The largest Companies in the world such as Google and Apple are investing huge amounts of time and money into Augmented Reality. As was seen by the recent craze in 2016 with Pokémon Go the world really saw how AR has the ability to change the world as we know it. But will AR really change our lives in a meaningful way? Does AR have the potential to influence the way we go about day to day activities? Some interesting ideas are discussed below:
Digital Prototypes or Twins
Digital prototyping or ‘twin’ technology uses detailed virtual 3D models and AR to visualize products in an almost realistic way. This allows engineers to understand customer needs, continuously improve their products and services, and identify new avenues that can be explored. A great example is with maintenance issues on a wind farm. They are very difficult to access and time is critical so using AR a maintenance engineer can quickly put on a pair of VR goggles to see the problem location. They virtually see the problem and fix it there and then with no need to physically go and see the problem in person.
The debate of how long children spend time in front of screens has been unavoidable in recent times. Watching children stay indoors behind a 2D screen instead of going out and playing with their friends has become a real concern for 21st-century parents. This generation is said to be leaving the real world behind by locking themselves away, emerging for food and drink and then disappearing again. AR gaming potentially could turn this fear on its head. The technology now allows users to experience gaming in a more realistic way by interacting with the real world environment. Location-based games similar to Pokémon Go require gamers to move around the real world to progress naturally causing us all to be outdoors more which is arguably a really good thing.
Real-Time User Manuals
Augmented reality is a perfect way of removing the need for paper manuals. With the ability to view scenarios and see step by step instructions in a 3D method; AR will soon make written instructions obsolete. AR programs, run either through headwear or smartphones can recognize objects and overlay text or visual instructions. AR glasses will be the best option for users as they allow a hands-free, real-time experience.
Shopping and Retail
Imagine walking into a store, looking at an item of clothing and its price pops out in front of you with information about the product and how many they have in stock. This is all possible with AR as it could link to real-time information given by the supplier readily accessible to the consumer. Creating a seamless experience for the customer is the ultimate step forward for the retail industry as complete information flow will no inevitably increase sales throughout the business.
These are just a few ways that AR could effectively change the world; there are many others that make for a very promising future in the world of AR.