If you are interested in video games, medicine, travel, or construction and design modeling, chances are you might have come across AR or at least heard of it.
Essentially, the purpose of AR systems is to use computer-generated information to alter and enhance the real-world experience of an individual. This could be something as simple as an app on your phone that shows information about objects when you look at them through the camera of your phone or it could be a more complex solution that requires a stand-alone computer to deliver multi-sensory information about a certain subject.
While AR systems are applied extensively in academic and professional fields of work, they are also extremely valuable in the entertainment sector and play a pivotal role in many games and simulations.
While the technology behind AR is very high tech and relies on a lot of computing power to existing the concept of AR has been around for nearly over a century. In fact, it was in the middle of the 19th century that the first stereoscope came into being, which was the first attempt at modifying how we see things.
This basic device which used lenses to modify 2-dimensional images into 3-dimensional visuals had nothing to do with computers or electricity, though it was the basic concept of what AR systems are.
Let’s take a close look at how AR has changed over the years and why it is becoming a mainstream concept.
One of the main reasons why AR is so versatile and popular is because, unlike virtual reality, this system relies on input from the real world, rather than creating a virtual environment. This means that information can be processed live and can be applied to things happening in the real world in a variety of ways. Being able to apply technology to a patient that is present in front of a doctor is what the doctor needs to do to better understand the situation and what students need to learn about the problem.
In medicine, there are countless ways in which AR is being implemented to help improve the way we treat patients and it’s also making it possible for doctors to help patients remotely more effectively. As a learning tool, it is an invaluable resource for students as they can literally look at a situation in front of them in an entirely different way.
Ecommerce has seen an exponential period of growth after the pandemic of 2019. With markets closed all over the world, businesses and customers had no option but to go online. However, people often find it difficult to get a proper ‘feel’ of the product online as they can’t touch the product and use senses other than sight to evaluate it.
This greatly affects the purchasing decision of the customers, although, through augmented reality, customers still can’t physically feel the product they can get a much better understanding of what it will be like. In a way, customers can get a virtual demo of the product before they purchase and this contributes significantly to their shopping experience.
If you are into gaming or have been interested in AR in the past few years, you will most likely have heard of Pokémon Go, a game that brought AR into the limelight. Ever since the launch of Pokémon Go, there have been several other releases that use the same technology to give players a unique experience, though none have achieved the same kind of success. As most of these games can be played from mobile, a lot of people are willing to try them out as they can do so directly from their phones.
Some more complex simulation games use AR but they target a more niche audience. As developers better understand how they can integrate this technology with their games, we are likely to see more popular titles come out with AR-oriented titles in the future. Overall, it has opened up an entirely new avenue for gamers and developers.
This is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to understanding the industries that AR has had an impact on. Considering how AR technology is being applied to common everyday devices like smartphones and tablets, it’s clear that we are likely to see a lot more of it in the future.
At present, AR is already a multi-billion dollar industry and by 2023, AR is estimated to reach a value of $73 billion. Not only does this reflect the astronomical growth this industry is likely to experience but also the tremendous impact that it will have.