Augmented Reality (AR) is changing the way of showing things into a screen. Because before AR, we had images and videos. And in these two, things were fixed in terms of its behavior, position and numbers. But AR has transformed this concept of video and images.
AR especially deals with devices having a camera. It has nothing to do with images. In AR, an object is placed on a video camera screen. It behaves according to the motion of the camera which you are creating.
For example, using AR, an animal is placed on your camera screen. So if you move your camera towards left, the animal will also move left. Same will be for moving right, going front and moving back. Hence, the thing will act according to your behavior. As a result, the object has no fixed behavior in AR.
You may have heard another word called Virtual Reality (VR). It seems like AR and VR is kind of same, but it is not. Because AR creates an object on the real world as shown by camera screen. Whereas VR creates and entire real world on the camera screen.
For You -> Augmented Reality vs Virtual Reality
What are the Features of AR?
1. Covering the Real World using Digital World to some extent.
Here Digital World means a world created using software. AR allows digital world to coordinate with real world. As a result Augmented Reality creates an entirely new world.
As said before, let us again take the example of an animal moving according to your motion of camera. In this case, the animal is a part of a digital world. Whereas the environment which the camera is recording is the real world.
2. Users can interact with Digital Things.
Users can do so using the screen. Because AR generally runs on touch screen devices. Therefore, user can touch these objects to open the options. User accordingly selects an option which changes the type of behavior to be shown by the object.
Digital things can also be a information as a text. For example, when a camera focus on tables, chairs, etc, then AR can impose a label on them. This label will show its information. Hence, to interact with it, user can touch the label to get more information.
3. Correcting the figures using virtual lines and curves.
AR using digital lines and curves can complete an incomplete object. Examples are broken tables, chairs, building, etc. Here the AR identifies the gap or faults in the structure. Then accordingly, lines and curves are drawn to complete it.
4. Creating AR using Wearables.
Wearables are devices which can show a data. AR is created not only by mobiles having camera, but also by these wearables. One example of such wearable is smart glasses.
Google is working on this through a project called Google Glass. This glass is also able to take photos. Also, it integrates AR with you own one. Google Glass gives live information from the activities. 3-D objects created by this glass can also be manipulated.
How Augmented Reality will benefit us?
1. By improving customer experience.
AR helps customer by improving their way to select right items. Customers can choose proper colors and size of clothes without wearing them. This is possible using the digital image of clothes. It is placed over the person’s image on the camera.
Further, customers can do the same while choosing a car to buy. Using AR, different colors can be placed on car’s image on camera. This will also help car dealers to use only one car to show its different colors.
Same is the case of furniture. Here customer can use its virtual image to place it on their room. Hence, customer do not need to bring any furniture just to check whether it is fine to place it or not.
Therefore, these things reduces customer’s cost and time to choose anything to buy.
2. By easing the process of manufacturing.
AR helps this by placing digital images of components over machines. This will help to check whether this component will work properly or not. Hence, the employee do not have to place the equipment. Also, this will prevent any damage which may have caused to the machine.
Also, AR helps to decide a proper location to place the component along with its fitting. For that, AR can show its process through a video. So, employees can accordingly follow it and place the component properly.
3. By improving the way of learning and training.
AR does this by avoiding to learn through books and blackboards. For this, AR uses animated images to show the working of anything. This improves learning and training by seeing things. Also, this helps students or trainees to remember things for longer time.
For example, in medical, students can learn by operating on digital image of organs on the model of the body. In this way, AR will give the results by showing whether the organ is working or not. This again reduces the efforts to learn.
4. By improving the sightseeing and travelling experience.
AR shows routes for directions to reach the right destination. It can describe the signs of road using digital text as a label of its image. Also, AR can add some virtual images on monuments to improve its view and beauty.
5. By improving the way of marketing.
Using AR to show anything is a new and innovative experience. Therefore, if used in marketing to show products, it will grab quick attraction of large number of people. Since AR is new, hence it is different from old marketing ways which competitors use.
AR not only advertises the product, but also entertains the target customers. Using AR, the company can give the information, which they couldn’t give from old methods.
Where the AR is actually applied?
1. Nitendo’s Pokemon Go
Pokemon Go is a famous mobile game based on AR. The game opens the back camera of the smartphone. The user has to walk on the ground to search for Pokemons. These Pokemon appears randomly and is shown as a digital image.
Augment uses AR for E-commerce, Field Sales, Marketing, Prototype. It provides a mobile app for this.
In E-commerce, customers can place digital image of accessories on their home items. For example, to purchase coffee machine, Augment allows customer to place its digital image on chairs, tables, etc. This helps them to decide whether they can properly keep their coffee machine on home or not.
In case of Field Sales, Augment helps shopkeeper to place their accessories on their store. Take an example of a shopkeeper who wants to purchase a shelf to store shampoos. In this case, Augment will help shopkeeper to place digital image of the shelf at any area of its shop.
Therefore after selecting a place for accessory’s digital image, you can save it. So, after saving, you can see it again on smartphone.
3. Gatwick’s AR Passenger App
This App solves the problem of airport passengers. In airport, some passengers face difficulty in finding ways of various places. For example, Luggage Screening, Collecting Boarding Pass, Security Checks, etc.
Gatwick’s App uses digital image of arrows on the way. Following the arrow will help passengers to reach at correct location in airport. Passenger can select any one destination i.e. Luggage Screening, Collecting Boarding Pass or Security Check. Accordingly, the app will show arrow images on mobile camera.
Sephora helps women to select makeup products easily. For this it uses AR to apply digital image of lipsticks or other cosmetic items on women’s face. This helps women to choose which cosmetic item will suit the best.
The app also shows how the face will look after applying cosmetic item after some time. This will help to understand possible side effects of these items.