If you are looking to invest in stock of some kind, but are not sure of where to put your money for the best returns, a good idea is to keep abreast of technology news. Had someone in the 80s or early 90s been able to predict and anticipate the enormous proliferation of smartphone technology he or she would be sitting extremely pretty right now. So what is likely to be the next big thing?

There are a few technologies to keep an eye on and augmented reality is one of them. What is augmented reality? Here is a quick overview:

Augmented reality is a technology that allows software to interact with the real world. A good example is the hugely popular mobile game ‘Pokemon GO!‘ in which players were instructed to walk or drive to real life locations, following directions from their device. Once at the location, the players look at their screens and see a cartoonish or caricatured version of the landscape – including buildings, trees and mountains – as well as Pokemon (small animated creatures with a range of powers and features) superimposed upon this background. For example, perhaps the player has been directed to a drinking fountain in a playground. The pokemon (short for ‘pocket monster’) will be a water-based on, and will be ‘seen’ using augmented reality, on the device’s screen, playing or bathing in the water. The player must capture the pokemon to add it to his or her collection. In this example, the augmented reality is simple, and designed to look similar to a child’s cartoon, but it can be employed using the device’s back camera to place objects against a very realistic background too.

Smartphone technology has already changed with the advent of the smart-watch. Rather than being tied to your phone, and needing to take it out of your pocket to read texts and check emails, smart-watches, like Apple’s Apple Watch series, enable users to be aware of their notifications unobtrusively throughout the day, and even while performing other tasks. While so-called FOMO (fear of missing out) means that some people can find that their constant connectedness is a cause of anxiety and stress, others find that using a smartwatch can help them to monitor their notifications more easily, so they know which beeps or vibrations to ignore, and which are important and should be opened up sooner, rather than later.

It is hard to think of the convenience of a smartphone being replaced by anything, but smartwatches have already shown us how a watch can be more convenient, and literally handy, compared to a phone – is it possible that augmented reality can be the next big thing that makes a phone, even a smartphone and watch combo, obsolete or burdensome?

The short answer is ‘yes’. The long answer is that many aspects of life will change with the advent of augmented reality (and its close cousin virtual reality which is also seeing a massive upswing with the advent of portable VR technology). Imagine teaching using augmented reality: children will be able to stand alongside the immense bulk of a blue whale, or see the fearsome approach of a tyrannosaurus rex, or even see the devastation that can be wrought by an earthquake, landslide, or hurricane? Imagine playing a game of golf, in your own home, that feels as though you are playing the finest courses in the world? The only limits are those of the imagination.

It is for this reason that augmented reality technology is predicted to be worth £122 million by 2024 and now, while the kinks and bugs are being rapidly worked out, is the time to invest in stock options offered by augmented reality companies. Consult an investment company, like London-based CMC Markets and find the best way to maximise your returns on your investment in augmented reality technology.

Augmented and virtual reality will dramatically change the way we interact with and view the world around us. It will impact almost every part of life, from schooling to work and leisure: 3D movies will seem passé when you feel as though you are part of the action, the office can move entirely online, allowing workers to work from home – which opens up the full twenty-four hour period to productivity and saves hugely on overheads, and learners can visually explore everything from the formation of a molecule on the atomic level to the immense grandeur of the cosmos.