Augmented Reality – Not a Fiction but a Revolution of the Real Life

Augmented Reality – Not a Fiction but a Revolution of the Real Life

By Rajeswari Jayaraman

Imagine a world where you can try your outfits in a fitting room, or apply a makeup to see if it suits you, or see if a sofa will fit under the window – without physically trying anything on. Yes, these are some of the real examples already made possible by IKEA, Sephora, Wayfair using the Augmented Reality (AR) technology.  For those of you who don’t know yet, it’s a technology that overlays digital information into the real world to enhance the user experience and turn images of sci-fi films into everyday life. The first real-world application of the technology was the heads-up displays in fighter jets already in 1960s. Using today’s industrial standards, BMW is pioneering the heads-up displays in cars, where information such as speed, navigation and many more are projected from a console on the dashboard onto the transparent windshield glass.

The technology is all set to revolutionize the future in sectors as far and wide as education, healthcare, and shopping. Let’s explore some examples below.

Patient Education and Medical Training

Patients can see in 3D how a particular drug or a pill works in their body without having to read long boring description from pharma companies. Surgical procedures and anatomy can be taught to students by overlaying digital information in the form of animations or 3D models onto the human skeleton. This allows students to have better understanding of how a human body functions.

Improved Healthcare – Less Pricking and More Vision

The start-up company AccuVein uses AR technology to help nurses find veins at the first attempt in patient’s bodies and reduce the number of prickings. The technology uses a handheld scanner that projects over the skin and reveals where the veins are in the bodies. Google and Microsoft, on the other hand, are developing lenses that could restore clear vision to those who lost it or provide superhuman vision. The Google digital contact lens will be able to measure blood sugar levels every second with its dedicated microsensors eliminating the need to prick the finger and revolutionizing the diabetes care.

Online Shopping Closer to Reality

Online shopping and customer experience can be taken to a whole new level with the maturation of AR platform such as Google’s Tango. The Tango platform creates 3D digital maps of your surroundings and can overlay virtual objects on top of the real world. The online furniture retailer Wayfair, for example, has used this platform to create the AR app WavfairView. The app lets you select furniture from their catalogue and position the objects on your room and even drag and rotate it to see how it fits the room. The first Tango-enabled smartphone, the Phab2 Pro from Lenovo, has just hit the market and the Tango apps are expected to run on all smartphones by 2018 or 2019.

In short, AR technology is transforming the fundamental way in which we interact with objects in our everyday lives and their current application in different sectors provides a glimpse of an unfinished future.

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