Augmented reality has official hit the big time. With both Androids and iPhones now coming equipped with development kits for their mobile devices, adding AR elements to apps has become much easier, and much more common.
The world seems pretty convinced that AR is a huge part of the next big wave of technological innovation, but how many areas of our lives will it actually reach? Which industries need to look out for changes due to augmented reality? The simple answer is that nearly every industry is going to be impacted by this technology in some way. While early uses of AR were primarily just for games, as the technology has improved it has expanded to a much broader set of uses.
Advertising and Promotion
Augmented reality is quickly becoming one of the hottest trends in the marketing and advertising industries, as it provides a new and innovative way to connect and engage with customers. There are many creative ways that brands have used AR for advertising, but one effective example is a campaign from the well-known financial service organization, VISA. They utilized Augmented Reality in the campaign named “Try something new with Visa”, which took place in Poland. In this campaign, whenever a user entered into a designated circular mark on the floor, realistic animations of the virtual animals merge with the live video of the user, allowing them to feel as though they are interacting with these exotic animals.
Tourism and Sightseeing
One of the most natural uses of AR technology is in the sightseeing and tourism industry. Sightseeing has been vastly enhanced by Augmented Reality because it allows tourists to walk through historic sites and see facts and figures presented as an overlay on their live screen. There are even AR apps that can look back in history and show what a location looked like 10, 50 or even 100 years ago.
Medical AR Uses
Augmented reality has a huge potential in the medical field, and has already worked its way into many aspects of it. Medical students use AR technology to practice surgery in a controlled environment, and augmented reality can even reduce the risk of an operation by giving the surgeon improved sensory perception. On top of assisting surgeons, AR can help patients to visualize and understand complex medical conditions and procedures.
AR Apps for Navigation
Another intuitive use of AR is navigation. Enhanced GPS systems use augmented reality to allow users to see the selected route over the live view of what is in front of the car. AR can also provide more information within the map system, such as contextualizing other objects in the view.
Military AR Uses
There are several military applications of augmented reality, and one such example is the Heads-Up Display (HUD). With HUD, a transparent display appears directly in front of the pilot's view showing data such as altitude, airspeed and horizon line. This is extremely useful as it prevents the pilot from having to look down at the aircraft's instrumentation to get the information needed.
The Head-Mounted Display (HMD) is used by ground troops, and can display critical data such as enemy location to a soldier within their line of sight. AR is also used for simulations in training.
If you thought that augmented reality isn't relevant to you or your company because you don't make games, think again! This is a huge trend in technology that has the potential to vastly change nearly every area of business and life. It is important to stay on top of the new waves of technology so that you don't fall behind competitors, and you are always aware of how you could improve your business.
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