Virtual reality

Your connection between real and virtual world

Introduction to AR – augmented reality

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Today, augmented reality or AR, as it is abbreviated as it is called, is one of the more famous terms in the world of virtual (VR) and extended (XR) reality. AR is also the most accessible technology of this nature.

Simply put, AR gives you the ability to refine, upgrade the environment that currently surrounds you, with digital information such as images, text or animations. Despite the fact that this concept may have seemed futuristic a few years ago, AR soon became a commonly used technology thanks to the rapid advancement in the capabilities of smartphones.

Augmented reality can highlight the valid details of the real world, provide us with context in various situations and provide us with various information, both informative and educational in nature.

What is augmented reality or AR?  

Augmented reality (or AR), is exactly what you would expect – a technology that is designed to refine reality. Unlike virtual reality (VR), in which users enter new, zero-created, virtual worlds, AR brings digital, virtual content to the real world. AR applications implement visual, auditory, and other information into the real world to enhance your real-world experience. For example, GPS apps could be refined so that when you turn on your phone’s camera, they show arrows telling you which street you should turn into.

Today, almost anyone can access AR technology through their smartphone. This makes AR currently the most accessible of all virtual technologies. But smartphones aren’t the only way to access AR and take advantage of the benefits this technology gives us.

The last cry of fashion in the AR world and also the technology that is rapidly evolving today are AR glasses or, as they like to call them, “smart glasses”. These are glasses that have AR technologies incorporated into them and thus allow us to access AR, while keeping our hands completely free.

Augmented reality has proven to be suitable not only for mobile phone games, but also as an extremely applicable technology that can help people who work in various industries – from engineers to surgeons.

Application of AR in the workplace to assist with repairs

Different types of augmented reality

The development of AR in the last few years has demonstrated the existence of different kinds of refinement of reality. For example, there are AR experiences that boil down to content accessed by scanning a QR code. Also, a large part of AR technologies are made up of “projective” AR technologies, which slightly encroach on the realm of mixed reality (MR) and holograms.

When we talk about augmented reality today, we mostly think of AR applications that you can experience through smartphones, but experts believe that, in the future, the success of AR technologies will lie in AR glasses and hedsets. Meta is today one of the leading companies that invests intensively in the development of such technologies.

How does augmented reality work?

Augmented reality overlaps the real and virtual worlds, while providing users with an enhanced and expanded real-world experience. The most widespread type of AR today is AR which adds virtual objects to the real world with the use of cameras. However, with the increase in interest in AR technologies, the number of opportunities to access the augmented reality is also growing.

There are various components that make the augmented reality possible. These are various sensors that collect data, AR software that processes data collected by sensors, a processor that will run the software, lenses or screen on which the processed data will be displayed, and AI (artificial intelligence) that will possibly facilitate access to such technologies by enabling, for example, controlling the device through voice commands.

What does AR provide us with?

Although at the beginning it seemed that the focus of AR would be entertainment (games and the like), today it seems that there are other very useful applications of these technologies. Companies today use AR applications to find, identify, and solve various technical difficulties. They also use them to train their own for employees. Sellers are increasingly embracing AR as a way to show case their products and create engaging experiences for their customers.

There are various uses of AR. So, a large part of AR- technologies are used for entertainment and leisure. There are already a number of applications, such as the interactive book Legend – Between Gods and the mobile game Pokémon GO. Such an application could be encountered in the near future at various events, for example at business conferences, where visitors could get various information about the event by accessing AR content through their phones.

AR technology also has the ability to strongly attract attention. So it’s no surprise that companies are investing in AR technologies for advertising purposes. Various sellers have started using QR codes that you can scan to get additional information about the product you are interested in.

Augmented reality also plays a major role in the future of navigation, so users will be able to scan markings on buildings or track virtual arrows to make it easier and more accurate to reach their destination.

Another application of AR is found in facilitating teamwork. Wearing AR glasses and hedsets will allow employees and members of the same teams to communicate better with each other and be able to provide real-time specialist guidance, if necessary. This should enable better collaboration and a safer working environment.

But perhaps the greatest application is augmented reality (like all other virtual technologies) in training and training professionals, allowing them to practice and develop skills with instruction and guidance in real time. For example, many health colleges use AR to facilitate learning for their students.

Example of Augmented Reality in Education – Human Anatomy Atlas

The future of AR

As with most new technologies, it is difficult to say with absolute certainty what their future will look like. The demand for AR headsets and glasses is growing in various industries. Especially those where workers are exposed to dangerous conditions. It is almost certain that a large number of companies will invest in such AR- technologies, such as smart glasses and hedsets.

For now, ar technologies (and virtual technologies in general) seem to have their reserved place in the future precisely because of their potential utility and their seemingly endless possibilities.