Have you come across the latest technology fad? Superimposition, Haptic communication, Smart glasses and Head-mounted displays? What is Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality and are these technologies giving the human mind the essential time to catch up? Don’t worry, keep calm and breathe as here we decode the hidden potential of the latest technology fad, Augmented Reality.
Real environment augmented by computer-generated objects has found applications in many areas, from aviation to gaming and many more. Have you tried to catch Pokemon or attempt to fit furniture in your room via the IKEA app? Yes, that is Augmented Reality and it has more far-reaching applications of future potential use.
The Age of Sensors
Today, as augmented reality (AR) technology gains a massive adoption, humans will soon be equipped with sensors through various AR devices, including headsets and phones. This augmentation provides uncharted opportunities for organizations which deploy these data insights to differentiate their products and services for consumers and drive operational effectiveness.
The AR market today is similar to where the IoT market was back in 2010, generating huge public attention and proving early value from new capabilities for users. AR’s capacity to instruct, interact and visualize can transform the way the human mind works with the data.
Considering these market dynamics, the potential for AR-as-a-sensor to gather rich data insights is profound. Today, the products are already equipped with APIs and connectivity, and AR devices come with machine sensors, from multiple cameras, Bluetooth, infrared, GPS and accelerometers.
AR: The Past and the Future
The term Augmented Reality was coined back in 1990, with the television and military industry being the early adopters. With the rise of the Internet and smartphones, augmented reality has rolled out its second wave with more interactive deployments. Today, the market is flooded with various augmented reality apps that impact our social life, entertainment and habits. 3D models are directly projected onto physical things or fused together in real-time, like the IKEA app that allows you to decorate your room with the furniture.
AR apps typically connect digital animation to a special ‘marker’, or with the help of GPS in phones pinpoint the location, like what happens within the Pokemon game. Augmentation is happening in real-time closer to you including overlaying scores to live feed sports events. The present-day applicability of AR surrounds around these four groups:
• Marker-less AR
• Marker-based AR
• Projection-based AR
• Superimposition-based AR
The future holds bright for AR as recent developments point to. The recent years have witnessed Google beta testing of the Google Glass with internet connection via Bluetooth in 2013. In 2015, Microsoft presented the world with two brand new technologies, HoloLens an AR goggle powered with sensors to display HD holograms and Windows Mixed Reality, a mixed reality platform introduced as part of the Windows 10 operating system, providing holographic and mixed reality experiences with compatible head-mounted displays. In 2016, Niantic launched the revolutionary Pokemon Go game for mobile devices. Pokemon Go blew the gaming industry up and caused a stir earning $2 million in the first week of its launch.
Assessing the Business Opportunities
Augmented reality complements our everyday activities in a multitude of ways like the gaming industry. There are new AR games coming in the market which provide better gaming experiences with some even promoting an active life like PokemonGo and Ingress. Companies like Honeywell, DHL, Cannondale and Amazon have created new opportunities for their product strategies, quality control activities and value chain by harnessing and deploying AR data from users to provide personalized offerings based on this data. Another application of AR in the coming years will be the retail industry, which may act to bring better customer engagement, brand awareness, retention and eventually more sales. Some features may also help customers make wiser purchases by providing product data with 3D models of any dimensions’, size or color. AR will find huge applicability in the following domains in the near future:
• Real-estate via 3D tours of apartments and houses, which can be manipulated to amend some parts.
• Education via interactive models for training and learning purposes, from science to humanities.
• Medicine/Healthcare will benefit from AR helping to diagnose, monitor, and provide personalized patient treatment.
• Military will deploy AR for advanced navigation, marking objects in real-time.
• Tourism relying on the data from destinations, directions, sightseeing objects and
• Enhancing live events and event streaming by overlaying content in the Broadcasting industry.
• Industrial design benefiting through AR in a bid to visualize, calculate or model blueprints.
In this new age data-driven world, as AR emerges as a new source of context-rich data, organizations want to harness the benefits of AR into digital engagement, CRM insights that will create the greatest opportunities.
Enterprises that want to capitalize on these opportunities should work on to create cross-functional leads with an aim to improve the customer experience and drive new age technology marvels.