Augmented reality uses reality as a basis for computer-generated enhancements and modalities to render it more meaningful. This way, interaction with reality becomes deeper and more complex. AR forms the basis of many apps that are used on smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices. It blends digital elements into existing reality in such a way that you can tell them apart, yet enhance one another.
So how will it change the world?
The industry will change a lot due to what is called “persistent AR” – persistent geo-location of AR content. This refers to anchoring objects in space so they can be seen by an unlimited number of users simultaneously.
The implications for society are huge. We’ll move beyond the screen, the flat piece of glass that is now the user interface. AR is a physical 3D space, in which people will work, eat, sleep, and live.
AR will transform many industries, some of which we’ll describe below.
Food & Cooking
There are now apps that make it possible for consumers to see realistic, yet virtual 3D food when ordering online or even on their table in restaurants. Future apps will combine interactive turn-by-turn recipes with smart kitchen appliances. They’ll give you AV guidance for each part of the process, all the steps of a recipe, and even how to present food.
Ah, the dreadful words. There always comes a time when you need to repair your pipes or electrical system. AR apps will be very common in this sector, guiding people through the steps, creating light signals and drawing arrows.
AR will be essential to finding your way around. Currently, car manufacturers are offering head-up displays (HUD) on windshields that enable navigation directly in your vision field. AR in navigation is becoming fact: remember Google’s new augmented feature for Maps? It overlays arrows as seen through your camera on the real world.
Gaming & Entertainment
People’s whole living spaces will turn into an interactive gaming arena. They’ll enjoy social experiences jumping right off the screen. You can play with virtual footballers or even ride a dragon from Game of Thrones.
Interactive AR will make learning complex educational subjects easier, be they biology or electronics. AR sensory overlays will contribute additional sound and visual information for learners, helping them remember content.
There was a time we couldn’t imagine browsing Instagram to find out more about our favorite travel destinations. In the near future, immersive 3D videos will reflect the experience of being on the Gold Coast of Australia or Thailand, right from our bedrooms.
In sum, we can say for a fact that someday, we’ll look back fondly on our iPhones gathering dust!