Augmented Reality (AR) is one of the most promising technologies of the 21st century. Applications are almost everywhere: from the gaming industry to medicine. Few people know, but the history of augmented reality began in 1961. Every year the technology is improved and is already becoming a familiar and useful tool, and not just an impressive toy.
Do not confuse augmented reality with virtual reality. The first brings only the elements of the virtual world into the surrounding reality. Augmented reality is when unreal, virtual, objects in the user’s perception become part of the real surrounding picture of the world.
In other words, when a person sees something in AR, he sees something virtual in the real world. The display shows the user a physical world with added virtual objects. For example, the map marker in the camera interface on the phone – to show which direction to go to the user. There are already headsets that actually transfer the application or game to the real world. More advanced AR-systems allow you to handle the walls in the user’s home as if they were applications on the computer screen.
A Bit of History
The development of augmented reality did not begin today or even yesterday. The first projects of scientists connected with the addition of reality with unreal elements date back to the 60s of the last century. Then a professional cameraman Morton Heilig invented, and then patented the original device, called Sensorama. Today, this proto-simulator is considered the ancestor of all augmented reality devices.
And the very name of its augmented reality received only in the early 90s, and at the same time, the military began to use it in the closest possible manner to the modern mind. However, until the millennium, AR development was unproductive and not in demand. It’s only in our century, augmented reality has become widespread – with the advent of powerful smartphones.
What About Today? What Does Augmented Reality Offer?
Although augmented reality has been trying to get into the technological mainstream for many years, many of its most ardent supporters have begun to wonder if it can cope with its own potential.
Many researchers believe that in fact technology has already begun to demonstrate its true value by simplifying many things that are familiar to consumers. For example, there are already existing hairstyle and clothing applications that are widely used in the beauty industry; in the automotive sector, where users can now use augmented reality to immerse themselves in the experience of driving the car they want to acquire.
Some brands, such as Lego and Jurassic World, are already experimenting with technology, and point out that its potential impact on the audience is enormous. Many companies have already adapted their products and marketing strategies to the opportunities offered by augmented reality. Among them are corporations such as Nestle, Ikea, Sephora etc.
Interest in AR continues to grow exponentially. Now it is also fed by artificial intelligence, which allows cameras to “understand” the world and impose digital content on it. In combination with equipment becoming more powerful and light, the coming years will be key to the development of augmented reality. For this reason, the projects of AR developers today are in great demand, because every business representative wants to be on the cutting edge of technology.
What Are the Prospects in AR
In education, AR can be used to recreate historical events or read ordinary books in 3D projections. Augmented reality is extremely useful for educators in classroom conditions or during presentations and allows students to understand a certain topic more deeply. An example of already implemented technologies is the Japanese Application New Horizon, which with the help of the built-in cameras of the smartphone shows right in the educational books animated characters on the right pages.
Another area of application of AR is healthcare. The ARnatomy application already helps future doctors study the real skeleton model, and the VA-ST visual aids are used by people with significant vision loss. It creates sketches of the contours of the face of the interlocutor.
The military is also interested in technology. The American company BAE Systems has developed a helmet called the Striker II, which instead of glasses uses a kind of visor with a display. The image from the night-vision camera is projected onto it, and the device is able to track the movements of the operator’s head. So the data is always located in the direction of the user’s gaze.
Another American company Matterport with the help of AR creates a virtual real estate market.
But, of course, the main drivers of AR, like many other technologies, are giants Apple, Google and Microsoft. They are actively investing in AR to make technology more efficient and accessible to billions of smartphone users. Therefore, many are interested in the development of projects and the work of AR developers today, especially such ideas resonate in a business environment where leaders strive to stay on the cutting edge of technology and develop their business in accordance with new trends in high technology.
Author’s bio: Lars Jamesson, the marketing expert in the Servreality company. Starting with the job of junior marketer, Lars became an experienced pro and now is working under the promo-projects in AR & VR segment.