Looking for answers about augmented reality? Our comprehensive Q&A article covers everything you need to know.
Augmented reality (AR) is a technology that enhances the surrounding environment, by overlaying digital information, such as images, videos, and 3D models, onto the real world in real-time. This allows users to interact with digital information in a way that feels natural and realistic. AR can be experienced through various devices such as smartphones, tablets, smart glasses, and head-mounted displays (HMDs), which use advanced sensors, cameras, and motion tracking technology to provide an immersive experience.
There are three primary viewing platforms for augmented technology. Each one functions differently from the other.
For screen-based augmented reality, AR works by using the camera on a device to capture the real-world view and then processing that image to add the digital content in real-time, creating the illusion of that content being a part of the physical world.
With see-through head mounted displays, the use of the camera is bypassed by simply setting holograms into your line of sight on glass lenses through which you can see the world around you.
Video pass-through AR devices like those made by Varjo and Meta are head-mounted displays that–like screen based applications–use cameras to render the physical world in which the holograms are placed.
AR is a technology that enhances the real-world experience by overlaying digital information and images into your real physical environment.
VR, on the other hand, creates a completely artificial environment that replaces the real world. VR can be experienced through a headset that covers the eyes and ears, blocking out the real world and immersing the user in a simulated environment.
In short, AR adds digital elements to the real world, while VR replaces the real world with a simulated environment.
The race for consumer accessible augmented reality technology is highly saturated and competitive. This applies to both the hardware manufacturing companies for consumer wearables as well as the corresponding AR software to support the hardware. These are the top players:
These are just a few examples of the many companies that are active in the AR industry and are making significant contributions to the development and growth of this technology.
According to a survey on augmented and virtual reality technology trends, 70% of technology and business stakeholders believe that mainstream consumer adoption of AR/VR will be within the next five years.
Augmented reality is immensely effective as a marketing tool. AR allows for interactive and engaging product demonstrations, virtual try-ons, and gamified promotions. It can also provide unique and valuable information to customers in a fun and immersive way, helping to increase brand awareness and customer loyalty.
Check out this article for statistics that illustrate the effectiveness of this technology in marketing.
The applications for this technology are truly endless. It is the future of computing. All digital information can be better communicated and received through augmented reality than it can through screens–especially as hardware and software improves. Screens will one day be a thing of the past, and glasses–and even contact lenses–will keep digital information right in front of our eyes in their most functional form.
For brands, this means marketing and advertising will take a completely new form. It means the training process will be completely transformed to create experiential learning environments in a way that has never been possible. It means people will be able to connect and interact in the most functional and helpful ways from across the world to complete tasks. The savings and return on investment augmented reality solutions are already providing brand in its nascent state are astronomical!
Access to digital information currently requires a dividing of attention between a screen and the task at hand. Augmented reality merges the physical and digital worlds. It negates the need for that divided attention that minimizes our potential to complete tasks quickly and effectively.
A simple example is cooking a recipe. Instead of constantly referring to the phone, laptop, or even notepad to check the next step on the recipe, the next step can be suspended in the air in front of you–and you can use your messy, chickeny hands to hit next step without contaminating anything.
Extend this example to a surgeon. That surgeon will be able to have an extra layer of assistance through digital information that guides them through each step–diminishing medical error and keeping a sterile environment. What an amazing tool!
The applications are endless, and extremely helpful in streamlining the things we do every day in ways that save us time, money, and mistakes–and make life more enjoyable!
There are several AR applications being used in business today, including:
Many companies are currently utilizing augmented reality for training, including Boeing, Walmart, UPS, and Siemens.
How are companies using AR for training?
Companies are using AR for training in various ways, such as providing interactive simulations, virtual walkthroughs, and real-time guidance and feedback to train employees on complex tasks and procedures. AR can also be used to create immersive and engaging training experiences that improve knowledge retention and reduce the risk of errors or accidents.
Many brands across various industries have embraced augmented reality as a way to enhance their customer experiences and stand out in a competitive marketplace. Some of the top brands using AR include:
There are several qualities and skills that you want to look for in great augmented reality developers. Here are some of the most important ones:
How mixed reality and augmented reality are being used today, and how they’ll be used tomorrow.
Microsoft VP Scott Evans hints at a meaningful update to the HoloLens headset. Also, Teams is now integrated into HoloLens 2.