The simplest form of augmented reality is to have the mascot jumping to life from a cereal box on the mobile screen. This revolutionary technology that blurs the boundary of the physical and digital realm has got both technologists and marketers excited.
Programmers had fun exploring the possibilities of what augmented technology can do, while marketers can't wait to leverage it for their branding efforts. But will augmented reality remains a technology for marketing gimmicks or will it change the lifestyle of the regular moms?
In simple terms, augmented reality is the result of superimposing digital objects onto their physical counterparts. The technology blurs the boundary between the digital and physical world to create an enhanced user experience. For the non-technologically inclined, the Pokemon Go is the perfect example of augmented reality.
The most basic augmented reality application requires a camera and a screen to work. The camera acquires visual data for the underlying augmented reality software which will then generate and superimpose digital objects on the live-feed appearing on the screen.
Like it or not, augmented reality is here to stay, and it’s growing to be more than marketing gimmicks. This cutting edge technology is changing multiple aspects of our life, and the impact will be more prevalent in the future.
Education is one of the most important things in our life, and it has to evolve accordingly with technology progression. Augmented reality apps change the way how lessons are conducted in the classroom.
Instead of relying on conventional teaching materials, AR-based apps are used to explain abstract concepts with lively animations superimposed onto ordinary learning materials. This creates a richer learning environment students can thrive in.
In today’s competitive marketplace, businesses are taking a pragmatic approach in adapting to change, and that includes the technological innovation of augmented reality. When adopted strategically, augmented reality can improve customer experience and drive sales.
IKEA has been a pioneer in adopting augmented reality in business. Its brainchild, IKEA Place, is an app that allows you to fit its range of furniture into any space in your home by using a smartphone. Such innovation will enable users a better idea of their choice of IKEA furniture compared to browsing conventional catalogs.(1)
Other brands follow suit in their quest to integrate augmented reality into a business. Today, some apps allow you to apply makeup on a live image of your face. The fashion industry is not missing out as apps that will enable users to try virtual apparel has reached mainstream consumers.
Doctors and nurses are noble professions, and the world can never have enough of them. Augmented reality has proved to be revolutionary in the medical industry. Surgeon and trainee benefits from augmented reality software that uses simulation to aid them in practicing medical procedures.
Training aside, augmented reality has also been used on patients seeking medical care. For example, the AccuVein allows veins to be visualized on the body by using a scanning device. This makes the intravenous procedure a more pleasant experience, particularly for young children. (2)
Perhaps the most pronounced impact of augmented reality that most of us could relate to is in the entertainment industry. Pokemon Go aside, game developers and media publishers have scrambled to tempt your senses with augmented reality.
Besides catching mysterious creatures appearing on your surrounding, you can turn a coffee desk into a gladiator battleground with games like Knightfall AR. And if you’re not a fan of gaming, donning an AR glass can allow you to navigate menus by tracking your eye movement. Augmented reality also opens the possibility of superimposing your preferred subtitles on a foreign film.
From the glimpse of the development in various industries, augmented reality has grown from proof-of-concept to revolutionary applications that are making an impact in ordinary life. In the near future, augmented reality will be ready for you. The question that begs to ask is, are you ready for augmented reality?