I had the opportunity to speak with the founders of Laan Labs today — Jason Laan, Christopher Laan, and Will Perkins. I learned a couple of really important points about the limitations of augmented reality (AR) today. They include:

  1. Consumers expect magic, but it just isn’t there today when it comes to precision. Some of your success will depend on setting the right expectations . . . and designing within the limitations of the technology.
  2. Active depth sensors are one of the core technologies that will help AR experiences move forward. (I found a good article on Medium by DAQRI that explains how the sensors work.)

If you are getting started with AR, I’d suggest you download apps like AR Measure. AR Measure strikes a solid balance leveraging ARKit with an intuitive user interface, but it doesn’t push the limits of the technology to do what it isn’t capable of today. The team is smart. Too often, companies think about what would be cool versus what will work well. Here’s a few screenshots:

(And yes, still trying to figure out image quality here; email me if you’d like a higher-resolution version.)

Laan Labs brings a strong mix of computer vision and AR talent into the creation of its products. The company has been building AR applications for just over 10 years. Laan Labs offers both its own products in the market as well as services to build apps for third parties. They were very generous with their time.

I am now updating my AR research by speaking with a handful of brands building experiences or devices. (Please get in touch with me @ jask@forrester.com if you are building consumer AR experiences.) I’m about halfway through my current interview list. Also, feel free to send me questions you have about AR.