what_is_augmented_reality

Of-late, we have been exposed to a good range of technologies. Most of these are 4th industrial revolution technologies, that are changing the world very fast. Almost no industry has remained untouched by these technologies.

Augmented reality or AR is one such technology. It is at evolving phase but is the next big thing.What exactly is AR and how it works?

It is the technology that offers a more sophisticated version of the physical world on a real-time basis. The experience is enriched by perceptual information generated by machines. Process is executed with different elements: sound, visual and other stimuli. This technology has specific limitations that have restricted its widespread usage for now, but in the future, it would gain as much popularity as its twin technology- virtual reality.

AR aims to give an immersive experience to the users. One of the relevant examples is the game “Pokemon Go.” The game became popular in a few years. It lets the gamer follow a digital map and travel physical world in search of cartoon creatures.

It is still popular and on July 17, 2021, Niantic, the software development company based out of San Francisco, would hold an online Pokemon Go Fest.

The things that are used in this emerging tech are display systems, optical projection system, handheld devices and others. To have better experience, a head-mounted display is worn on the forehead that is helmet mounted.
Some of the most used headsets are from Vuzix, Meta, HoloLens and ODG.

Understanding details of hardware requirements and devices:

Sensors:

It collects data from physical environment, and further transmitting to AR applications.

Displaying:

When you are offering an augmented experience, you should have the right hardware for displaying additional content. The device should further have a high-resolution display.

Processing:

The smartphones, AR smart glasses, and tablets collect the data from GPS, gyroscope and others. The flow of data can be dealt with sensors, GPU, random access memory and others.

Head-up display:

The head-up display is the transparent display that is used to show visual content within the scene of the viewpoint.

Virtual retinal displays:

These displays looked like the VR glasses. Here the project AR content is used on the retina of the user.

All these devices make the augmented reality experience a delightful one.

Recent real-time examples of augmented reality and upcoming AR technologies:

  • Apple showcased a good range of AR tools in the worldwide developer’s conference on June 7, 2021.
  • Apple CEO, Tim Cook has stated AR as the next big thing
  • As per the news on March 31, 2021, US Army contract for the augmented reality headsets is a big deal now with Microsoft. The organization would deliver 120,000 devices based on the HoloLens AR headset to the US army.

AR for indoor navigation is the next promising tech:

What is navigation?

It is the process of knowing one’s position and following instructions primarily on mobile map to reach right location.

There are different types of navigation such as outdoor navigation and indoor navigation.

types-navigation-indoor-outdoor
Source: mobidev

What is outdoor navigation and how are AR systems used here?
Outdoor navigation is primarily used by backpackers, mountaineers, hikers and others.
In outdoor AR navigation system, the applications that are used -AR browsers which show the virtual point of interest that is on top of the camera’s view. Unlike AR in indoor navigation, the technology is still evolving in outdoor navigation.

What is indoor navigation and where all can it be used?
It is the navigation that can be used for guiding people across complex buildings and its surroundings. In this system, the user comes to know his location and further can navigate to the exact route.

Navigation
Source: Favendo

This is how the indoor navigation works. And with the integration of augmented reality technology, it further enhances performance. The ultra-wideband, Wi-fi RTT, visual markers are some of the solutions that make AR experience a great one.

This technology can be used in surroundings such as:

Shopping malls:

Indoor navigation can significantly be used in shopping malls. The navigation offers specific directions to a store. The marketing team could then collect useful marketing information.

The data offers such as the time spent on a particular store. It can also find how much directions customers need to gravitate towards specific products and so on.

For example, if mall owners want to increase footfalls, then AR can be rightly used. Cars give an adrenaline rush to many, so offering 3D experience with augmented reality in malls could amaze visitors. They can feel driving cars on a real-time basis.

Airports:

With swanky and large airports across the world, indoor navigation can be used by travelers to move fast to different gates at right time. AR here in the future could have a crucial role. A ground service agent on each passenger’s mobile phone can guide through various terminals.

Hospitals:

With hospitals having different floors and departments, indoor navigation can be used here. It can help visitors trying to find different locations.

It is also helpful for healthcare professionals. In future, AR could be extensively used in performing low-risk surgeries. The technology is designed to make task easier for professionals. It would also lead to better results.

List of announcements by Apple:

Object capture:

The company has come up with application programming interfaces enabling apps to create 3D models. This object capture is an advanced technology that facilitates camera in taking various photographs of a specific object and further getting them into a 3D model.

This technology is expected to be used primarily in e-commerce industry.

ARKit5:

This is another tool aiming to make a refined augmented reality experience. This tool helps focus on finding where to place digital objects in real-time scenario. It is 5th version after the release of first version in the year 2017.

The top companies and industries using AR:

The top AR companies are Microsoft, CitrusBits, Apple, 4Experience.
Some of the top industries that are using AR are education, marketing, healthcare, retail and others.

Robert Jordan, a seasoned marketing professional with over 10 years of experience, currently working as Media Relations Manager at InfoClutch Inc. Have expertise in setting up the lead flow for budding startups and takes it to next level. Have a deep interest in SEO, SEM & Social Media related discussions. Always open for new ideas & discussions.

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