June 3rd, 2017

Rise of Augmented Reality: Current and Future Application Areas

“If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” 

When graphics or digital displays are brought into the real world giving an illusion of its existence to the environment, such technology is known as Augmented reality.

Today augmented reality has not only spread its wings into gaming and entertainment but also into our day to day life. Augmented reality has shown its capabilities and showcased its future scopes to all of us, over the recent course of time.

The Past

Taking about the origin of Augmented reality, it can be traced off to around 1990 by the work undertaken by Professor Tom Caudell as part of a neural systems project at Boeing. This project was focused on finding new ways to help the company’s engineering process and involved the use of virtual reality. Hence, giving birth to the innovative idea of Augmented reality. 

Initiatives taken in the past, led to the rise of Augmented reality from application to application. From 1990 to 2016, AR has definitely evolved and spread its wings in innumerable sectors to explore its fullest scope in real-time applications.

The Present – Current Applications

Currently, Augmented reality has a vast number of application areas in various sectors and categories. With each sector getting explored with the the fullest scope of implementing AR technology. From retail businesses to health sectors, AR has helped in an every way which makes the processes of these sectors easier. Here is a list of the sectors where Augmented reality can be, and is being applied:

• In the retail sector, where it can change the whole shopping experience by bridging the gap between the online and physical store. 

• In the health sector, it gives an understanding of the human body with multimedia representation helping the doctors in undertaking surgeries and looking at the patients condition in a more detailed manner.

• Enhanced GPS systems are using Augmented reality to make it easier to get from point A to B making it a natural fit for Navigation. 

• Predicted visuals of constructed properties can be formed before the construction is even done. This results in an early visual of the predicted output or result as AR aids in visualizing building projects.

• Augmented reality is used for complementing academic curriculums. It acts as an additional digital feature on text books, as the data can be explained in an audio/video format. The reading material can be turned into the desired multimedia platform.

• Augmented Reality can provide the surgeon with hidden information, such as showing the heartbeat rate, the blood pressure, the state of the patient’s organ making the medication process more precise. 

• The first application of augmented reality to television was weather forecasting using visualizations. It has become the most common way of broadcasting the weather till this very day.

• Augmented reality has also become common in sports telecasting. Tracked camera feeds, scorecards, visual layovers on the screen. It’s all Augmented reality. 

• Augmented reality provides gamers to experience gameplay in a much more interesting way. Pokemon Go has set an example for the standards of Augmented reality.  

• AR is also used for package previews. If there’s a sealed product and you can’t open it, AR allows you to get a preview of what’s inside the package.

• Augmented reality applications can provide travelers real time informational displays regarding a location and its features. Hence, making it applicable for tourism or sightseeing.

• AR can serve as a tool used by the military. From the soldier’s point of view, people and various objects can be marked with special indicators to warn of potential dangers.

Augmented reality caters to all of these sectors and many more. The best and biggest part about AR is that it bridges the gap between digital and real worlds. Thus, it can be applied effectively for real-time efficiency in any sector.

The Future

With so many applications and so much to offer, Augmented reality is a visionary advancement of technology catered to grab everybody’s attention, when involved in experiencing it. As smartphones have become an integral part of our daily lives, it paves a great way for Augmented reality to become a consistent integral part too. As AR is already growing at a great pace, it has a lot more to offer in the future. 

Despite, its limitations AR is growing every single day with new applications. Companies are trying to inculcate AR to make their applications more interesting. As it keeps the blend between real life and digital content natural and not cut off from the real world, it holds a slight added advantage over Virtual reality. People can download Augmented reality based applications on their smartphones (iOS and Android) which turns out to be more accessible than VR headsets.

An interesting Ted talk displaying a glimpse of the future through an Augmented reality headset is very informative and gives a full idea on the future that Augmented reality has to offer.

The rise of the fullest potential of Augmented reality is growing every day with each new application. With the competition in today’s day and age, every company would like to experiment in making unique applications with a touch of the Augmented reality. It will definitely be a major factor and become a reason for everyone to change the way they look at things.

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