a field that is always seeking whatever’s newest and hottest, in order to get a leg up on the competition; and gaming, of course, will take advantage of any technology that makes the experiences more immersive.

AR will make its mark in more subtle ways, as well. A recent survey showed that 64 percent of responders believe that the use of augmented reality could lead to a more productive workplace, as it might facilitate remote participation and bring workers closer together—at least in a virtual sense. Some believe that it could even have healthcare benefits—there have even been articles written documenting the specifics, such as the use of Google Glass for breastfeeding mothers, or GPS to locate the nearest defibrillator in a cardiac emergency.

In short, as AR becomes more sophisticated and readily available, its place in everyday life will be assured.