Augmented reality has become one of the most exciting things happening in technology these days. From its somewhat abrupt mainstream beginnings (most trace it back to the release of the mobile game Pokémon GO), it’s actually developed to suit all sorts of needs. AR can be used in real estate, travel, retail shopping, navigation, and all sorts of other aspects of modern society, realtors use it most of the time to  compare more providers. In some cases, this use is already in effect, and in others we’re basically waiting on improved tech and more convenient AR devices. Undoubtedly as these improvements come, AR is going to develop in unexpected ways. When it comes to what we can expect though, these are some of the developments we’ll likely be seeing soon with this technology.

1 – Franchise Exploration Games

Pokémon GO may have been AR’s breakthrough, but it could also be looked back on as the beginning of a specific game genre. The game effectively brought us all into the world of Pokémon by putting digital creatures in the real world and helping us to feel like the Pokémon trainers we all used to watch in cartoons or control in Game Boy games. It didn’t take long for people to start wondering how the concept could be spun to connect us to other existing franchises and fantasy realms – and recently we got one of the first follow-ups to come of this concept. The new game is Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, and it’s expected to usher in an era of augmented reality. Setting players up to use their AR-enabled devices to cast spells and interact with the world like witches and wizards from the world of Harry Potter, the game has actually gotten off to a slow start. But it still could be the beginning of a whole, expanding category of AR adventures in which we explore beloved franchises.

2 – New Digital Casinos

On another gaming-related note, it’s beginning to look like a matter of time before casinos are adapted to fit AR tech. If this isn’t a type of entertainment you engage with regularly you may not be aware of how digitally advanced it’s gotten already. But online casinos tend to be fairly quick to adopt to new tech. Poker games are already designed as high-speed, real-time multiplayer experiences; some of Canada’s free slot offerings now boast animation as impressive as that in more mainstream video games. And both examples – poker games and slots – have already been developed into VR games in some cases. It could be that these games actually fit VR better than AR in the long run, but we should still expect to see programs that project real-time poker games and animated slot experiences onto surfaces in front of us.

3 – Navigation

Beyond gaming, navigation is one of the most exciting things to look forward to as AR improves. We mentioned it before as an area in which this tech is going to prove useful, and the truth of the matter is that it could become an everyday application for tens of millions of people around the world. It’s just going to require glasses. AR glasses have been prominently mentioned among tech rumors for a few years now, and it seems like we’re finally inching closer to releases from major tech companies. These devices will put AR right in front of our eyes (as opposed to just on our phones), which will mean that navigation information can be fed directly to us according to where we are on our routes.

4 – 3D Modeling

This is somewhat more advanced, and will require additional tools and software beyond just AR glasses and a new app. People are already exploring how to create 3D models using AR, but when AR gets more advanced and becomes more ubiquitous, there’s a good chance this becomes a regular activity – a sort of modern version of artistic and crafting hobbies. The idea is essentially that you would use an AR program to sculpt a project in 3D space, and the send it to a printer to be turned into a real, physical object. Again, it’s a little bit more advanced and thus may take more time to become a common activity, but the possibilities here are quite exciting.