What is augmented reality? To explain it briefly you could say that it’s a technology which overlays digital components onto user’s real surroundings.
What is augmented reality? To explain it briefly you could say that it’s a technology which overlays digital components onto user’s real surroundings. What’s the big fuss about? According to the research undertaken by Digi-Capital in 2015, augmented reality, along with virtual reality is predicted to hit $150 billion in five years time. We’re pretty excited about the innovative and inventive ways this emerging tech is being put to use, and have collected a few of our favorites for you to explore, too:
Type on your arm
Japanese electronics provider, NEC, has recently shown a system incorporating two devices – a set of intelligent glasses and a smartwatch – to transform the user’s arm into a virtual keyboard. Why would anyone need such a thing? Imagine you’re a maintenance worker and you need both hands to work. Carrying a physical keyboard might prove inconvenient, so the virtual keyboard would appear on your forearm only when needed. NEC says the system will be released sometime in 2016. The price for both devices (a set of glasses and a smartwatch) is still yet to be set.
Researchers at the University of North Carolina have demonstrated a system which can help decipher an encoded message. How is it done? Their software simply works with the augmented reality headset. When a user wearing the device points it to a graphic code (which is suspiciously similar to a QR code), he’ll see a decrypted message. How this could be used? The creators claim that it could for instance improve the security of ATMs, as the user could be shown randomized numbers on the PIN Pad, so that no one standing at the back could see his personal PIN.
Not sure if fits? See it live.
Augment is an app that lets the consumers and retailers display the visualization of a product – a laptop, soda can or TV set on a screen of a mobile device. How does it work? First, a retailer needs to upload a 3D model of his product into the system. Once it’s there, the user can view the model in the augmented reality context – on a shelf in the store or at home. The authors of the concept claim Augment to be the number one augmented reality app.
Play with a 3D coloring book
We’ve all seen these ads when a kid is drawing in a coloring book and the character from the page suddenly becomes alive and jumps out from the picture. Seems like the scenario isn’t as improbable as initially thought. The Disney Research team has recently developed a system based on augmented reality. Thanks to live texturing, we’ll be able to see the object we’re coloring in a 3D perspective.
Stay safe while driving
If you cannot afford a car packed with extensive anti-collision systems, the augmented reality app might be a reasonable choice. iOnRoad is a 0,99€ app dedicated to car owners. Thanks to the augmented reality technology and your smartphone camera, the app will detect the vehicle in front of you and show you the distance between your car and the next one. iOnRoad will also warn you about potential collisions through audiovisual alerts.
Watch a gig
Two years ago in Japan, Sony organized a “Headphone Music Festival” to promote its brand new headphones. In order to participate in the festival, all the user had to do was download the dedicated augmented reality app and scan the poster of the festival, designed exclusively for the event. Having scanned the poster, everyone could enjoy the performance of four popular local bands on the street.
Study brain anatomy
Augmented reality also proves increasingly helpful in teaching and education sector. Due to the fact that with the use of such technology, one can observe a live 3D model, which can be rotated and enlarged, the concept is particularly useful in the field of anatomy. Harmony is the app which lets you explore the multiple dimensions of the human brain. A student may display all the inner areas of the organ and view the required tissues and complex structures.
Play Minecraft on a table
Augmented reality is surely capable of changing how we shop, sightsee or watch concerts, but now it seems it could also change the gaming industry. At this year’s Microsoft press briefing at E3, the guests were shown an extremely popular game – Minecraft – played with Hololens, which is Microsoft’s augmented reality wearable. During the game, the player could experience the block building game in a holographic version, displayed on a table. The official release date has not been set yet.
Repair your car
All the drivers have been there – stuck in the middle of nowhere in a car that just wouldn’t go any further. You don’t know why the engine is not launching, so all you can do is call a mechanic. Hyundai decided to teach the car owners some car repairing skills and has recently launched the Hyundai Virtual Guide – an app which will assist you once you open the hood. Sure, the thought that everyone can repair the car with an assistance of the app is quite optimistic, but the guide may prove helpful with some basic repairs.
Design made-to-measure furniture
Buying the furniture might be a risky business. It always looks different once you bring your piece home, so it’s either a hit or a huge miss. However, the augmented reality technology can make the choosing process simple and painless. Tylko is an app which lets the user design the furniture and view it in the desired space. All the parameters, such as height, number of shelves, shape of legs and colour may be adjusted according to the needs of each user.