Exciting augmented reality possibilities
What is augmented reality?
Augmented reality allows digital content to be added to the real world. We could see a cute pet walking on your desk or in your garden, add virtual data to an object in a shopping centre or to your business card, watch a trailer for the latest cinema releases from a poster or have directions overlay your real world environment for navigation. The possibilities really are endless.
Augmented reality is fun and innovative way to get information about your products out there. You could for example have the AR app scan the barcode of the product or recognise the packaging such a bag of sugar and display information about it. It could show you where the product is in stock near you, the cheapest price, recycling information for the packaging or popular recipes that use the product. You could even have an advert play or a poster display when the barcode or packaging is recognised in addition to the information being displayed.
Augmented reality games are a fast growing industry and showcase some of the most exciting possibilities AR can achieve. You can have any genre/premise you’d like and what makes them unique is you can have the elements of the game interact with your world. You could have zombies roaming around your house, go on a treasure hunt around your town, build a city on your desktop or put together a 3D puzzle that you can walk around and see every angle of.
The best known augmented reality game is probably Pokemon Go which launched in 2016 to worldwide acclaim. The app uses your GPS location and you can catch or photograph creatures in your local area.
Location based augmented reality can be used for navigation. Rather than using just GPS which can sometimes be inaccurate, using AR to recognise landmarks in combination with GPS can provide a much more reliable navigation system. AR can also display directions over your map/ camera feed to help you find where you need to be.
HUD or heads up display is a very common use of augmented reality. It works by layering digital information over what you can see in front of you. Think what Tony stark can see through his Iron Man mask and that’s a bit of a fantastical version of HUD.
There are some really useful situations where this can be used. Surgeons could have the stats of their patients, the elapsed time the surgery and the next steps of the surgery displayed without having to look elsewhere or ask others for the information.
Military personal could get information of weather, wind speed, locations of targets or allied vehicles. In a museum you could have information about the artwork display around it, upcoming exhibitions the user may be interested in, the opening times of the museum or anything you wish. The ways in which augmented reality can be utilised is ever expanding.
Types of augmented reality
Now for the geeky stuff…There are 3 main types of augmented reality; marker, markerless and location based. Marker AR uses an image that the software recognises and displays data, images or videos on top of that. Markerless AR doesn’t need an image marker to display digital content, instead you can place digital content into your environment. Location based AR uses GPS to determine where you are and can display information regarding your whereabouts.