Have you ever fantasised about getting yourself a Holodeck just like in the movie “Star Trek”? Well, you will not have to use your imagination anymore. Thanks to augmented reality, you can experience a heads-up display like the one Arnold Schwarzenegger had in “Terminator,” or the one Tom Cruise had in “Minority Report.” This sort of science isn’t fiction anymore!
When we are talking about augmented reality (AR), people automatically presume that the technology has only one application: “Pokémon Go”! Yes, the technology can cause a paradigm shift in the gaming industry, but the uses of this will benefit other sectors as well. We are already seeing possible improvements of AR that will revolutionise the gaming, manufacturing, healthcare, and military industries.
Many even think that AR technology is a failure! The sudden fall of the much-hyped “Pokémon Go” is the culprit behind such misconceptions. While AR’s sibling, virtual reality (VR), is killing the market these days, AR technology is not very far behind.
As an engineer, you should seize the opportunity to work with this technology and create a better future for everyone involved. At this very moment, tech giants, as well as individual contributors, are working day and night to make this technology available to people from all walks of life. Shouldn’t we all join in?
Big Names Are on the Move!
Within the next few years, we will experience massive upgrades in AR technology. Recently, big names like Google, Apple, and Facebook have shown great interest, and they are already working on AR.
Just a few days back, Facebook opened up its own AR Studio Platform for developers and marketers in India. It is a significant collaboration, as Facebook can reach out to a market of 1.5 billion users. India has been stunning the world with their technological and economic booms, and the country nas emerged as one of the fastest growing markets. We think this collaboration will bring excellent news for the AR technology.
L’Oréal also partnered up with Facebook. They want to create an AR-based makeup app together.
Apple is also on the move to tame this technology. This last August, Apple acquired Akonia Holographics, a promising startup company that specialises in AR glasses and headsets. We are expecting big announcements from Apple within the next couple of months. Rumour has it that Apple might introduce AR Maps in iOS 12. Also, Apple is planning to launch AR glasses in 2020.
Amazon wants to improve its warehouses. The company is planning to use AR goggles to track particular products in a warehouse that would help workers to get rid of the hassle of finding it manually.
Clearly, Google is way ahead in the AR race. They have mesmerised the world with their progress on ARCore in the latest Google I/O’18. They are trying to make people familiar with this marvellous technology with their videos and online courses. We all know of Google Glass. While the project is still in its development phase, we expect big things in the coming months and years.
Probable Use Cases of Augmented Reality
Manufacturing industries, especially lean manufacturing, will be significantly benefited with AR technology. With AR technology, technicians can now see smaller parts that are not visible or accessible in a traditional way. The assembly process will be a lot easier with it.
Healthcare and Medical Services
What if the surgeons could look into a patient’s body, keep track of their blood pressure, and watch their patient’s heart rate while performing surgery? Sounds impressive, right? With AR technology, it is not just mere imagination—it’s reality! Moreover, expert surgeons could guide local doctors to perform surgery virtually, all thanks to the AR technology.
Soldiers in battlefields now have an overhead view of their mission perimeter, thermal scan results, drone cam feeds, enemy markings and movements, and many more tools with AR technology. The perfect AR glasses have yet to be made. But we could have these features in the near future, as they are already under development.
Smarter Office Environment
AR technology could boost up the productivity in offices by a great deal. We could experience virtual business meetings while we are lying in our beds. AR would open up the door freedom and productivity. Communicating will be even easier and simpler.
Let’s take a moment and imagine a scenario. You are walking around the streets of Rome wearing AR glasses; you are getting a view of the ancient Rome 3,000 years ago. You could see things beyond the limitation of time!
Soon, the human race will experience the newer methods of learning. Students could learn and understand topics by seeing them using AR technology. They will not have to cram pages after pages without getting the gist.
We all know that the gaming industry benefits from the boon of AR technology sooner than other sectors. AR-based theme parks will be open for everyone. Some experts also think that the AR/VR-based entertainment industry will be worth more than $1 billion by the year 2025.
For those of you who are confused about the future of AR technology and wondering if it’s even worth including in your prototypes and basic designs, shed your confusion. All the recent news articles indicate that the next decade will be the decade of AR, VR, and mixed reality (MR). Almost every single industry will benefit from these technologies.
It’s time you utilised your innovation-hungry brain to make a positive change in society with the power of AR technology, which is still a toddler. Even bigger things are coming its way!
Only time can tell how the human race will embrace this technology and use it. But one thing is for sure: AR technology is already here, and it is going to stay.