Different Ways in which AR is Transforming Everyday Life

By CIOReview | Thursday, September 6, 2018
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Augmented Reality (AR) was first envisioned in the late 60s when Ivan Sutherland, a computer scientist and Harvard associate professor, laid a geometric grid over a user’s view of a room with the help of a head-mounted display. The headset was a much bulkier version than the sleek eye-goggles used today. And over the years, technologists have beavered away to make digital overlays much more realistic than ever before. AR, at its core, works by overlaying computer-generated images or information over a representation of the real world, supplementing its appearance. While the full potential of AR is yet to be realized, the technology has already gained immense popularity in various fields like automation, safety and rescue, retail, and others. For instance, in 2016, Pokémon Go had taken the world by storm. AR was used to place a digital reality over the real world so players could interact with familiar surroundings in a new and exciting way. Over the years, this technology’s application has gained broader reach and continues to transform the way of life.

For example, cars today come equipped with heads-up displays (HUD), which project the car’s speed, GPS routes, and other information on the windshield of the car. AR goggles take that idea further, by projecting this information not just on the windshield but in any direction the driver looks. An AR system can also communicate with the electronic systems and sensors in the car to determine the amount of fuel left, speed, and braking distance. It could also display locations like nearest gas stations, monitor local weather and traffic reports, and control the music player. Another area where AR finds great application is shopping. Retailers are using AR to enhance the in-store experience of customers. Through AR, users can now browse a virtual catalog of clothes from different brands, and try on new dresses or shoes. This helps to enhance the brand experience as well as create a more interactive shopping experience for customers.

A unique use case of AR is in safety and rescue operations. In rescue operations, AR can provide a 3D map of the area to equip first responders with maximum information; bringing never-before transparency to the scene of the incident.

Daqri, a company focused on assisting on-site manufacturing and construction workers has developed an AR-enabled smart helmet, using which workers can see relevant, actionable data like the building information model, where and when they need it.

It is clear to see that AR is changing the way of life and by further integrating other innovations like IoT and VR, this immersive, integrated technology can advance user experiences to an even greater extent.