You must have heard a lot of people talking about it. Especially big companies like Facebook, Snapchat, and Apple launching new features around it.
But what does it mean for you?
How can you use it to create an impact in your business?
Let’s first start by understanding the concept of AR (short form of Augmented Reality) in detail.
AR is an enhanced version of reality where live, direct or indirect views of physical real-world environments are augmented with superimposed computer generated imaged over a user’s views of the real-world, thus enhancing one’s current perception of reality.
I am pretty sure you’re still wondering what exactly is an AR.
Did you ever use Snapchat or played Pokémon go? Even if you didn’t one of your friends could’ve annoyed you with one of these.
If you did use snap chat, remember those flowery tiaras and puppy filter thingy! That is what Augmented reality is.
Oh wait! I almost forgot to mention about the new Animoji on the new iPhone X launch event, So, it’s an emoji which is animated with your facial expression through the camera. Very much similar to the animations you see on Snapchat, but you know the Apple people!
Animations on the new iPhone X or the iPhone 8 and 8+ which is called as the Animoji is nothing really new, it’s the same technology used for making Snapchat filters. It takes the help of facial recognition to create animations.
The front facing camera which is called the TrueDepth camera captures and analyses 50 facial muscle movements and converts or mirrors your expressions in 12 different Emoji’s which is also called as an Animoji.
In simple terms, you can make your own animated Emoji, and you get to choose how you would want to look like.
You could be a Cat, a puppy, a Unicorn or actually a Shit Emoji! Not kidding. Checkout the full Animoji DEMO at the iPhone X Launch Event.
We surely have awed at the Hollywood sci-fi movies made over Augmented Reality before CGI took over. It was an expensive affair for sure.
Flash forward we are into the future or the beginning of the future of Augmented reality, there are many Mobile and Web Applications for Augmented reality which are built for work and entertainment purposes and everyone who owns a smartphone or a computer can use them for free.
Augmented reality pretty much has taken over different types of industries like Entertainment, e-commerce, Education and much more.
There are different versions of Augmented Reality and they all are awesome in their own ways, some are perfect for work, some are perfect for entertainment, let me show you what they are
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Marker based AR
Which is also called as image recognition uses a camera and a visual marker, such as QR/2D to produce a result only when the marker is sensed by a reader.
Marker based applications use a camera on the device to distinguish a marker from any other real-world object. The position and orientation are calculated, giving out information are then overlaid by the marker.
This was one of the first AR’s introduced into the smartphones, as far as I remember. It was first introduced on Nokia Lumia flagship phones back in 2012 it was called as “City Lens”.
Currently, it is one of the most used Augmented Reality application which uses GPS, digital compass and accelerometer on your smartphone.
I’m pretty sure many of you already know how this works but for the ones who have no idea what this it, you just have to point the camera in a direction and you would get information on nearby restaurants, businesses and much more on your screen and also the distance of the locations.
Projection Based AR
Projection based AR is something you might’ve already seen in a Sci-Fi movie where you can interact with the projection.
The device projects artificial light on to the real world object like a wall or a table or your hand, and the interaction with the light is taken as an action to proceed with a particular option.
All the Projection AR’s I have seen so far are only in the prototype stage, this is something I would definitely want to own when it is available for the masses!
Superimposition Based AR
Super imposition AR is something which is available to everyone currently and its market value is growing by the day, which makes it the most popular AR currently.
Thanks to the e-commerce industry, the superimposition AR is vastly growing.
So this is how it works, your shopping furniture and you can’t decide if it fits in your living room, all you need to do is select the furniture, it redirects you to the camera and the furniture you have chosen is already on the screen, all you need to do is point the camera where you would want that chair or a sofa you have chosen.
There is a lot to admire about AR, before we do that I would like to put some light on current challenges, current challenges can only be temporary though.
As far as I personally feel, AR has a long way to go and it just reached the masses, which could be stated only as the beginning of future of AR.
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Hardware is expensive…
The devices which provide a full and real experience of AR or VR are much expensive, prices of each AR headset start from $900 and can reach up to a massive 3500$.
The devices I am referring to are Microsoft HoloLens and Meta2 which are not compatible with a smartphone.
Well, there are a couple of devices available to the masses which are Lenovo phab 2 which is a tablet and Asus Zenfone AR which are priced at the range of $700.
That’s a flagship territory and one would always prefer an Apple or a Samsung.
Lack of content…
Imagine you have just bought an expensive smartphone and it does not have applications, I’m sure anyone would be bored of it in no time.
Microsoft has created HoloLens but there isn’t much you could do without the content, however, e-commerce has been encouraging VR developers and I have come across some websites and apps where you could try clothes or shoes.
Converse has one of the best VR features where you could try their shoes on the app, and share those images which almost look real.
However, there is a long way to go and content could only help in the growth of VR.
Augmented Reality finally reached the masses but there is a lack of exposure to this, and education will play a major role in the mobile application development of AR.
Acknowledging AR as a new source of development will encourage the young generation to take up interest, imagine all of the inputs by young minds.
France has been the only country exposing its students to AR.
The government recognizes that teaching emerging technology in the public school system provides all the students with the keys to understanding the contemporary technical environment and the skills to act.
Despite all the current challenges we know AR has a lot to offer in the future.
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How will AR transform our future?
In the current market, there are just a few AR applications and which according to me are amazing, they are informative, interactive and most importantly fun!!
Anyone using an AR application for the first time, look stunned. Which only proves how amazing an AR application can be. As I’ve already mentioned this is just the beginning of the AR/VR era!
Remember the projection AR I have explained earlier which is still in the prototype stage, imagine how cool it would be having a smartphone or a screen where you could interact with the projected lights.
I’m sure navigating through maps would be a lot of fun with more of VR mobile application developed, having a full range of navigation where you can point at the directions and it shows how far is the next city or a gas station is.
And not to forget all of the clothes you can try while shopping and even if you cannot afford some you could at least keep the picture.
As a gamer I cannot wait for all of the games that would be developed both in AR and VR, we’ve all the seen the hype and popularity created by the first AR game Pokémon Go!!
And the hype was real and we all have enjoyed playing the game (Ahem! Ignore all the silly accidents you’ve seen on social media) With the development of more powerful smartphones and other devices the future of AR seems more exciting and real!!
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Entertainment and business aside AR could really do wonders in health care!
From a routine checkup to a complex surgical procedure AR can really be handy in Healthcare, it could provide immense benefits and efficiencies to both patients and healthcare professionals.
Imagine you walk into a scheduled appointment with your doctor and you observe that he is wearing an AR headset, for example, a Google Glass, I know it would look strange but this allows him access all the data and records about your health in real time to discuss with you.
It allows him to immediately access all your previous health records without turning on a computer or searching for your folder.
Integration of AR system into healthcare will be a major step into the future of healthcare system.
Let us take the idea of implementing AR into healthcare one step further and implement it in surgical procedures, a doctor who is about to perform a complex surgery is wearing an AR, we all know how long a complex surgery takes place and there is a lot of room for errors no matter how experienced a doctor is.
AR would provide information by displaying patient’s records, surgical checklists and also display patient’s vital signs on the display screen.
AR assisted surgical technologies to assist professionals by providing things such as interfaces to operating room medical devices, graphical overlay-based guidance, recording & archiving the procedures, live feeds to remote users, and instant access to patient records.
They can also allow computer generated images to be projected onto any part of the body for treatment or can be combined with scanned real-time images.
The benefits of using AR in surgical procedures would be a risk of delays, reduced risk of errors and reduced risk of contamination because the device allows the surgeon to access information without removing his/her gloves.
I would like to conclude that AR will be the technology which causes a great transformation on how devices interact with us!
Sooner a mobile application development company adapts Augmented reality, greater chances of staying ahead of the rest.
At NMG, we have done some great work with Augmented Reality Tech, watch out for our new application “Professional install” based on Augmented Reality.
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