AR is a sophisticated technology that enhances our experience of the world around us or in other words, it improves our visual perception of the environment. This technology superimposes digital information over any natural existing environment which means that we live in reality but augment it with additional information.
AR is not the replica of reality; rather it integrates and adds value to the user’s interaction with the real world. Earlier this technology was used extensively in the entertainment industry alone but recently it can also be seen widely used in manufacturing and healthcare industries.
Today, AR can be experienced on our own handheld devices, be it our smartphones or tablets.
I am sure you must have heard of the popular gaming app – Pokémon Go, which allowed the users to catch the Pokémon using their own smartphones cameras. All you had to do was simply download the app and search for Pokémon characters in your surroundings. Similarly, the video-see-through facial filters provided by Snapchat are also an example of AR. Snapchat allows users to project funny and sweet filters over their plain pictures.
These days AR also facilitates the home-buying process, where the home-buyers can view the property from their own devices, using the ‘virtual-tour’ option before catching sight of the house in-person. One can even use ‘furniture placement apps’ to see which furniture would look best in their house before actually getting the furniture home.
How many times have you bought a clothing from an online shopping store but had to return it because of the wrong size or maybe because the style didn’t suit you? To cut down the clothing returns, Amazon introduced a ‘virtual changing room’ app which uses AR to scan your body measurements, take more information about your choices and then recommend the best size and style for you. Isn’t that cool?
Location-based AR apps like Google Maps place digital directions on top of the real world. Google lens enhances the search experience where you can just open the app and aim it at the object you want to know about and it provides you with all the essential details associated with it.
Augmented Reality has been raging in popularity over the past few years and this revolution is not stopping any soon.
Undoubtedly, AR is going to change the future of education. It opens up a whole new dimension that allows us to experience in 3D what we would otherwise only see in 2D pages of our books.
We will have a better gaming experience, easier online shopping and effortless home improvement. It is believed that the AR market will be worth between $70bn and $75bn by 2023. Studies also show that AR in the healthcare market will be worth $5.1bn by 2025.
I believe Augmented Reality is going to be many folds bigger than it is today. We will be able to use AR to help surgeons visualize what the body looks like. Product designers will be able to rapidly prototype new ideas and see those ideas come to life in the world around them, and engineers will be able to see the instructions overlaid onto the physical world.
If you are an artist, an architect, or a dress designer, AR is going to radically change not only the way that you create content but the way that you work and this is a big opportunity for content creators. AR has indeed taken the world by a storm.