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All You Need to Know About Augmented Reality (AR)

What comes to your mind when you hear the term “augmented reality” or AR? Most people typically think of an alternate universe or other fictional concepts that are far from reality. On the contrary, AR is more real than you may think because it has already moved beyond cinematography and gaming. The more interest in AR grows, the more the need to discuss its actual meaning, capabilities, and limitations matters. Do not stay apart from modern technologies and take a look at our new article to discover incredible possibilities of augmented reality now!

AR VS. VR: Here Is the Difference

Augmented Reality (AR) adds digital elements to the camera of your smartphone, creating the illusion that holographic content is a part of the physical world around you. Unlike virtual reality (VR), you are not immersed in an artificial environment. VR requires users to wear a special headset and plugs them into an entirely digital world, whereas AR allows them to continue interacting with the physical world around them. In turn, AR proposes looking at the real world enhanced with digital components, such as three-dimensional objects, sounds, videos, and graphics. AR gives more freedom, along with providing marketers with a wide range of opportunities because it does not require a head-mounted display.

The Birth of an Augmented Era

The term “augmented reality” was proposed in 1992 by researcher and scientist Thomas P. Caudell. He invented this term during the development of one of the world’s most remarkable aircraft – the Boeing 747. The researcher observed that workers spent too much time interpreting the instructions concerning an artifact’s structure and functioning. Hence, Caudell thought creating a screen that could guide them would significantly simplify the installation. Unfortunately, the scientist did not manage to succeed with this revolutionary invention, but the concept of AR was born at that precise moment. Several decades later, in 2016, Pokémon GO shaken the entire world with its successful application of AR technology. This legendary game popularised AR by bringing it closer to the general public, attracting diverse users from all over the world. Though Pokémon GO was by no means was the first one to utilize AR technology, its developers made AR trendy.

How Does Augmented Reality Work?

The opportunities of augmented reality truly impress: it is applied in a variety of ways, ranging from making yourself look like a cute kitten to finding directions in malls. AR allows you to virtually try on glasses or see how new home appliances will look like on your desk.

To show the relevant content to the user, AR adopts computer vision, simultaneous localization, mapping, and depth tracking (sensor data calculating the distance to the objects). This method allows cameras to collect, send, and process data in order to show digital content relevant to what the user is looking at.

For example, imagine that you are using AR navigation, like in the picture above. First, computer vision processes the location and objects captured by the camera and recognizes them. Then, the program puts labels onto the surface. The process repeats every time the user holds a phone camera in front of the location that has been previously mapped.

Another example is a soccer game. The app recognizes a person’s foot by setting a virtual footprint on the actual foot and its motion, so the user could kick the virtual soccer ball down the alley on the screen and ‘remember’ the player’s foot to keep scores for each session. Thanks to the function of object recognition, the user’s foot can be detected, allowing the program to identify each player and offer a new game for another user.

Scopes of Application

Better Customer Experience

Augmented reality is a powerful tool for retail, as it not only allows customers to see a three-dimensional image of the product in their environment but also allows evaluating its appearance in full size, trying on how this object will look in the room. Besides, to gain experience interacting with your products, the buyer does not need to install additional software as everything is available on the smartphone. Moreover, the experience of large corporations proves that augmented reality significantly increases the number of sales. According to Shopify, interactions with products having 3D / AR content showed a 94% higher conversion rate than for products without 3D / AR.

Indoor and Outdoor Navigation

Augmented reality navigation perfectly works both outdoor or indoor. In the first case, AR navigation systems work as virtual guides and show information about real objects while hovering a smartphone on a certain object, as well as direct you along the route. Isn’t that cool! Furthermore, an AR guide can lead you inside large buildings, such as shopping malls or airports. For owners of commercial buildings, such applications are another available advertising space. Augmented reality navigation can perfectly work even in an apartment or house. Using AR, you can give guests a full 3D home tour with the press of a button.

Medical Treatment

Although the possibilities of augmented reality in healthcare are more limited than in virtual reality, they are still very notable. Let’s start with the fact that augmented reality allows you to make the training of medical staff more interactive. It makes the process of onboarding new equipment faster and more comfortable. That is because to find out how a particular part of the medical device works, a healthcare worker only needs to point the smartphone camera at instead of checking the manual. What is more, AR apps can be used for treatment. For instance, scientists have already proven the effectiveness of augmented reality applications that treat phobias.

Visualization of the Future Result

The primary function of augmented reality is to interact with the real environment and add virtual but life-like elements. It is very effective for demonstrating future results in Construction, Interior Design, Retail, or Medicine. Thus, you can provide buyers with the ability to see how their future house will look, how a new sofa will look in their room, or even see how their smile will look like after a visit to the dentist. Augmented reality makes it all and even more possible!

How Much Does Augmneted Reality Application Development Cost?

The cost and duration of AR application development depend on many different factors, including application type, SDK, or the complexity of 3D models, to mention just a few.

Summing Up

Considering all of the above, it is logical to conclude that AR is an up-and-coming technology, so it is undoubtedly worth your attention. It is even hard to describe all the multiple advantages AR may bring to your business in one article, just do not hesitate and put them into practice right now! The world’s best leaders in retail, healthcare, education, and real estate fields already benefit from augmented reality and today is your turn. Make the first step toward your success – contact us right now and get a free consultation! If you have any questions, we are always ready to help.

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