Augmented Reality – Our personal assistant

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Despite Augmented Reality’s intimate association with gaming and high-tech marketing campaigns, it is poised to enter our daily lives in powerful and revolutionary ways.

Augmented Reality will soon be our indispensable digital assistant, displaying helpful information over the physical world to inform, entertain, and caution.

Augmented Reality combines synthetic and natural light with sensors, cameras, projectors, and headsets to overlay our physical senses with pictures, text, sounds, and sensations.

AR devices are usually self-contained and need no cables or desktop computers to work.

We access AR via touch pads, smartphones, and voice control.

Many businesses are already embracing Augmented Reality’s potential. For example:

Real Estate
Virtual tours allow prospective buyers to inspect properties remotely and give information about a property’s history and the history of surrounding properties.

AR apps enable buyers to sense natural light, smells, floors that slope or are spongy, ceiling height, exterior sounds, interior sounds and room dimensions, all in 3D.

Both buyers and agents can “virtually stage” an apartment, filling it with a variety of bedroom sets, couches, dining rooms, and kitchens.

Potential buyers use AR apps to overlay images of their furniture over what is currently in place at the property.

Head-Up Displays (HUDs) now feature in all car models and motorcycles. HUDs also interface with a car’s computer system to display vital information like speed and fuel status without drivers needing to take their eyes off the road.

Grocery shopping
AR apps allow customers see real-time information about products in supermarkets. In-store tracking helps customers find food that fits their dietary needs. For example, vegetarian, gluten-free, or vegan.

Personalised, efficient,and engaging Augmented Reality ads are triggered as we walk past billboards, bus stops, and screens of all sizes and shapes.

AR’s immersive capacity helps marketers create strong emotional connections with us. AR interactivity gives ads a life-like quality that we can see and interact with, making us feel like we are playing an interesting video game. This creates positive associations with the product and with the company that makes the product.

Online shopping
Virtual fitting room apps allow us to try on clothing and shoes before we buy them, ensuring a good fit.

Enhanced GPS systems use AR in the sightseeing and tourism industries to help tourists quickly get a feel for a city. AR apps interpret movement seen through a camera to minimize distance errors and prevent us from taking wrong turns.

Augmented Reality’s Future: The Articulated Neutrality Web
The Articulated Neutrality Web (ANW) will eradicate AR’s relative flatness.

The ANW embraces computer vision to let us see the world for what it is: a scene. What’s more, it goes even further to expose the elements inherent in that scene —the floor, the wall, door, objects in the space, for example—upon which it cleverly overlays additional information.

If we want to know specific weather details, we simply hold a device up to the sky and get weather iterations. Behind the temperature reading, we might see clouds, rain, wind, or some other weather feature.

ANW allows us to see things we would not normally be able to see from the outside. For example, exhibits in a museum, hotel room availability, the inside of cafes and restaurants, and seat availability on trains, buses, and trams, merely by pointing our smartphones at them.

When the Articulated Neutrality Web arrives, AR will take a new and incredibly powerful direction.

AR will have come a long way from its association with gaming and become a dependable, ever-present and essential addition to our lives.

Author: Sue Bell
Sue Bell is an entertainment writer and author of Backpacked: A mostly true story, Beat Street and When Dreamworks came to Stanley.