Augmented Reality (AR)- The simulated reality: Trends to look for
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Presently, Augmented Reality is like a sweet mango on a beautiful summer day.
The year 2020 has witnessed great changes to incorporate the new normal that Covid-19 has brought on us. The outbreak has significantly impacted the usage of technology including AR. Augmented Reality is proving to be a great source of transformation. The use of AR has enabled simulations that allow companies, and individuals to work, talk and socialize. It’s the statistics that talk.
But before we get into statistics let’s understand what Augmented Reality is.
- Augmented Reality Overview
- AR in Healthcare
- The relationship of Augmented Reality and 5G
- AR and the retail shopping
- AR Outdoor and Indoor Navigation
- AR and Automotive Industry
- The combination of Artificial intelligence and Augmented Reality
- AR in Education
- Popular AR gadgets in 2020.
- Future of Augmented Reality
- Final Words
Augmented Reality Overview
Augmented reality (AR) provides users with an interactive experience of a real-world environment, letting them see the objects placed in the real world in an enhanced way via computer-generated perceptual information, sometimes across various different sensory modalities, including visual, auditory, haptic, somatosensory and olfactory. Basically, AR can is an intuitive combination of the real and the virtual world where real-time interaction, and accurate 3D representation of virtual and real objects happen. This experience is seamlessly interwoven with the physical world such that it is perceived as an immersive aspect of the real environment.
Aa stated by Grand View Research, in 2020, The market estimated size of Augmented Reality was $17.67 billion. According to predictions, this market size will expand by 43.8% in the year 2021, and so forth will continue to rise, up to an estimated $340.16 billion in 2028.
Due to the pandemic, where other industries saw a dip, Augmented Reality saw a pretty big rise. According to a report published in 2020, 83.1 million people in the US have used AR, which is approximately 15% of the country’s population!
Another report suggests that Asia-Pacific has a fast-growing market of Augmented Reality. (Asia-Pacific has seen significant growth of 47% in the year 2020), whereas, the United States is the biggest market for AR.
67% of the Japanese population would love for offline stores to use augmented reality. In a survey, it was found that 76% of the population would pay more if the offline stores enabled themselves with augmented reality. A prediction suggests that 17% of the population of the United States will use AR on a regular basis by 2022.
About 33% of the retailers across the world use AR, as it helps the consumers to better understand the particular product.
Below is a comparison graph from various industries:
It has been steadily growing popular. See there? That’s some bright future.
Let’s take a look at the growing Trends in AR
AR in Healthcare
AR looks like the most promising technology in the Healthcare sector. During the forecast (2017–2023), it was noted that the global market size of augmented reality in the healthcare industry is expected to grow around USD ~1.32 billion by 2023 at a CAGR of ~23%.
What will you do if the person next to you suddenly falls unconscious? There will be several thoughts going on inside your head, be it calling an ambulance, or calling your mom, the first thing you will do is pick up your phone.
The suggestion says that you can download the Layar reality browser along with AED4EU for your basic emergency next time. AED4EU was developed by Lucien Engelen at the Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, The Netherlands. With the Layar browser, you can get the exact location of the nearest AED on the phone screen.
Using AR patients can describe their symptoms to their doctor more accurately. EyeDecide is one such application that uses the camera to display the impact of certain health conditions on a person’s vision.
AccuVein is one such application that uses Augmented Reality to help nurses can find the veins much easily.
Bet you’ve been curious about the pharmaceutical drugs, what they contain and how it works, but the boring long articles snatched your interest and threw it into the trash can. With the help of AR, one can look at the 3D model of the drug instead of reading the long descriptions.
When it comes to surgery, both doctor and patient know how precision is a prime goal. AR can help surgeons to perform the surgeries more efficiently. Medsights Tech is developing software to test the capability of Augmented Reality to detect tumors.
The relationship of Augmented Reality and 5G
Augmented reality heavily relies on complex and responsive network communication, which has challenged technology time again. 5G when combined with edge computing, can deliver that kind of demand. 5G has the potential to boost cloud computing, resulting in efficient AR usage.
AR and the retail shopping
Augmented reality can help retailers by providing a “try before you buy!” digital experience, this will significantly reduce the problem of consumers returning the product after a trial, which causes loss. AR solutions can offer consumers to visualize products in real-time, from the comfort of their couch. 3D simulations will offer the opportunity to look at how the product will look in their place before they commit to buying the product. A report by Forbes, suggests that in the nearing future, about 69% of the shoppers expect retailers to launch an AR app in the next six months or a year.
IKEA, one of the leading furniture manufacturers in the world collaborated with Apple and created IKEA Place, in 2017. This app allows shoppers to see IKEA products in a superimposed graphical environment. With the help of this application, shoppers are able to purchase the right furniture, the style, colours and overall match for their living space with 95% accuracy.
Another fitting example of retail AR technology is The Gap’s Dressing Room, an app created by The Gap that allows users to try a dress on a virtual mirror, this effectively saves the time that it takes to go physically and buy clothes. The consumer just needs to enter their body measurements in the app, and a life-size mannequin wearing the clothes.
The popular shoe brand, Converse, which belongs to the Nike wear family, launched the “Converse Sampler app”. Using this application is very simple, the user has to just angle the camera to the feet and snap a picture of the show they want to buy.
L’Oreal, one of the well-known and reputed cosmetic brands, recently developed an app called “ModiFace”. It allows the user to try different products virtually using the front camera of the smartphone.
AR Outdoor and Indoor Navigation
Recently Google Maps launched its AR navigation, which allows the user to get navigational assistance in the real-time and real world.
ARCity is another program that uses augmented reality technology and computer visions. It is available in 300 cities so far. It’s augmented maps provide excellent information about nearby sights and roads. The application works in an extremely simple and easy way: the user provides access to their device’s camera and gets to look around them and find the shortest path to the place where they need to go. Another major and in-progress development is the indoor navigation system. AR is going to enhance not just outdoor but also indoor navigation.
Before explaining how, let’s learn a little difference between the Global Positioning System (GPS) and Local Positioning System (LPS).
- GPS: It consists of a network of satellites in geosynchronous Earth orbits that send signals that allow the receiver to calculate the distance at which these satellites are located and thus be able to calculate their position.
- LPS: It allows us to reach the same objective in a similar way but using local mechanisms instead of satellites (telephone towers, WiFi, etc.) and calculating the position locally.
Indoor navigation or Indoor Positioning System (IPS) is a specific case of LPS. It particularly aims at positioning objects and events within a space not exposed to open air. AR will help in running the IPS efficiently. For instance, the AR scene starts from the point where the camera is located, which is usually [x=0, y=0, z=0] and the objects are located around it with different coordinates.
AR and Automotive Industry
AR can astonishingly change the driver’s user experience with the help of head-up displays. Augmented reality has transformed other aspects of the automotive industry such as showrooms, prototyping, maintenance, etc.
Designing an automobile can be a critical process. The success and/or failure of a typical automobile depends solemnly on the design. AR can help in simplifying the designing process. With AR, design engineers can project 3D models of the vehicle in the real world. The design and functioning can be tested in various simulated environments, The engineers can also easily pick out individual components to determine the best parts for the vehicle. This makes the process cost-efficient and less tedious.
The manufacturing process can be streamlined as well, thanks to AR technology. The information regarding an automobile can be passed from employee to employee using the AR glasses, this process eliminates the need for handbooks and guides.
The sale process will further be benefitted from this technology as well. For example, BMW was one of the first automotive brands to welcome AR with a warm smile. In early 2010, they presented their head-up displays. In addition, in 2016, they presented the BMW vision next 100. It is a prototype of a Widescreen HUD using augmented reality and artificial intelligence technologies. As of recent, BMW has launched their first virtual showroom and they keep improving the stimulation with the growth of AR.
The combination of Artificial intelligence and Augmented Reality
The ever-beautiful partnership of AR and AI is a match made in heaven (digital heaven!).
An AR application can become a lot more beneficial when artificial intelligence elements are incorporated with it. AI helps in achieving better control over the interaction of applications. The technology allows AR to have multidimensional interactions with the real-time, physical environment. It enables manipulation of 2D and 3D virtual objects with your eyes, hands and words. For example, in speech recognition, the AI model listens to you say something and AR makes the graphics of that particular thing appear in the simulation.
Human Pose Estimation is another example of an AI-AR match. This predicts the position of a person’s joint in an image or video. YoPuppet, is one such website.
AR in Education
With the pandemic and the new normal imposed by Covid-19, Augmented reality in education is surging in popularity in schools worldwide. Educators are able to make the learning process more interactive and interesting using AR. Augmented reality provides aspects that help to understand and solve complex and layered problems. This helps the students to create a better future. To the schools, AR is a cost-effective option as compared to its counterpart VR.
As discussed in Stanford news, VR’s application can influence the mind onto the body, whereas, AR also inspires empathy in an individual. AR provides the students to deepen the knowledge in several aspects of studies such as reading, working with numbers, etc. AR adoption doesn’t require a complete curriculum turn, in fact, it can be an effective supplement in the already available study material.
Justin Aglio, Director of Innovation at Montour School District (Pennsylvania), suggests connecting the learning to action research, if possible — i.e., the research conducted to solve an immediate problem. “What are the benefits of using VR/AR? Have students collect data along the way to research VR and AR’s effectiveness.”
Popular AR gadgets in 2020.
- HoloLens 2, by Microsoft.
- Epson Moveiro, by Epson.
- Raptor, by Everysight.
Future of Augmented Reality
AR is yet to reach its full potential.
The future of augmented reality will evolve the search engines. There are talks of various new devices, more compatible and portable. More and more AR developments are to take place between 2021–2028, which will eventually expand the market’s size. Futuristic AR is showing great development in the aspect of safety. Reports suggest Mobile AR is in an explosive development. For example, MobileAR will be able to operate on iOS and Android smartphones, tablets, or wearable devices, and will allow users to create snapshots of the enhanced environments, with an option to share online. Real estate is gearing up to incorporate augmented reality into their industry on an advanced level.
The world is looking forward to futuristic AR. You should too. Investing in an augmented reality application can be really beneficial given the “new normal” and the very digital human nature in today’s time.
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