Augmented reality and why your business needs to be prepared for it…

HTA Technology Conference Google Cardboard | Striking Places Photography

Buzz words are a wonderful thing, aren’t they? Some become commonplace phrases and sometimes we don’t really know what is actually meant by them – augmented reality, for instance.

On the face of it, augmented just means making something ‘in greater size of value’ so you could be forgiven for thinking we’re talking about a BIGGER reality, right? Well, not quite.

Augmented reality is where the aspects of a ‘real world’ environment are ‘augmented’ by a computer-generated environment and overlaid to combine the two. Probably the most well-known example of this is the Pokémon Go app, which created a global sensation and enabled people to treasure hunt for computer-generated Pokémon using their phone’s GPS and camera.

The rise of augmented reality, and why you need to know about it for your business, is due to the wealth of potential applications of the concept. At first, gaming companies were the main users behind the initial proliferation of AR, for obvious reasons. However, as technology and smartphones develop to make AR smoother and more seamless the applications are becoming increasingly business orientated.

It also helps that the ‘accessories’ that work with AR are becoming more cost-effective; gesture recognition systems that interpret a user’s body movements using a peripheral device such as a wand, stylus, pointer, glove or other body wear are easier to purchase. Head-mounted displays (HMD) are display devices or goggles worn on the head that can now be found in more stores online and offline.

Though not quite mainstream yet, AR displays can also be rendered on devices resembling eyeglasses. Versions include eyewear that employs cameras to intercept the real world view and re-display its augmented view through the eyepieces. The big breakthrough will be when the contact lenses versions finish development! The idea is these bionic contact lenses might contain the elements for display embedded into the lens in a similar way to eyeglasses style devices.

There is even talk of a virtual retinal display (VRD)! A personal display device where a display is scanned directly onto the retina of a viewer’s eye – impressive stuff!

Understanding the basic concept of augmented reality means you’ll be ready for the latest in business and marketing uses for AR when we announce them soon. We’re really excited because when combined with our virtual reality headsets and the software we already use, this new system will blow your socks off (and your customers’!) and give your brand new ways to show off your products and business.

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