What is Augmented Reality?
You might have heard about augmented reality, as it comes up more and more frequently. And we are thrilled. Short answer: it is putting a digital layer on the real world and displaying the together.
Now, to break this down to a few more details, it means that an application (no matter the device it runs on) can scan the environment, detect certain features and use those to add something digital based on the exact spot of detection.
Some examples of Augmented Reality
AR applications use the camera of devices to look in the real world and the screen of the device to display the result, so we are left with the two components in the middle, the detection and adding of digital content. The things AR systems can detect have been constantly improving, with the help of computer vision algorithms and research. Here is a list of occasions where you used or heard of augmented reality:
- Snapchat, Facebook or MSQRD filters, use AR algorithms to detect the features of you face and add masks, hats, or distortions (digital content) exactly on your face, keeping track of features (nose, cheeks, eyes, mouth)
- Pokemon GO is a famous app, where creatures appeared in the real world. AR helped detect the floor or ground plane in this case, making the 3D model appear like it is there in reality. AR kept track of the initial points in reality, where the creature appeared.
- You could scan a product pack to discover a promotional video, appearing to be on the pack that you are holding
- AR can detect a pre recorded 3D model, like a toy, to uncover additional content.
- It can detect the floor and load 3D models of furniture, to be placed in your home, so you can preview it
- AR can show workers how to operate industrial machinery, with instructions, when detecting certain parts
- or it can help retailers preview their store setup or companies can see their offices, before they actually commit
Where is AR going?
Augmented Reality has been around for many years, but performance was not excellent, so until a couple of years ago, maybe only the tech enthusiasts knew about it. However, once Pokemon GO appeared and ran up the charts of the App Store faster than any other app before, attracting millions of users, AR got some widespread coverage. In addition to this, the use of the technology by the social media giants made it even more popular, even though, maybe many do not even know this is powering their experiences.
Just a couple of months ago, we heard news from Apple, who looks like finally turned their 2015 acquisition of Metaio, into reality. They announced that in the upcoming iOS 11, there is embedded an ARKit. This means AR detection and tracking is now available to developers from all over the world, straight from the iOS APIs. What is even more interesting is that the performance seems to be very good, bringing a new level of realism to the technology.
So AR is here to stay. Coming this autumn, we expect a wave of Augmented Reality apps. Surely the creativity will rise to the top and we will have some cool apps to try. We ourselves, are working on a couple of ideas, using the new ARKit. We can’t wait to ship them out, this autumn.
How can you use AR?
If you are a consumer, you probably will use it, sooner or later, if you have not already, because it is growing rapidly and expanding its reach.
If you are a company, be it a small startup or a large enterprise, you should consider using this technology trend that we are on and ride it, while it is still early. There is incredible enthusiasm among users when they have an AR experience. It is different, it is new, it is more engaging and it makes everything more fun and more efficient. Because of that, you will convert more. You can be in any field: education, retail, shopping, entertainment, gaming, industrial, events, manufacturing. There is a way you can create an experience to amaze your users. If you have not found it yet, drop us a line and we will look for the proper fit for you, together.
We love AR.