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Augmented Reality is often considered to be something modern and futuristic, but in fact its roots come from the 20th century. So it’s quite old, isn’t it? Surprised? The father of virtual reality – Morton Heilig – patented a device called Sensorama Stimulator in 1962. This Sensorama Stimulator is also called a “theater experience." But his idea of imposing an additional layer over the top of real world images had a powerful development and distribution later when smartphones entered a mass market.
So what is Augmented Reality? To tell in short, it is a technology that redefines space. It puts a virtual layer on top of the real world image based on your geographic location. Look at this video. In real life, an ordinary girl holds a smartphone and points it to the marker with a logo on it, but if you look through the AR-viewer, a funny animated rabbit appears as if it were real. And this is not the imagination of a user, it’s AR that makes virtual objects come true.
The progress of this technology increases the popularity of AR. According to forecasts and recent researches, by the end of 2017 users are expected to download 2.5 billion of AR-applications. But if you still do not fully understand why you need AR in your life, we decided to show several areas of use of AR solutions that you’d love. After reading this article you will surely wish to use this advanced technology in your everyday life. AR has enormous potential and here are just few examples why.
Just imagine, you are in a new city, in an unfamiliar region or even a new country! With AR app you can leave your printed city guide along and make use of 3D illustrations of outside world, so you can see three-dimensionally what is around you and where to go. AR city guides allow applying different filters by categories to find exactly what you need, whether it's a coffee shop, a restaurant or a museum. You shouldn’t be afraid to get lost in unknown area because the program automatically adjusts based on what you see. It can say correctly where to turn to reach the desired point, and not just state that you need to go to the North-East like many ordinary GPS navigators do. Such AR applications already exist and we expect to see and develop even more AR city guides in the coming future.
Many well-known sightseeing attractions have specific performances attracting tourists to enjoy them at a certain point of time. But what if you missed the time and cannot enjoy performance in time? For such purposes there are AR apps that allow to see the performance by simply pointing your smartphone screen at the object with a market, These could be dancing figures on the Glockenspiel clock in Munich, festive lights of the Eiffel Tower in Paris or Changing of the Guard in London and others.
Another interesting way to see the old city in 3D is imposing a three-dimensional map over a real city. This map will show how the place looked in the past. For example, in Broadway, you can "see" the coach parked at vintage stores. Similarly, you can apply some historical objects on top of the real view. For example, there are AR apps for New York city that can define your GPS location and show the user the old Wall Street with parked coaches and cobbler's shop on the corner. So you’ll be able to see the old town as if you were walking around the city many centuries ago.
Enjoy visiting museums? Now you can get more of it by using different AR applications. For example some British museums have already AR-hotspots on pictures and other museum showpieces to share more information about them with visitors. Sometimes such AR applications can be even better than audio tours as you do not need to follow a certain route to get the information. It can also be a good solution for large museums such as Louvre or Hermitage where printed guides or audio guides do not always lead to the desired location.
With augmented reality you can watch virtual clothes catalogues from favorite brands and shop directly in the magazine or “walk through” the virtual store without any queues.
Augmented reality will change e-commerce sector dramatically. Augmented reality can turn familiar places like parks and airports in virtual shopping centers. It’s a good opportunity for people who wish to “kill” time and for companies who wish to save money on office rent. This type of commerce can be called v-commerce, just like e-commerce.
However, real shops can also use augmented reality technology. For example, with AR apps visitors can see goods from new collection that will be available soon, or that are on sale, but in a different store.
Do you know how many display-models are just thrown away after all? With AR you can make shop display windows much more interesting and reduce costs by replacing real objects with virtual (of course, this will only be possible as soon as the AR technology has much more users among smartphone owners).
Whether you are planning to visit historical monuments or study history, augmented reality offers its solution too. With AR apps you can virtually place historic sites like the Eiffel Tower or the Big Ben at the backyard and learn interesting facts about them. This is also a great way to teach children because it allows to literally "travel" around the world.
Another way to use AR apps at home or even at school is to take students on a virtual tour to historical places like the Great Wall in China and even make photos on its background, making the learning process deeply personal and memorable. Moreover, this approach in teaching history does not require any physical presence near the object to make interactive content visible.
Rescue workers, police officers and firefighters can be the first who feel real benefits of AR applications. They often happen to be in chaotic situations when they need to understand what is around and how to move around those object. Wouldn’t it be great if they could see a virtual map of the water supply systems and wiring at fire location?
Augmented reality can be of great help when you need to rearrange the furniture or redesign your flat. It could help solve lots of problems and inconveniences related to buying new stuff. It often happens that new furniture doesn’t fit the room size or general look. Now imagine that with help of AR application you can virtually place any sofa of a chest of drawers anywhere in your apartment to see how it fits in and only then make a decision whether to make a purchase or not.
And imagine if you’ve finally bought and arranged furniture and want to add more decoration to your apartments. In this case AR app can help you virtually place paintings or sculptures in the right place and see how they combine with the furniture and design.
Augmented reality technology is not a universal solution to all problems and cases, but it’s a new advanced method of using state-of-the-art technologies in everyday life by average men. And it’s a good way to make daily pursuits simpler.
Program-Ace utilizes its decade experience in development of interactive 3D solutions to deliver high-end AR applications that can be used in all spheres including ecommerce, advertising, entertainment, travelling, business, manufacturing, and many others. You can contact our sales team to learn more about what we offer in terms of Augmented Reality development and how our experts can bring your ideas to life.