Augmented Reality – A Contextual Future
The virtual world is quickly molding into and integrating tightly with the real one. It is not a stretch to predict a promising future for Augmented Reality and use cases that will and already are benefiting. This combined reality- i.e. Virtual Reality merging into the real world – is on the track to become not only a new invention to marvel at but a desired, expected, trustworthy experience that can lead to fruitful communication and authentic decisions. Augmented Reality will soon optimize and streamline everything in our life.
Recently, Apple acquired Metaio – the market leader, creator and democratizer of Augmented Reality. Google has also created and promoted Cardboard, a Virtual Reality device for mobile phones. It has invested $500 million in an company boasting Cinematic Reality -Magic Leap. Facebook, through Oculus Rift debuted the Virtual Reality film Henry. And the most recent of all, Microsoft HoloLens promises to be a fully untethered holographic computer. These recent market actions prove it is becoming essential for companies such as Samsung, Apple, Lenovo and LG to jump on board and ensure their devices can support complex and resource-intensive Augmented Reality applications.
Nowadays, Google is experimenting with depth-sensor devices needed to deploy Augmented Reality applications to the consumer. Project Tango is jam-packed with a number of cameras and motion sensors, tracking and mapping its surroundings in real-time. It can perform tasks such as area learning, motion tracking, and depth perception, all at once. According to Forbes, “Developers can achieve some amazing effects and address certain use cases that were previously not possible. From virtual, guided tours of buildings for real estate and other applications, to simulation environments that offer a natural user view with planning and control that can be achieved just by moving the tablet in space.”
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) too, has been reconsidered with the emergence of Augmented Reality. As David Amerland, the author of Google Semantic Search, states “‘Augmented Reality uses semantic technologies to introduce a structured, information-rich layer into the real world environment.” This gives users the ability to add content right into the digital world using the physical world as ‘historical’ anchors. Marketing companies are chomping at the bit and preparing for the mass adoption of Augmented Reality by the consumer and strategizing on how Augmented-Search Engines can further promote brands and products, delivering unique and contextually-aware content based on the viewers demographics and interests. This is also true for the enterprise as contextually-aware information and data from factory machinery, equipment and systems can be superimposed and supplied to the smart workforce, streamlining decision making and reducing downtime.
The Augmented and Virtual Reality experts who gathered at the Neurogaming Conference had the following to say, “The rapid rise of Virtual Reality technology, the sheer number of companies developing Augmented Reality devices and applications, and the potential it has to replace other forms of computing (a lot of dollars to be made as a form factor is replaced) suggest Augmented Reality has a significant role to play in our future. All things considered, the burning question is not whether Augmented Reality devices will become mainstream, but when.”