The Next Steps with Augmented Reality

Where Do I Want To Go With Augmented Reality?

I’m not entirely sure whether or not I want to get into developing Augmented Reality, but I sure do think it’s cool! I’ve been muddling with the idea of taking up Vuforia as another Interactive Media hobby. Being limited to 3D models for AR development seems very restricting.

My Augmented Reality Fears

However, I’m pretty confident that AR development tools like Unity will find a way to make the means that we are currently using obsolete in a few years. Another fear that I have is that a company like Adobe will find a new more accessible way to develop AR that will, unfortunately, saturate the industry. My fear of the AR industry saturation could be a silly one, but we’ve seen film evolve from a niche activity. A sector that previously sported a high learning curve has transformed into a brand new medium. The majority of the people use this new medium to connect with the outside world.

What I’m Optimistic About

The idea of being able to take an environment and slap it on top of real-life sounds like something out of science fiction. Unfortunately for the skeptics, that technology is here, and it is taking off. My hope for AR is that it’s potential will be explored beyond general monetization of the experience. The reason why I became interested in AR was that I saw that it could change experiences.  Transforming the educational, purchasing and operation experience can potentially affect everyone and the way that the world operates. I see AR as a present-day social network in terms of potential. This technology can change the world,  and all we need to do is figure out how.

 

Is Augmented Reality Entertainment Still Reality?

Congratulations!

You’ve made it past my SEO nightmare of a title! I wanted to introduce this topic because I feel as though many overlook Augmented Reality applications in entertainment outside of the gaming community. One of my classmates and I discussed the possibility of experiencing a movie in AR. Unfortunately, we were unable to see the idea to fruition.  While that thought is likely to stay in limbo, for the time being, it’s got me thinking.

What Are We Trying to Improve With Augmented Reality?

After revisiting that idea in my head, I realized it’s about how more than what. Trey and I were trying to improve how we can experience entertainment. Most advancements in entertainment that thrive make changes to how we are consuming the content. Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Instant Video made their big breaks because they changed the way that we consumed film and television videos. The entertainment that we’re receiving has not changed at all! Augmented reality makes it possible for us to experience the SAME things in new ways! The reason why movie theaters have not died yet is that it provides an experience beyond the content.

What’s the Correlation Between Theaters and Augmented Reality?

Movie theater franchises are introducing larger, reclining seats, more snacks (that are still expensive) and better screens to improve our movie watching experience. What if we applied those same principles to role-playing games using AR? For instance, when I was younger, I used to log onto Habbo religiously. I enjoyed meeting new people in a semi-detached reality platform and seeing their creations. Runescape, World of Warcraft, and Second Life also provided a very similar experience, but what if we didn’t have to be completely immersed in a separate environment? We can experience the fun in real life!

 

Augmented Reality Applications in Business

Companies are currently introducing Augmented Reality as an external contribution to the market. Companies that deal with AR have mostly been dealing with developing an environment or device for AR consumption and releasing their product into the market. Recently I’ve been exploring ways that AR can increase efficiency and push the bottom line from the inside out.

Can Augmented Reality be beneficial to businesses if applied internally?

Thus far, we’ve discussed ways that AR applications in education, medicine, and gamification, but there are many more applications that aren’t quite that abstract. For instance, an interior designer can potentially use Augmented Reality to overlay their designs on their client’s space. We’ve all spent a fair amount of time watching Love It or List It! and Property Brothers getting blown away at their 3D mockups that they show their clients, but what if these clients could see it to scale?

Let’s Dig A Little Deeper

Recently I’ve been learning about Design Sprints, Agile, and Scrum techniques. When we simulated a design sprint in class, I noticed that we ended up going through a lot of sticky notes, sketch paper, and markers. What if a team of employees used an AR overlaid Scrum board for their process. Furthermore, a digital copy of the Scrum board could make it easier for all parties involved to be able to reference the scrum board at will.

While Scrum and Agile techniques currently increase efficiency and productivity in groups, they create a lot of necessary waste. Wouldn’t it be cool if we could use AR to make an efficient process more efficient? I think so…

Augmented Reality as a new Frontier

Augmented Reality (AR) essentially bridges the gap between reality and the virtual world.

What is it?

Definitions found online describe AR as a live direct or indirect view of a physical, real-world environment whose elements are overlayed or augmented by computer-generated or extracted real-world sensory input using sound and audio, video, graphics, and GPS. Similarly to Virtual Reality (VR), AR involves an artificial environment. The main difference between the two is that Virtual Reality completely immerses the user in the new environment whereas Augmented Reality allows users to experience both the real world and the virtual world simultaneously.

The opportunities in this field are plentiful as AR is still an emerging technology.

Umm…. What?

Most people are familiar with AR through the widely used game application Pokémon Go, the game allows players to catch fictitious digital monsters or Pokémon in the real world. The game received a lot of buzz and was credited with encouraging many young people to get active.

How Can I Create It?

There are many ways that users can develop Augmented Reality, but it requires a lot of knowledge and dedication because… like I said before, it’s still an emerging technology. Many of the bigger names in AR like Pokémon Go are practically building it as they go. One of the ways that we can develop AR is through an application called Vuforia. Vuforia provides game developers who use Unity the opportunity to take their 3D models and objects and create an AR environment by utilizing features such as image tracking, device tracking and object tracking to make your AR app usable on iOS, Android and A selection of Handheld devices.

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