Augmented Reality(AR) is augmenting technological advancement in the right path. The market for AR grew to total revenue of $8 Billion in 2019. Moreover, by 2022 total consumer downloads of augmented reality applications is expected to reach 5.5 Billion. Hence, there are chances for this tech to grow into a $65 billion business by 2024. This growth tells us the wide range of applications that AR has to offer. But, before we head into that it is important to know what an Augmented Reality does.
Augmented Reality ties the physical world to the virtual world. Through AR, the real-world environment is enhanced by computer-generated perceptual information. Some of its features include:
1. Combining real and virtual worlds
2. Real-time interaction
3. 3D registration of virtual and real objects.
In layman terms, it is the technology that helps in combining real-world objects with computer-generated information.
In the coming years, AR will be quintessential for the military troops to get all the information at a glance without much hassle. This is through the Heads-Up Display (HUD) system which works under the principle of AR. HUD is a transparent display positioned directly in the pilot’s view. Data is displayed on this display system, that is kept in front of their eyes. Just like how Iron Man checks with J.A.R.V.I.S, while on the flight. In fact, J.A.R.V.I.S is an acronym for Just A Rather Very Intelligent System! Even though this tech seems promising, researchers must work on the lighting. Since the HUD system requires enough lighting to display the information. Moreover, this system consumes additional power, which is not feasible while on the battlefield. On the brighter side, HUD will reduce distractions. As it displays all essential information such as altitude, fuel capacity and airspeed at one glance.
AR promises an improvement in the existing healthcare infrastructure and technology. The use of AR will help surgeons to get better sensory perception while carrying out risky operations. In addition to that, AR could be used to simulate these operations before carrying them out on patients. If AR is used in conjunction with X-ray systems, surgeons can monitor the vitals of the patients periodically. Above all, Neurosurgery can be made easier using AR. Using AR surgeons can interpret the 3D image of the brain on top of the patient’s actual anatomy. This will help them in locating the exact coordinates of the nerve that is to be operated.
Tourism & Navigation
Inclusion of AR in the tourism sector is pertinent to solve the language barrier to many foreigners. Since the road signs are usually written in regional languages, using AR and translating software tourists can translate it to a language of their choice. All of this in real-time! In addition to that, sightseeing can be made easier using AR. People can walk into heritage sites and see the visuals overlaid on their live screen. Tourists can use AR for navigation. Using their phone camera, GPS, and an AR application they can see the best route for their destination, real-time.
AR applications are widespread in Manufacturing and Occupational safety. Mechanics will be equipped with AR glasses so that they can get real-time data. This data will help them in reducing errors and thus improving accuracy. Combining AR, VR and IoT will help companies to train their workers before sending them out to the workplace. This is quintessential in hazardous workplaces such as mines. Above all, AR will help engineers visualise their prototypes more comprehensively.
Traditional mass marketing campaigns have come to a halt after the growth of digital marketing. Promotional content is being articulated through technology. At this point, AR seems to be a prominent technology to aid advertising. Nowadays, retailers are using the AR application to turn their not-so-amusing supermarket to amusement parks. People come here to interact with these virtual characters. Moreover, they take part in challenges and activities to win prizes. This helps the retailer to get a good retention rate. In addition to that, if AR is used with a powerful GPS, popular restaurants can be virtually superimposed over the storefronts.
The use of AR in e-commerce is prevalent. Moreover, many e-commerce giants have already used it. For instance, IKEA has a flagship AR application called Place. It helps buyers to virtual place the furniture, to see if it fits the room or not. This avoids commuting and helps buyers place an order online. In future, buyers expect for an application that would help them try on clothes without putting them on.
With an increasing number of EdTech firms, AR is a decisive factor for companies to edge this competition. Virtual schooling with the help of AR technology can make classes engaging and interactive. Students can study a distant universe closely. In fact, they can even see a prehistoric animal untamed, in front of their screen. As of now, efforts are being made to develop training modules for aviation, medical and defence industries. This will boost retention and improve the learning curve.
The Internet is an encyclopedia for people to search for properties. This abundance of choices become counterproductive as people find it hard to ascertain on a specific property. Hence making people drive in and out to various properties. However, with an AR implementation people can make choices from the comfort of their own place. Moreover, a realtor can benefit from leading a quick tour across the place, remotely. Both clients and realtors can address their issues real-time, in this virtual place.
AR is the best fit for Entertainment applications. In fact, many companies have already utilised AR’s prowess to find success. For instance, Pokemon Go. As soon as it was released, people went haywire. The game saw a huge surge in the number of downloads. AR games are not at all new. Interactive games such as Go encouraged people to stay fit by taking a walk around the park. Apart from gaming, AR can help sports enthusiasts to get a full house stadium-experience despite watching the match from the house. Moreover, it’s the AR that provides valuable info, such as the trajectory of the ball and its speed, right at the stadium in real-time.
Logistics and Supply Chain
Business logistics will see a huge difference in its operations when AR is implemented. Inclusion of AR will help inventory managers get a quick glance at the stocks. Moreover, an AR glass will help workers find the shortest route to locate a certain item. This will not only make things easy for the worker but also decreases the time for shipping. Consequently helping the company get better efficiency and cost savings across many areas of its supply chain.