Augmented reality allows us to add layers of visual information on the real world around us, using technology and devices such as our own mobile phones. This helps us generate experiences that provide relevant knowledge about our environment. And, it allows us to also receive that information in real time.
Through augmented reality, the virtual world intermingles with the real world, in a contextualized way, and always with the aim of better understanding everything around us. This can be used in our day-to-day actions, in commerce, in medicine, etc. In fact, it is useful everywhere. For example: A doctor may be looking at patient’s vital signs using AR, while operating. A tourist can raise his camera and find points of interest of the city he visits, pointing to the places he wants to visit. A fashionista can try-on makeup without actually applying it. There are many more examples of AR usage in our daily life, and with time, AR will act like revolutionary in this world. Augmented reality allows this and many other things; here we open a small window to this exciting world.
Characteristics of Augmented Reality
There are different types of augmented reality which will be used in different types of business and depending on the result you wish to achieve. However, they all have at the base the same characteristics. So, what gives augmented reality technology this enormous potential, and makes it one of the main innovation influences for the coming years? Here is a brief summary of its main features:
It allows the combination of the real world and the virtual world.
Thanks to AR, we can interact in the real world with elements of the virtual world. Indeed, AR overlays virtual objects on physical elements to enhance your current perception of reality.
Depends on the context
Thus, the information (images, sounds, videos, graphics, GPS data) displayed virtually is directly related to the information we see with our own eyes.
It’s interactive in real time
A change, an action, a response made by the user has an immediate impact on the recreated scene with augmented reality. In other words, your actions in the real world has a direct effect on what’s happening in the virtual world.
Use the three dimensions
The information is always shown with perspective, giving the feeling that it acquires the physical capacity of its surroundings. So, even if the information is virtual it’s integrated as if it has always been part of your world.
Also, thanks to the evolution of this technology, you can interact directly with the physical capabilities of the environment.
Advantages of Augmented Reality
AR brings together a new way of information sharing and interaction capabilities and is going to change the shape of several of our activities thoroughly shortly. This technology has clear benefits when applied in specific sectors:
Allows to optimize time in daily tasks of many workers
Since they have visual and accurate information on the tasks they must perform, workers finish them faster. And we all know that a little saving on small tasks implies a considerable saving over a long period of time for business. Furthermore, workers can have access and step-by-step instructions on task they never performed before. Which allow them to be able to execute them accurately right away without having to ask around or search how to do it.
Act with free hands
With the appearance of new devices, it is possible to act with this technology with the hands free, obtaining the information visually while working. Augmented reality glasses or headsets will undoubtedly be the most cutting-edge tools in the coming years. But there are also industries like the automotive which are starting to integrate AR directly into their products. In this case, displaying the virtual information in your windshield.
New communication channel with users
It allows generating a new communication channel with users, since it provides a type of information that interacts directly with the real environment. This can apply to advertising campaigns, for example, which can be tremendously effective, as the consumer feels part of the ad and gets the impression that you’re talking to him specifically.
Display an explanation
Taken to the world of education and training is probably where augmented reality makes the most sense. With this technology, you can visualize what someone is explaining to you, live. The human body and its different layers can be contemplated in an anatomy class, or the innermost parts of a combustion engine.
There are many more advantages to using augmented reality, and a lot of those advantages are specific to the industry where it’s used. One thing is for sure though, it’s that augmented reality will have a great impact on society and on our lives, and that, sooner than you think!
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