In the recent period, digital reality is a trending phrase, but it appears that not many people understand what this reality is all about. Digital reality is a broad term which includes two other very popular concepts – virtual reality and augmented reality. According to some statistics, VR and AR will become a market that’s worth dozens of billions of dollars in the next five years. Yet, augmented reality and virtual reality are not the same and for many experts, AR is a much more useful and profitable technology.
What is Augmented Reality?
Augmented Reality is actually a type of technology that puts a computer-generated picture or video on top of an individual’s view of the real world. In this way, AR provides a composite view that gives a different perspective of the real world to the end-user. On the other hand, virtual reality is a simulation generated by a computer which is focused on creating a 3D image or environment that can be presented in a physical or almost real way to a user with the help of specially designed electronic devices like headsets with screens or gloves with sensors.
So, as a user, you don’t need to wear gloves or headsets in order to use augmented reality. To be honest, that’s a huge advantage because people are not used to wearing big helmets for a long period of time. In addition, when you are wearing something like this, you must take it off from time to time in order to do other things. They also usually come with many cables and multitasking is not an option when you are wearing something like this. Truth be told, there are VR booths out there and they can be quite interesting. But, it will take a lot of time to create booths like this that can be used at home and even when something like that happens, many people won’t have enough space in their homes to use them.
We should also mention that virtual reality has the potential to be used in different areas, but most of the companies involved in the virtual reality sector are focused on gaming. People that have tried those headsets for gaming find it fun, but most of them will remain traditional gamers because as we said before, only a small number of people can spend a long period of time with those headsets on their heads. We are not saying that VR doesn’t have a future, but AR is definitely a concept that can evolve better.
Now let’s get back to the original topic augmented reality. As we said before, the simplest way to define augmented reality is as something that is projected on a display or screen that’s not physically present there. One of the best examples of the application of augmented reality was Google Glass. Basically, this was a pair of glasses which provided different information to users based on the things that they were looking at. However, due to legal issues and other issues, Google has decided to discontinue the sales of this product. But, this doesn’t mean that the interest in augmented reality has decreased especially now when we know that technology is more advanced.
Augmented reality for a different kind of shopping experience
If we take a closer look at the stats, we will notice that the vast majority of people use augmented reality via mobile apps. This makes AR more accessible because almost everyone has a smartphone or tablet and we keep these devices close to us at all time. When it comes to shopping, augmented reality is used by many well-established brands like Amazon for example. They have a special Amazon AR View application available to iPhone and Android users. With the help of this app, people can visualize the products offered at Amazon in the real world.
Of course, online shopping is becoming more and more popular these days, but there are still many people who are avoiding it because they can see the product and understand how it looks like in real life. This is where augmented reality comes into play.
Thanks to augmented reality, present in apps like the one shared by Amazon, buyers can check the virtual version of these products in real life. There’s no need to visit a physical store before purchasing a product. We should also mention that Ikea has the Ikea Place app. If you have an image of your home, you can place different pieces of furniture on the image and see how this furniture will look like.
Other applications of augmented reality
Augmented reality can be used in many other sectors. For instance, there are many manufacturing businesses that use AR. Ford, for example, is using augmented reality as part of the automobile design process. In the past, they were using prototypes of cars from physical clay. Today, they use AR to visualize cars.
With the help of AR, it’s possible to save a lot of money and time. A simple change in the values can give you a different image. Now compare doing this with the creation of brand new physical models. While we are talking about automobiles, we should mention another use of AR. Namely, there are a few applications based on AR which allow users to check maintenance intervals and conduct repairs on vehicles.
Augmented reality is no longer just an inspiration for science fiction writers. This new technology is present on the market and used by many well-established brands successfully. The best part is that this technology is just starting which means that we will find many other uses of AR in the near future. There are literally dozens of apps that utilize AR technology and hundreds more are developing at the moment. We hope that this article will help you understand how useful augmented reality can be. The applications of this technology are limitless and this technology can make our lives and business operations much simpler and easier.