The distinction between AR and VR will vanish.
Michael Abrash, Oculus chief scientist
The future of AR -- or mixed reality as a whole -- is tied to the future of artificial intelligence. As the AI industry advances, developers will be able to pack more power into smaller and more-streamlined headsets, until it's impossible to spot the differences between analog and AR spectacles. Hell, even Facebook (that is, Oculus) is getting in on the AR hardware game, promising to eventually launch a pair of unassuming spectacles capable of projecting new worlds onto our own in everyday situations.
"Twenty or 30 years from now, I predict that instead of carrying stylish smartphones everywhere, we'll wear stylish glasses," Abrash said. "Those glasses will offer VR, AR and everything in between, and we'll wear them all day and use them in almost every aspect of our lives. The distinction between AR and VR will vanish."
The companies building VR are also dabbling in AR, while those focused on AR are learning from the trials of the burgeoning VR industry. The future, however, is clear -- literally. Eye-blocking headsets are not the end game for any manufacturer, not even the OG VR evangelists at Oculus.
VR isn't doomed after all. It's just going to look a lot like AR.