Augmented Reality is described as the art of creating an experience in virtual reality and is commonly referred to as “VR.” Augmented Reality is a concept of the future. We’re not just talking about goggles and holsters here; the future of gaming, internet access, and media centers are all about AR. In fact, Google recently announced the acquisition of a firm that creates augmented reality software called Metavision. So what is it, how does it work and what types of applications can people use it for?
Augmented reality describes a mixed reality where the content of one environment is superimposed over or alongside other physical content in a completely different environment. You have probably seen videos of cars driving through virtual traffic or grocery stores or even the inside of your home. In the future this may become much more common, you might walk into a doctor’s office, enter a hospital and look like you are in your own living room. The same thing could happen in your real life, but with augmented reality, it will be possible.
Think about how easy it would be to drive through a grocery store or enter a hospital using your voice. We’re not quite there yet with AR yet, but with the creation of MetaSense, Google’s picture-in-picture feature, and their image searcher, it is getting very close. With these technologies, you no longer need your glasses, contact lenses, or any computer-generated data from your smartphone. What you have is your own digital information overlayed over the actual information coming from your real-life environment.
Applications and use cases for augmented reality are endless. The obvious use cases are entertainment and business. Imagine being able to order in for dinner without looking at a menu, having a virtual tour guide show you the best way to get there, checking out a new hotel on your vacation without needing to check-in at the front desk, enjoying a high-tech meeting in the woods or navigating through a city street with a navigation system helping you find your way. In fact, the future of augmented reality will allow us to do these things with the help of our phones or portable computing devices that have wireless capability, or real-world mirrors that we can attach to our faces.
Augmented reality will be useful in education, business, and health care. With the installation of digital information displays, audiovisual systems, and user interface components, the future of augmented reality will offer a more intuitive way to search for content, find directions and conduct research. Health care facilities will benefit from this application by providing patients with more efficient ways to get medical attention. Medical procedures will be less stressful and will be made less painful with the use of touch-screen devices that convey a patient’s digital information to their surgeons and nurses. Augmented Reality software developers have already designed eye-tracking devices that can measure and display a patient’s eye movements and provide them with recommendations on how to look after themselves, using their computerized devices.
Businesses will also reap the benefits of augmented reality technology. By combining digital information with a person’s biological information stored in the brain, businesses will be able to make better decisions based on real-time facts. The human brain is truly amazing. It allows us to remember so much information that we have never actually seen or heard, as well as to learn things quickly and react to them in new and unique ways. Augmented Reality applications can be used to gather data and deliver it immediately to executives, staff, and other key players in any business.
The use of digital information has changed how workers get the job done. In fact, a common complaint among workers is that they are spending most of their time working with a piece of software or a video game rather than doing the job that they were hired for. In this day and age, with augmented reality technologies are becoming more commonplace, companies need to take the time to figure out how to use these tools appropriately to benefit everyone around them.
Augmented Reality applications can be used in many different types of situations. It all depends on what the goal is for the creation of the application. For example, in one example that Augmented Reality developer, Joel Goodwin mentions in his book Think a Little Different, an artificially intelligent computer system is created to perform tricks. Once it’s been programmed to know how to play a particular trick, then it can be successfully completed by a remote assistance team.