Maybe the best thing about Augmented Reality (AR) and what makes it distinct from Virtual Reality (see our previous article on the differences between both technologies) is that instead of generating a completely immersive, virtual environment, it actually combines virtual elements with the real world around us. In effect, AR provides a digital overlay, or fabrication, on top of objects and space around us. There are a number of ways to AR can be used at work. Following are simply ideas to get you started.
If the customers preorder something, you can use the power of AR in order to show them what that product will look like. One such example already in the market is the furniture app by IKEA. Using a smartphone users are able to have augmented furniture appear within their living room in order to see how it will look, before purchasing the item. Another example is the L’Oréal Makeup Genius which overlays different makeup products on the user’s face by utalising the front facing camera on their smartphone and displaying the augmented image on the phone screen.
Challenge within the construction industry center around accessing important information while on the job, without having to carry large or bulky items. What Augmented Reality HMDs (Head Mounted Displays) such as the Microsoft HoloLens promise is the ability for construction workers to use a hands free device to pull up information on what they are working on. This can be anything from pipe pressures and temperatures, to viewing important information on how to operate complex machinery.
AR can be used in healthcare with a variety of purposes. Similar to applications within the construction industry, AR can provide some valuable information, such as patient data, provided to the employee in real time. Doctors have the ability to monitor their patient’s blood pressure and other vital characteristics without having to look up from the operation, while sports trainers can visualize the stamina and physical state of their players.
As the technology matures we are seeing the capacity for AR to allow users to be networked together in real time, allowing work colleagues to collaborate together on a project, even though they may be located in two different physical locations. Pitching to clients and visiting work sites through Augmented Reality technology may be the norm within the next 5 to 10 years.
Above are just a few ideas and applications for Augmented Reality. By understanding what AR can and cannot do you will find applications for its use specific to your industry challenges. By removing a lot of the physical assistants and providing real time information to the user, while also being hands free, is a strong selling point for AR. If you have an application you would like to develop or interested in learning more about how AR could be used to solve your particular situation please contact us. ImmersePort is a Brisbane based Augmented Reality Development Company which specializes in working with clients to provide custom software solutions.