Lately, it seems like the future is no longer so far into the future. Things that are right out of a persons wildest dreams and imagination are becoming a reality today; things like video phones, intelligent computers and interactive worlds are no longer something you will only see in futuristic movies. But how will this change your life specifically?
One advancement in particular comes to mind when I think about the future of technology and how it will change our lives and that is Augmented Reality.
Augmented Reality, or AR as it is becoming to be known is something right out of Minority Report or Terminator. In essence, AR is the placement of a virtual layer over the reality you and I see, using a device like a smart phone or video camera. This data placed on the screen, when viewed through the lens, appears to be part of the real word and can interact with whatever the lens is pointing at.
While the first AR devices relied solely on GPS to allow you to interact with the world, now these devices can actually recognize objects and track them in the lens.
Here’s a good example by BMW of what AR can do for auto mechanics:
(In case any of the videos below don’t embed properly, I’ve linked to them on YouTube so you can watch there)
Using these AR glasses, mechanics are guided through the repair process, shown which tool they need and when. Image if these glasses were available for home use as well, you and I could be guided through auto repairs step by step
While this may not happen for a while, another form of AR is already in active development for consumers and all you’d need to take advantage of this is a web camera which most of us have now.
This system is used for online shopping. It’s being developed by a company called Zugara and they think it will drastically reduce return rates for online shopping and increase the likelihood of people finding and buying what they want the first time they visit an online store.
This Augmented Reality system is a bit more complex than simply showing data on the screen. As you’ll see in this video there, while you are trying on the clothes, you have to step back away from the computer so the camera can match the outfit to your body. Instead of having to walk back to the keyboard to try a different outfit, this AR system can recognize hand gestures and allow you to move from one item to the next or add things to your cart just by moving your hands around.
And one final use of AR that has gained popularity since this campaign launched; advertising. This advertising campaign put scantily clad angels in the train station. Obviously, these are AR ladies and not really present, but on the screens installed at the station, these people got to interact with these beautiful women for a few days. While the product they were advertising wasn’t augmented onto peoples hands or anything, this campaign really put this company on the map.
AR is an amazing development and I can’t wait to see what others can do with it. Imagine how this could effect the medical field, shopping, driving, traffic and just about every other aspect of our world.
What do you hope to see from AR in the future? br>