Augmented Reality (AR) may not be as exciting as a virtual reality roller coaster ride, but the technology is proving itself as a very useful tool in our everyday lives.
|How Augmented Reality Works! Guide
From social media filters, to surgical procedures, AR is rapidly growing in popularity because it brings elements of the virtual world, into our real world, thus enhancing the things we see, hear, and feel. When compared to other reality technologies, augmented reality lies in the middle of the mixed reality spectrum; between the real world and the virtual world.
Augmented Reality Definition
An enhanced version of reality where live direct or indirect views of physical real-world environments are augmented with superimposed computer-generated images over a user’s view of the real-world, thus enhancing one’s current perception of reality.
Do we need Augmented Reality?
Augmented reality is an amazing technology. The possibilities are endless and it seems to be the direction that the world is taking. For better or for worse, AR is here to stay. And just because we don’t always hear about it in the news doesn’t mean it isn’t growing!
But what do you think? Are you excited or worried to have an AR in the workplace or even at home?
Why Augmented Reality Matters
Unlike with VR, AR allows us flexibility. The device doesn’t have to produce a completely immersive world to interact with, because it uses our own. It takes the data of our existing surroundings and solves a problem we have.
Now you might be asking what that problem is, but that depends. You can solve a variety of problems that require solutions and AR allows you to do that. Because AR devices don’t always require high performing hardware we can use technology as small as your day to day glasses!
The reason we need augmented reality is that the world is constantly changing. We need something flexible that provides solutions to everyday problems that are becoming ever more complex.
With that being said, several industries can benefit or are already using the technology.
Augmented Reality vs Virtual Reality
Unlike virtual reality, which requires you to inhabit an entirely virtual environment, augmented reality uses your existing natural environment and simply overlays virtual information on top of it.
As both virtual and real worlds harmoniously coexist, users of augmented reality experience a new and improved natural world where virtual information is used as a tool to assist with everyday activities.
Augmented Reality vs Virtual Reality
Applications of augmented reality can be as simple as a text-notification or as complicated as an instruction on how to perform a life-threatening surgical procedure. They can highlight certain features, enhance understandings, and provide accessible and timely data.
Cell phone apps and business applications by companies using augmented reality are a few of the many applications driving augmented reality application development. The key point is that the information provided is highly topical and relevant to what you want you are doing.
Augmented Reality in education
Nowadays 80% of young people own smartphones. Most of them are active smartphone users that use these gadgets to access social platforms, play games and to be in connection with friends and relatives. In the meantime, the much lesser part of young adults uses phones for studying purposes, to do the homework, dig information about a subject, etc.
The potential of combining smartphones and Augmented Reality for education is big, though it still has to be fully discovered. AR, in various ways, could grant students extra digital information about any subject, and make complex information easier to understand.
Nowadays we may find some excellent examples of augmented reality in education worldwide. The ability to connect reality and digital content have been steadily improving, opening more options for teachers and students.
AR Benefits the Medical Field
There are a lot of different use cases and scenarios where AR can help us. The medical field is one area in particular that can benefit with displaying medical information. Surgeons can use it, nurses can use it and just about anyone else who needs a little help!
AR isn’t restricted to glasses or headsets either. We also see it being used with nurses to find veins in patients. Drawing blood may seem like an easy task but when a vein is missed the nurse has to then poke a second time to find a vein. While augmented reality is used in a simplistic way here, the potential for other uses is endless.
What if AR could be used for a heads up display during surgery? This would allow a surgeon to see the patient’s vitals and other details live while performing a procedure. While this is still being experimented with, it’ll likely be a future tool of the operating room.
Overall, the medical field is growing constantly with technology and AR can help it! But the medical field isn’t the only area that can benefit.
Can The Average Consumer Benefit?
Well, as it turns out the answer is yes and no to all of them. AR as we more commonly know it to be, is a headset, smartphone or another device we look through. You can use it on your smartphone for some fun uses but that’s just about it.
But first, we’ll look at the headset. Should you buy a pair of those glasses? If you are an average consumer the answer is probably no. Microsoft offers the Hololens which has a lot of great features but it’s not really needed unless you’re a business. The benefits of buying an AR device doesn’t quite justify the cost as an average consumer. Sure, you could probably watch movies on it but some of those devices cost an upwards of $1,000 or more.
Now, looking at when you use it on your smartphone it’s probably a simple app. Popular games have used AR but that has carried its own controversy … In this case you should definitely give it a try! If you already own a smartphone then it’s likely that you’ll only be paying for an app. This will give you a small slice of the experience of using AR. It’ll definitely help you to understand it and its benefits!