Have you ever tried putting on a HoloLens? It’s pretty cool. Although that was the future of augmented reality, the question is, will it be in our future? Is the HoloLens worth using if we have to change our daily routines for something that can only do specific tasks?
Augmented reality is far easier to conceptualize than define. Philosophers have argued about what is real and what isn’t, while artists have expressed their visions of the world with technology and science.
Augmented reality (AR) has exploded onto the scene in the last couple of years, and it’s only getting bigger. We’re now at a point where AR & MR have moved from being neat tech demos to having real utility for businesses looking to make an impact.
Augmented reality is a way of drawing information, data, and images right into the physical world without special equipment. It is a new kind of computer display. It doesn’t use projectors or screens or any other electronic device. It just uses your eyes and the things you see around you.
The most familiar example of augmented reality is Google Glass: tiny cameras mounted on glasses show you the information in a way that lets you look up things on the Internet or search the Web without taking out your phone.
An example might be a pair of glasses that can provide you with information about what you are looking at or give you access to all the data your phone has stored.
The basic idea of augmented reality is not new. In the early 20th century, people were already building mechanical devices that interfaced with the outside world: add-on eyes, heads, and hands.
We’re excited about 5 augmented reality future uses:
It has the potential to become a part of our everyday lives in all aspects of it. AR could be used for everything from helping us find our way around or selecting paint colors for our living rooms to helping us shop for groceries and clothes.
At work, AR can help increase productivity by enabling employees to access critical information quickly and efficiently and can make training more efficient by allowing employees to learn on the job remotely.
AR has many potential uses in healthcare – from patient education and diagnosis to treatment and remote monitoring of patients. AR could also be used in medical training, simulations, and even surgery.
Medical practitioners worldwide already use AR glasses to view patient scans and other medical data, and it won’t be long until this technology is used for actual operations.
The first step? AR-guided surgery allows doctors to see inside a patient’s body with the help of a virtual scalpel.
AR can help us get things done around the house, ranging from letting us know how much paint we need to buy when painting a room to helping us repair something that needs fixing or even offering cooking instructions while preparing dinner.
Augmented reality can overlay information onto the real world – such as maps or directions. This can be used to navigate unfamiliar streets and locate shops, restaurants, or other attractions you may be interested in visiting.
If you are looking for information about anything you can think of – from products you want to buy to places you want to visit – augmented reality can provide it to you directly in your environment. This could prove much more helpful than simply searching for information online.
It’s common for architects and engineers to create 3D models of their projects on a computer screen, but with an AR headset, they can walk through a project before it’s built. This would allow them to identify potential problems before construction even begins.
One of the most exciting uses of AR is in education. Headset manufacturer Daqri recently partnered with NASA to develop AR lessons for students about outer space exploration, including one that lets students “see” Martian rovers up close. And that’s just the beginning: soon, students will be able to use headsets to visualize any concept from their textbooks or online lessons in full 3D detail.
Thanks to Google Glass and Amazon Fire Phone, it’s already possible to use your smartphone or headset to find out more information about an item while shopping at the mall.
Businesses still use the Google Glass in specific industries as an affordable way to provide instructions or information for employees who need their hands free for manual labor.
Look for augmented reality to become more widely accepted in workplaces, especially tech-forward ones like manufacturing and logistics.
Augmented reality can completely change how consumers shop, as they’ll be able to try on clothes.
They’ll also be able to see how furniture would look in their homes without buying it first or carrying large items home and returning them if they don’t work out.
AR may even allow consumers to see what products would look like in their homes before ordering them, reducing waste from returned items and helping people feel more confident in their purchases.
Now imagine that you’re in a store and can’t find the right lightbulb. You get an item’s description with your phone and aim it at the wall of bulbs. An arrow shows you the one you want, tells you they’re out of stock, or offers a coupon for another brand.
Or, if you’re looking at a grill at the hardware store, an app could show you how it looks in your backyard, what accessories fit with it, or whether Home Depot has it cheaper. (You could also get a list of all the other uses for propane tanks.
AR is already being used in different industries to help engineers visualize engineering data and make it easier to understand. Companies in aerospace, construction, and heavy machinery use augmented reality to communicate more effectively with their clients and customers.
AR gives a new dimension to learning. It is helping the training and development industry to create much better content. With augmented reality, you can display helpful information in front of your eyes whenever you need it.
For example, if you learn how to assemble an engine, the AR goggles can show you how the parts should be created.
You can learn about assembling the engine without having any physical part in your hands. Similarly, a surgeon can learn about neurosurgery without having a physical brain in her hands.
AR offers many opportunities for advertising and marketing business. It can help advertisers make their campaigns more interactive and exciting for users. One of the first use cases of AR advertising is with print magazines and newspapers.
Companies like Blippar are creating the technology to scan an ad in a magazine and bring up additional content on mobile screens. This extra content could be anything from videos to coupons or even 3D objects that users can interact with through their screens.
Augmented reality navigation (AR navigation) may become an essential feature for driverless cars. The technology will allow drivers to view their surroundings by looking at the car’s transparent display and seeing real-time information, including buildings, traffic lights, pedestrians, and road signs.
This is particularly useful for self-driving vehicles that can’t read road signs or detect objects yet. AR navigation will make driving easier and safer as you can view vital information displayed on your dashboard without taking your eyes off the road.
Manufacturers are starting to use augmented reality to help workers perform more efficient tasks and reduce errors. Workers wear smart glasses that allow them to receive instructions on what they need to do next via a heads-up display (HUD).
For example, a worker assembling a chair would receive step-by-step instructions on what parts they need to complete on the chair and where they should place them.
By using AR displays instead of paper instructions, manufacturers can save money on printing costs while reducing waste.
Games are the most immediate way many people understand how augmented reality works. Nintendo was one of the first companies to start working with AR, but Microsoft’s Kinect and Sony’s PlayStation Move systems both use augmented reality.
The main difference between Nintendo and its competitors is that the company has been open about its interest in augmented reality. Nintendo has already developed some games for the 3DS handheld console and has said that it wants to create even more compelling experiences shortly.
The most important thing to remember is that augmented reality will change everything—for the better. At the start, you may encounter a few bugs; there will be hiccups and missteps on the way.
But at its core, augmented reality is a technology that will enhance our daily lives and make things more productive, efficient, and fun. There’s no reason to think otherwise.
Hopefully, this article has piqued your interest in augmented reality and how you can use it in your next project!
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