VR has been near the forefront of our minds for decades and is a popular trope with the genre of science fiction films. AR, on the other hand, has gone relatively under the radar of the public consciousness.
Yet, it’s AR that’s arguably had the biggest impact on everyday life so far. The arrival of gaming apps like Pokemon Go coupled with the practical applications of IKEA Place has meant that many of us now utilise augmented reality, in some form or other, on a regular basis.
But can momentum within this immersive form of technology continue? Will it soon spread further into everyday usage? Here are four key areas in which AR can become an everyday tool:
(Augmented reality can convert the chore of exercise into an immersive experience. Image: Google – via VRFitnessInsider)
Augmented reality has already made some inroads into aiding users to keep fit. Pokemon Go’s technology allowed users to interact with the outside world by using GPS to encourage them to leave the house and hunt for monsters – which would appear embedded in a real-world environment.
The app even rewards users with in-game content based on the number of kilometres they walk or run each week.
There’s been a wide conscious effort to encourage people to keep fit with technology. The Nintendo Wii dedicated much of its resources into providing a platform where users can lose weight while playing games like virtual tennis.
Modern AR has the potential to greatly surpass previous efforts, though. Apps like Seek, developed by iNaturalist, have paved the way for individuals and families alike to be rewarded for getting outside and interacting with nature. Seek rewards users who point their camera at plants and different creatures. When a new species is captured, an AR layer of information will appear and users can level up.
The problem with exercise is that it’s almost universally viewed as a chore. The significant thing about augmented reality is that it provides a great opportunity to reward users for their efforts and convert their efforts into an immersive gaming experience. Soon users won’t just be able to use GPS technology to race against their friends but also race against your previous times on a specific route. Embedded technology will be able to offer a heads-up-display offering you real-time metrics like the distance you’ve travelled and your average pace.
(As augmented reality grows, so too does our ability to offer new ways for young and old minds to learn. Image: MikeShouts)
Some of us are culture vultures that love spending time in museums, many more of us are constantly on the hunt for new knowledge. Now augmented reality has the ability to offer up a new kind of interactive learning experience for users – whether they’re at home or on-the-go.
Apps like Timelooper have already become excellent tourism tools, helping visitors to learn about parts of cities as you make your way around. There are also plenty of museums worldwide that have started adopting the technology to offer users a new kind of immersive experience.
Then there’s Orboot’s AR Globe. This combines the physical learning tool of a globe with a dedicated app that provides information wherever a device’s camera is pointing. Illustrated above, we can see that hovering over Paris produces an AR rendering of the Eiffel Tower accompanied by useful information. There’s also plenty of quizzes to take part in that are designed to help children learn about the wider world around them.
We all have different ways of learning. Some are more visual, others like to set constant reminders of the information they need to retain. With AR becoming more widespread, more of us can have access to a potentially highly effective means of learning. High-quality digital renderings on top of real-life environments will bring us closer to history and geography than ever before.
If education can be driven by augmented reality then so too can delegation. The Mesmerise aims to provide users with a set of invaluable tools that can greatly enhance their conference experience.
Engagement can be difficult in business, but through the power of AR managers can ensure that their team, clients, colleagues and counterparts stay switched on thanks to the immersive potential it can bring to information.
Through the use of Mesmerise, users can build interactive publications – many of which can be seen in the images above. Here, important metrics and renderings can jump off of pages and create a lasting impression where it matters.
It’s reasonable to expect augmented collaboration tools to continue to gather momentum as AR technology improves. By creating a more immersive experience within meeting rooms and conference calls, users can maximise their chances of retaining information in a way that provides superior levels of engagement.
Efficiency in healthcare
(AR has the potential to provide life-saving information to doctors. Image: Scand)
Augmented reality is beginning to cause a stir in healthcare. With lots of exciting applications finding their way onto the market, the indications are looking good that AR will begin to play a more prominent role in our doctors and hospital appointments.
In more severe situations, AR will be on-hand to offer real-time information surrounding the issues at hand and will be capable of supporting diagnoses and offering treatment advice.
One app that’s already beginning to make waves in AR is AccuVein, which helps users to scan the vein network of a patient. This technology has so far led to a 45% reduction in escalations.
One of the most exciting uses for AR in healthcare can be found in surgery situations. When a surgeon needs to perform a complex operation, they can utilise AR glasses that transmit a live feed to a senior colleague. Said colleague can then offer advice and give directions that will appear in the surgeon’s line of vision – helping to leverage greater accuracy and increase the chances of a successful surgery.