Virtual reality has been stealing the show for the last couple of years, promising a totally immersive and amazing experience to its ever-increasing user base.
There is just one major issue with it: it requires its users to stay in enclosed areas, and this makes it a bit too similar to traditional video games played on a large screen.
But it has a little brother called “augmented reality” or sometimes “mixed reality” that doesn’t enclose its users completely. As such, its uses are more diverse and its possibilities are even more amazing.
What exactly is augmented reality, you might ask? Well, the official definition of the term is “a technology that superimposes a computer-generated image on a user’s view of the real world, thus providing a composite view”. In laymen’s terms, it is a digital layer placed between your eyes and the world that can provide you with information or entertainment without obstructing your view.
Augmented Reality Examples
One of the first examples of consumer augmented reality was Google Glass, presented as a prototype in 2012 and ultimately discontinued due to a series of privacy concerns.
But the technology itself didn’t disappear – we have amazing augmented reality mobile apps on our phones, and we also have a handful of smart glasses and such that can provide us with information without disrupting our activity of any kind.
Augmented Reality Uses
Augmented reality can be used in a vast variety of ways. For one, it can provide its users not only with turn-by-turn navigation but directions projected right onto the view around them, using the smartphone’s screen and camera – or even your car’s windshield used as a projection screen.
Smart glasses like Vuzix Blade will put notifications, breaking news, messages, and such, right in front of our eyes, directions, and they will be incredibly useful at work, too, allowing you to never miss an important message or memo, quickly overview the products in the warehouse, and the list could go on and on.
The Future of Augmented Reality
Augmented reality will likely play a more important part in our future – it will be able to remind us of our appointments, recall the last interactions we had with a client using facial recognition technologies, help us visualize our interiors with the furniture or appliances we plan to buy added virtually long before we take it home from the store, remotely supervise and instruct trainees so they can pick up job skills faster, translate texts we see or hear instantly and put the translation right in front of our eyes, zoom in on things, provide us with information on the things we look at through image recognition and online searches, do on-the-fly price comparisons for items in shops, and project games and fun videos in front of us when we need a break.
And these are just a handful of the many potential uses for this amazing technology.