- WRITTEN BY Jorge Rojas POSTED ON August 7,2015
Most people rely heavily on their smartphones. If you’ve been out in public recently, you know the behavior we’re talking about. Some people constantly have their noses in their phone. Many sources are beginning to see this as a major cultural problem, but is this because there has been no dedicated strategy to move smartphone users from constant entertainment and current events consumption? Ironically, to move society forward using these “essential” information delivery systems, we may just need more technology, not less.
Enter augmented reality (AR). AR can best be described as reality that’s enhanced through a digital medium. Moviemakers have used this technology for decades to produce images that excite, shock, or confuse viewers’ imaginations, allowing them to tell a story that would be too expensive or impossible without the technology. Sporting broadcasts also use this technology to provide viewers a greater situational awareness to the events undertaking on the screen.
Now that same graphic representation is available with individual functionality through the use of mobile devices. Every smartphone and many other mobile devices have cameras that allow the user to capture what is basically point-of-view framing, as if the user is looking straight through the screen to the other side, with modification. There are already a handful of simple AR applications for mobile. Expect that number to grow exponentially as newer, more powerful user interfaces allow AR to be a technology we will begin to depend on.
This new technology trend will be the creation of information delivery systems that use hands-free devices to produce visual, two-or-three-dimensional representations over the physical environment, giving users a picture in which to quickly take in information that teaches concepts and practices that have traditionally taken people years to learn.
Or in English, the device will give you more information about what you actually see. Think about pointing your phone down a street full of shops, and having various user reviews display based on the storefronts seen on screen.
While this technology is available today, a new wave of user interfaces, thus far in the form of glasses, will be created around more advanced applications. How would you like to be able to fix your car without any prior knowledge of how to do so? How would you like to get a look at the essential layers of the human body while standing in your living room? These are only two of the many AR application concepts that could conceivably be here within the decade.
Businesses that are taking advantage of AR technology, such as Ikea, have been building these applications for marketing purposes. These applications are usually only compatible with the resources available to consumers, such as smartphones and tablets. New AR application development will begin to consider Microsoft’s Hololens technology, among others as the devices that take AR from a novelty to a technology of function.
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