Augmented reality (AR) is a type of reality technology that allows users to interact with digital content in the physical world. This technology enhances the user’s perception of reality by overlaying digital content, such as 3D images and virtual objects, onto the real environment.
Not to be confused with Virtual Reality (VR), augmented reality does not create artificial environments. It uses the physical environment around us and enhances it using these 3D objects and virtual images. Most of the time, this tech is accessed with handheld devices like mobile phones, but soon will be moved to wearable devices.
At the moment, augmented reality experiences are quite limited since the tech is still new. A number of mobile games and reality apps have been made in the retail sector to embrace it.
Think of AR as a heads-up display for real life. Where we used to see it in video games and media, we now are slowly introducing it into everyday life. But how does it actually work? Look now further, below is a little breakdown of all things AR.
One common way to experience AR is through smart glasses or head-mounted displays, such as Google Glass or the HoloLens. These devices have a small display that shows the user digital content within their field of vision. AR smart glasses are often used for hands-free tasks, such as navigation or performing maintenance on a machine.
AR can also be experienced on mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets. Many mobile apps, such as Pokémon GO and Warby Parker’s virtual try-on feature, use AR to enhance the user experience. These apps use the device’s camera to display digital content on top of the real-life environment, creating an immersive experience for the user.
Practical Uses in The Real-world Environment
There are several types of AR technologies, including marker-based AR and location-based AR. Marker-based AR uses visual markers, such as QR codes, to trigger the display of digital content. Location-based AR uses GPS and digital compasses to trigger the display of content based on the user’s location.
AR technology also includes object recognition, which allows the device to recognize and track real-world objects. This allows for the display of digital content to be anchored to a specific object, creating a more immersive experience for the user.
In addition to entertainment and retail applications, AR has numerous practical uses in industries such as healthcare and manufacturing. In the healthcare sector, AR can be used to display medical images and information on top of a patient’s body during surgery. In manufacturing, AR can be used to provide workers with step-by-step instructions and real-time information while they are working on a task.
A New Chapter in User Interaction
AR has the potential to revolutionize the way we interact with the world and each other. By seamlessly blending the digital and physical worlds, AR has the potential to enhance the customer experience and engagement in the retail sector and improve productivity and efficiency in various industries.
As AR technology continues to advance, we can expect to see even more innovative and immersive experiences for users. Companies like Mojo Vision are working on developing AR technology for everyday use, such as a contact lens with a built-in retinal display. This input device may be the biggest innovation in history so far.
Mojo Vision intends to take AR to its peak with this device, by cutting out unnecessary display devices and bringing computer-generated content to real-life environments in the most direct way. Keep in mind this is still in its infancy, so there will be some time before this becomes a commercial product.
Living in Digital Worlds Sooner Than We Thought
Overall, augmented reality is a powerful tool that allows users to interact with digital content in the physical world, enhancing their perception of reality and creating immersive experiences.
Scanning a physical object and profiling it right in front of us, simultaneous localization, and new methods of customer engagement, AR is truly a gift. Virtual worlds are slowly finding their way into our lives, and the perks it brings seem to be getting no complaints. With immersive technologies, more user interaction, and mixed realities, the possibilities are endless.
Soon AR is sure to go from just a feature on modern phones to a tool we will need on a daily basis. There is potential for both investment and business with it, so potential customers are sure to line up. As AR technology continues to evolve, it has the potential to transform the way we live, work, and play.
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