You’ve probably been hearing a lot about AR (Augmented Reality) recently and might unsure as to exactly what it’s all about and why the tech giants are taking it so seriously. So we’re going to break it down for you and explain how you’re already using AR without even knowing it, and what the future holds for this exciting tech!
Augmented Reality encompasses any technology that uses digital information to seamlessly enhance the real world. This tech is already being utilised in an array of industries, but we’re going to focus on the current capabilities and future potential for smartphones.
Believe it or not, you’ve probably already experienced a rudimentary form of this tech without even knowing it. For example, Snapchat’s lenses allows you to change what you look like in real-time by utilising clever facial recognition algorithms.
Remember the Pokemon Go craze back in 2016? That was a perfect example of AR in it’s most basic form. Sure, this may all seem a little “gimmicky” right now but you’ll have to take our word for it when we tell you that AR is just getting started and will change the world you experience on a day-to-day basis.
As smartphones become increasingly more powerful we’re starting to see the introduction of dedicated chips, cameras and other clever wizardry dedicated to delivering a more convincing AR experience, breaking free of current hardware limitations. The iPhone X currently leads the market for AR hardware and is the first device to offer a fully featured AR experience. But don’t think you need to drop over £1000 to experience this technology! With the introduction of iOS 11 older iPhones were given the capability to run some AR Apps as well, so go take a look on the App Store.
Here's some exciting ways that you could use AR...
- Find your friends and family when you’re out and about whether that be at festival or in a large open space, simply hold up your phone and you’ll see a marker pointing to them.
- Visualise your journey with holographic maps similar to those seen in “The Hunger Games”.
- Dynamic how-to manuals for hands on work: From electronics work to assembling flatpack Ikea furniture, which will save a lot of frustration we’re sure!
- 3D scan your environment to take measurements for new furniture, then place anything from a sofa to a lamp with a tap of the screen to make sure it all fits.
- Facial recognition to help recall details about someone you’re talking to, your relationship and common interests.
And don’t forget, we’re only talking about smartphones here, think about the potential for wearable tech, clothing and more. Your gadgets will be aware of your environment and adapt to suit your preferences all in real-time. Creepy huh?!
The future as envisioned by your favourite sci-fi novels and movies is closer than you might think.
In part II of our AR series we’ll bring you the top 10 AR Apps currently available.