Augmented reality is the recent buzz word. Although it has been around since 1990s, but its use and development has recently gained popularity. It is a relatively new technology but has acquired global interest. It has gained an enormous amount of hype and skepticism due to its ability of overlaying digital information onto the real world, using a camera phone.
The development of apps using this technology is in its infancy. There have been many speculations built around about its capabilities and the way it augments applications. Augmented reality promises of being the technology for the future and many businesses have already started harnessing benefits of this technology. This technology promises of providing consumers the power of purchasing and marketers to reach potential customers. In addition, it is also capable of serving different sectors to augment the learning and operational efficiency.
What is Augmented Reality?
Augmented reality is experiencing the reality of the real-world environment with a computer generated sensory inputs such as GPS, video, sound or graphics. In other words, the view of reality is modified by a computer.
What does it mean? This implies that you can use your phone camera to search the information about the environment. You can take the image of the environment and the application will come back with the information that you are looking for.
Many businesses are being benefited from successful development and deployment of applications based on augmented reality. Originally AR was used for medical, industrial and military applications. It has now proven its capabilities and is gearing to extend its applications base.
Although development of applications using augmented reality has not exploded, yet, it can benefit businesses and individuals in many ways.
Augmented reality is helping –
Consumers shopping online are benefitted with customer reviews, price comparisons and the latest entries of products. However, they do it without leaving the computer. Augmented reality is improvising making purchases. Consumers can walk in the shopping market, without prior knowledge of products and stores. They can just click from the camera, and get lots of information about products and the shopping market. Augmented reality gives the same experience as consumers get while shopping on computers. It also provides consumers with additional information on the nutritional value of products and reviews about the same.
To add value for business operations
Businesses are always on the forefront of providing information to customers. Augmented reality favors business operations aimed at consumers and employees. It is gaining popularity among advertisers and publishers wanting to provide consumers with something extra. This is a new method of interacting with customers and providing and sharing information easily online.
Keeping aside the promotional and marketing benefits provided by augmented reality, it can also be used to increase employee’s personal development and productivity with improved knowledge base. Accumulation of the knowledge needed to perform different tasks becomes difficult due to the lack of information availability at the right time. As a result, businesses are shifting focus from conventional methods of operations to augmented reality. This increases employee engagement and productivity. This is a perfect alternative for conventional methods of obtaining information, collaboration, learning and sharing knowledge which was earlier accessible only via personal computers.
Augmented reality is aiding the educational sector in making the learning activity interactive. Applications are complimenting the curriculum of students. Graphics, video, audio and text are all superimposed in the real time learning environment of the student. Students can participate in the computer generated information of events and the information they are seeking. Understanding Chemistry has also been revolutionized as structures of molecules can be seen more closely with additional information about the topic.
It also allows learning without being physically present in classrooms. Students and instructors can share knowledge without being located at the same physical location.
In Medical field
AR is capable of serving the medical field by providing information on different medical practices. It also guides and trains surgeons by interactive co-located real time simulations. The availability of graphics using AR on patient’s body can identify tissues, placement of body organs, veins, arteries. Based on the available information surgeons can cure the problem of patients.
Since the use of smartphone is increasing at an alarming rate, medical practitioners can easily rely on apps based on augmented reality to readily view the real time imagery of different joints. For example, the doctor can simply use smartphone to view the internal angles of bones and ligaments using an augmented reality app. Moreover, as people are getting aware of this technology, they are also acquiring knowledge on medical terms, symptoms for various diseases and ways of curing them.
Companies are reaping benefits of using augmented reality for marketing. As graphics play a key role in promotional activities, businesses are working closely on utilizing this technology for successful marketing. Businesses can personalize the experience of selling products to customers, by making them feel more connected and engaged. Since businesses continue to provide personalized and interactive product information, users would be more interested in what products are being sold. Customers can view the catalogue of products, scan the pages of the catalogue and watch products jump of the pages in 3D animation. This will leave an impact on the consumer and businesses will be able to reach customers on their terms.
Augmented reality is going to be the technology for the future. It is going mainstream with mobile applications. It is in a way larger than life, with capabilities of combining real time information in a digital form. Although it is capable of reshaping different aspects of human life, still its popularity seems to be hindered because of lack of understanding. The interpretation of this technology is not clear.
Augmented reality as a technology is highly regarded by experts. It has limitless scope for growth by incorporating enhancements. As more people converge to improve and increase visibility of this technology, applications of this technology would continue to multiply.
Google glass is the recent innovation that showcases the successful adoption of AR. The product has already acquired the center stage of discussions. It has created waves in the scientific community public bases alike. Looking at the present standing of AR, one thing is for sure this technology is here to stay and change our perception of viewing things.