What’s trending now?
First you need to watch this video from 2012, to understand what augmented reality is and could be. It’s by a company from NY, Corning, they manufacture specialty glass and ceramics. It captured the imagination of millions and was one of the first glimpses to what is fast becoming a common addition to many a smart phone.
The line between physical reality and tech is blurring more than ever, thus the rise of Augmented Reality because what is real simply isn’t enough. Augmented reality is defined as a technology that superimposes a computer-generated image on a user’s view of the real world, thus providing a composite view.
One of the first ones, that blew our minds, was Star Walk on the iPhone allowing one to lift up one’s phone to the sky to see additional information layered over the constellations and stars in real time.
Why it is important
From being an interesting toy, augmented reality apps are being used to drive business. It is the next step in integrating technology into our everyday lives in a unique way through using our smart phone’s camera to gain access to extra information and experiences.
What augmented reality does is add a level of experience to information that was impossible a short time ago, allow us to interact with tech and information in a much more ‘natural’ way.
What’s the butterfly effect?
It is changing the way we interact with advertising. For example the Layar app, is one of the most popular augmented reality apps adding additional information to printed media. Simply scan the movie poster to see a link pop up to the trailer or to book a ticket. Take a look at their video.
It is used in travel. The Wikitude World Browser is regarded as one of the best augmented reality browsers. While using your smartphone’s camera in a given area, the the virtual browser — along with more than 3,500 associated content providers — offers you just about any geographically-relevant information you might need.
Retailers are fast coming on board, apps like Snap Shop , allows the customer to place a coach for example in their own living room using their camera and their fingers.
Gaming platforms like AR Invaders, Winner of the International Gaming Award for Best Real World game , changes your surrounding into a war zone, letting you battling alien spaceships and the like flying around your living room.
The Augment app is one of the absolute best apps out there, being used by major brands like L’oreal. With this app you can upload a 3D model of for example a building you designed so when the client hovers their phone over the architectural drawing, the interactive 3D model pops up.
After Corning’s visionary video I would pin Layar and Augment mentioned above as pioneers since they allow for anyone to create 3D models and or content for their apps. This can already be useful for businesses in South Africa.
Of course, the sometimes controversial Google Glass is still making waves around the world with the possibilities of its uses from the Medical fields to warfare.
By: Pierre du Plessis
Pierre is a communicator, a dreamer and a troublemaker. He loves how we are all connected in more astounding ways and more than we ever thought. He is completely obsessed with life in contemporary culture and he wallows in new ideas and marvels at how they can restore and re – create our world.
Image credit: Layar AR