You are at an art museum and meander from room to room staring at all the works unaware of the stories behind them. Eventually, you lose interest. So, what if there was a different way to consume art? Imagine if you could receive interesting information about a painting simply by pointing your phone at it — creating a frictionless and delightful experience.
Hop into Augmented Reality (AR)
The term “Augmented Reality” was coined way back in the 90s but never gained the required traction. With the rise of the smartphone and the internet, AR rolled out its second wave and came into the limelight.
AR is a way of integrating digital information with the user’s real-time environment. It can do much more than transform your face or recognize your favorite paintings. It allows people to interact with digital objects in their homes, stores, and public spaces. Although AR may not get the same media attention as its cousin Virtual Reality (VR), it has the potential to dramatically change the way we work, play & learn.
AR & its Real-time applications
Augmented reality is a mix of interactive digital elements – like colorful visual overlays, haptic feedback, or other sensory projections – into our real-time environments. Three drivers in AR that play a vital role in aligning digital elements with our world are:
- Hardware – Key hardware components in AR-based devices are a processor, display, input devices, and sensors. The display could be a monitor, eyeglasses or Head Mounted Displays (HMD). Sensors are gyroscope or accelerometer of a mobile device or it could be an infrared sensor. Nowadays, all of these are packed into our smartphones
- Software – Software plays a key role in the functioning of Augmented reality technology. Virtual images, used for overlapping over the real live image, can be generated using 3D software. The software can be AutoCad3D, StudioMax or Cinema4D
- Remote Server – Apart from this hardware and software, web or cloud server plays an important role in storing the database of virtual images. Based on the request received from the AR application, virtual images are retrieved from the web or cloud server and sent to the application.
Artificial Intelligence(AI) also joins hands in the operation of augmented reality. Many social media applications that we use today are a combination of AR and AI. For example, on Instagram and Snapchat, various filters elevate the consumer experience. With this alliance, the AR industry would soon advance its techniques to overlay digital elements onto the real world in every possible scenario.
With each step forward in the digital revolution, AR found its space to create amazing real-time products to enhance the user experience.
The Immensely Successful AR Game: Pokemon Go
If you ever played Pokemon Go, you witnessed augmented reality in action. This popular mobile game allowed users to view the world around them through their smartphone cameras while projecting game items, including onscreen icons, scores, and ever-elusive Pokemon creatures, as overlays that made them seem as if those items were right in your neighborhood.
The game’s design was so immersive that it sent millions of kids and adults alike walking (and absentmindedly stumbling) through their backyards in search of virtual prizes.
AR Health Device: Accuvein
Augmented reality in healthcare provides telemedicine options that enable medical professionals to interact with patients remotely. In critical situations, AR applications can deliver real-time information to the treatment area to support diagnosis, surgery and treatment plans. Accuvein is a handheld device that can scan the vein network of a patient that leads to a 45% reduction in escalations. Surgeons can plan procedures before making the first cut and models can be made of tumors.
Other areas where augmented reality could be used include:
- Fine Arts
- Armed Forces
- Sales and Marketing
- Safety & Precaution
Future of Augmented Reality
It is destined that the future belongs to AR. Experts claim that by the year 2025-26, the AR industry will be worth over 20$ Billion and rapidly rising. Research asserts that AR will disrupt the business model and operations of healthcare and several other industries in the coming years.
The infographic above indicates that in real estate, for example, $2.6 billion in 2025 will be driven by AR tech.
The travel world expects to have AR contribute $4.1 billion in revenue. According to some sources, 84 percent of consumers want real-time info on places to visit, most happening restaurants and public transportation.
The scenes out of a science fiction movie will soon be a reality. AR is poised to become a major factor in a lot more areas than just PokemonGo and Snapchat filters.
A lot of startups across the world have joined the AR/VR bandwagon in recent years. Even large corporations have dipped their hands into the technology. Such is the potential of this billion dollar game-changing industry.
What’s your take on the AR industry?