Technology has changed the way we function in our daily lives. Now, We have mobile applications to do almost all of our tasks. Technology has entered in other domains and given rise to new domains such as “Fin-tech”, “Fashion-tech”, “Food-tech”, “Agri-tech”, “Bio-tech”, “Rural-tech” and more.
We are about to discuss about one technology in particular, which can be used in multiple categories of industry. It is present since long time, but making its presence felt now: Augmented Reality.
What is AR?
Augmented reality simulates real world environment. It takes digital or computer generated information, whether it be images, audio, video, touch or haptic sensations and overlays them over in a real-time environment. It allows the user to see the real world, with virtual objects superimposed upon or composited with the real world.
This technology have usage in various industrial sectors, namely Literature, Medicine, Music, Military, Travel & Tourism, Education, Architecture, and emergency situations.
Augmented Reality Vs Virtual Reality
VR Box is an example of Virtual reality, where a completely artificial environment is created. User can be sitting anywhere, but if he is wearing VR box on his eyes, he is transported to different place, virtually. Meanwhile Augmented reality combines artificial environment with real-life objects and people. Therefore, AR supplements reality, rather than completely replacing it. Google Glass is well known consumer AR product.
How AR is touching everyday applications, few examples:
1. Urban Exploration:
Applications like Google Maps are commonly used in almost every one’s journey. Similarly, many apps are being launched every month which are easing visualisation of places, navigation, and boosting travel & tourism industry. Remember, in science-fiction movies, navigation data appears on car wind-screen, and no need for driver to look any where else. Similar technology is being build and tested as we read, which will make those scenes common occurrence. WIKITUDE app was the first publicly available application that used a location-based approach to augmented reality. Wikitude is the globally leading AR technology provider.
2. Safety and Rescue Operations:
Safety and rescue operations in emergency situations will be effected most by AR. First respondents in any emergency can be provided information like 3D maps of the area and other overlaying information via AR enabled devices. This reduce latency and help provide better visualisation of the site.
Daqri’s Smart Helmet is an example how AR can be helpful in industrial space. Data visualisation, Thermal vision, computer vision and maps are some of the techniques which modern day workers will find useful. There are endless industries with large machines and factory area space, who will benefit from AR enabled helmets. Industries like Chemical factories, Oil & Gas industry, Sugar, Automobile, manufacturing units and construction sites will benefit most. Daqri has presence in California, UK, Austria and Ireland.
3. Shopping and Fashion
“Lakme Makeup Pro” is widely known real-time makeover app, which enables customers to try makeup on their face virtually. This app makes your Mobile phone’s camera as your mirror. User can try any look from beauty magazine, fashion week, or can apply cosmetic product on their own face and see the after-effect, virtually!
L’Oréal Paris Makeup Genius is another virtual makeup tester popular in foreign markets.
Similarly, AR is used widely by different applications to enhance customer experiences in shopping and fashion space. Customers can try products at their home before actually purchasing them. We are talking about clothes, furniture, home-decor, electrical appliances and what not! Look and feel of any product can be visualised beforehand.
Pokémon GO: is the global gaming sensation that has been downloaded 650 million times and named “Best Mobile Game” by The Game Developers Choice Awards and “Best App of the Year” by TechCrunch.
In this game, people traverse the physical world using digital map on their smartphones, searching for pokemon characters that surface at random on their phone screens. This game brought AR to mass audience, and was big hit after launch.
Apart from Games, various other entertainment sectors like media, television, movies, theatre-performances are utilising AR for extraordinary customer engagement. For example in Indian reality dance show, Nach Baliye and award shows, performances are hugely effected by back-screen effects.
5. Education with FUN:
Quiver – 3D Coloring App: It makes coloring pages so much fun! The Quiver App unify physical coloring with state of the art augmented reality technology to bring you and your children an extraordinarily magical experience. It is exciting to watch unique coloring creation coming to life, that entertain both little and big minds.
Technologies used in AR
AR tools may use variety of technologies like machine vision, object recognition, gesture recognition, face recognition, Image Linked Map(ILM), gyroscopes, RFID, GPS, wireless sensors, accelerometer and speech recognition. These technologies are used in combination for different applications of AR. Augmented reality adds digital imagery and data to supplement views of the real world, giving users more information about their environments. Some AR apps also use customer’s Smartphone camera as a mode for capturing data. Now, that is a step beyond virtual reality.
If you want to read more on the topic, refer to: Augment for latest blogs and news related to augmented reality.