Have you ever heard of augmented reality (AR) before? For some, they only know AR as a game or even far-to-reach technology as it sounds a little bit too techie.
However, if you take a look at it a little bit closer, AR has always been around us for the past few years. Literally around us. You might not know this before, but AR has been a part of our daily lives—even helped with our work or daily stuff.
So, what is AR exactly? How does it work? If you have tons of questions that you want to answer, make sure to read this until the end 😉
Augmented reality (AR) is a technology that blends the real world with computer-generated content, hence producing an immersive illusion for the people that engage with it.
The technology can overlay any visual elements including images, 2D objects, 3D objects, videos, and even sounds to the real world.
Interaction is one of the keywords that is inseparable from AR. It’s made to interact with people, so it can boost up the engagement. It can be through gestures, touch inputs, voice commands, or even specialized input devices.
Now you might ask, “Is it the same with that virtual reality (VR) thingy?”
Some people might get them mixed up, but they’re absolutely different.
While AR brings the virtual content into the real world, VR brings us to the virtual world—as if we’re living virtually.
You can only pop up AR experiences with the help of supporting devices. So, remember—device is the key.
The supporting devices that we mean is, for example, mobile devices (smartphones & tablets), or even wearable items like AR headsets or smart glasses.
Before appearing on the device, there’s a process running through the system within the device. The first thing that it does? Detecting real-time data around the environment scanned by the device.
The process is called tracking and mapping. Later on, the virtual contents will appear in the real world with the right position and size—which will blend if being looked through the device’s camera.
However, there are different triggers to pop up the AR itself—or what we usually call “the types of AR”.
The first type is called the markerless AR. This one enables you to pop up the AR content around yourself, without any single trigger.
Different from markerless AR, the second type, AR marker, requires a trigger. The trigger itself could be in the form of customized images or graphics, or even QR codes which are specifically embedded into the AR content.
And last but not least, the geo-location AR. This one’s quite different from the previous two. The AR is embedded into a certain, specific location that has been determined before by the system.
Once you arrive at the location and scan around, you will see the content pop up in that place only.
Without any supporting devices, smoothly running system, and the triggers, AR will never work well.
Who doesn’t know Pokémon GO? Back in 2016, this game took the world by storm and made everyone mad about it. Even crazier, people didn’t mind traveling far just to find and unlock the rare Poké Ball.
This one, actually, is an example of AR experience. Since you use devices to play and you will have to scan around the exact locations, it makes use of geo-location AR.
In the real world, you might not be able to see the Poké Ball. However, with the help of supporting devices and the pop-up AR, the ball feels like coming to life.
As a social media user, it’s almost impossible that you don’t know the filters—especially if you’re an avid fan of selfies and being exist in the social media.
Actually, the filters that usually appear on your face is one of the AR examples in real life.
The filter maps your facial visuals, and then matches it with the AR in the system, so it can be perfectly fit into your face.
Becoming a hot topic in June 2023, Apple Vision Pro becomes one of the most anticipated devices from the Apple fans—or even tech enthusiasts in general.
That’s because Apple Vision Pro is the first-ever AR headset released by Apple. And it’s like an iPhone, but in the form of an AR headset.
The device itself stores a huge and advanced AR capability in terms of its glasses. It can seamlessly overlay AR contents into the world as if it’s just real without any devices.
An all-rounder, the device can also be utilized for entertainment, work, or supporting tools for our daily lives.
The commands enliven almost all our senses, including our sense of touch and audio. Yes, it will be released in 2024—and you won’t want to miss it.
If you navigate yourself with Google Maps, there will be times when you encounter difficulties—either it’s when you’re looking for the right road or get lost due to taking a turn that's just 50 meters away from the real turn.
Luckily, there’s a thing called Live View. Have you ever heard of it?
Well, if you have, and you’ve been using it, it’s also a part of AR.
If you scan the streets, there will be arrows and guides appearing on your screen in real-time—which will help you navigate your way to your destination much easier.
If you have used apps like IKEA to decorate your room virtually, it actually maximizes the power of AR.
They can show up any furniture 3D objects around the real world, simply by scanning around the environment. After you pop up the 3D, you can also decorate and relocate them around however you’d like.
In education, AR is mainly used to pop up digital visual aids to help students understand the concept better. Imagine using physical visual aids with many students learning at once. It can be a hassle since they have to take turns looking at the visual aids.
However, with AR, they can simply take a look at the aids only with their mobile devices. Simply scan around, and they’ll see the frog, human anatomy, planets, and many other objects coming to life.
For marketers, AR can be used as a unique tool to support your marketing campaign. It’s much more interactive compared to your usual marketing.
For example, you can put AR experience in your poster to make interactive AR content popping up in front of it—which you can include interesting promos.
Also, if you want to make invitations for your events, you can also use AR visualization to make it much more special and grand.
For machinery industries, the way you understand your machines and how you fix the machines matter the most. With AR, everything gets easier.
If you happen to be in the industry, and you’re training your trainees how to handle and operate the machines, you can make use of AR. It can simulate the ways in real-time with real visualizations.
If it’s about maintenance, you can also visualize the animation as well as the guide on how to fix the machines. Anyone can simply follow the guide—noting how real it looks.
In the entertainment case, the AR that we’re talking about could be about games and storytelling. With AR-supported games, you can pop up and play the games around your real environment, seamlessly blending it with your surroundings.
Aside from that, if you’re working in the children's industry, making an AR-powered storytelling is also great to elevate your interaction and engagement with the children.
As they follow along your story, they will also be instructed to scan and view the life-like visualizations from each story part that you want to emphasize.
The future is bright for AR. In the future, you’ll see AR grow even more rapidly since it’s considered as a daily tool that will help you access information. It’s not only one or two, but it’s practically your go-to for everything.
That said, there will be many growing things—starting from more robust devices, higher AR content quality, and even more varied ways to access the AR content.
Possibly, AR can even advance much more largely when combined with existing growing tech like AI. Together, they can create synergy and produce more powerful results.
After all, this whole thing comes down to one bottom line: “Is there any way to create AR easily?”
Luckily, AR can now be easily created—thanks to all the future predictions of AR, which will be applicable everywhere.
Seeing the trends, AR content-creation platforms are now seeing a high rise. One of the most must-have is the Assemblr Studio itself.
It’s much easier to use, as simple as drag-and-drop. You can make your own AR for any needs easily from your on-the-go devices or laptops.
No more having a hard time when creating AR. Whatever you need, we’ve already provided the elements such as 2D & 3D objects, videos, images, sounds, etc.
So, now you've uncovered everything about augmented reality (AR). And of course, we're very excited to see what's to come in the upcoming era.
If you need more tips related to AR, the use cases, and many other immersive tech stuff, simply head to Tech Insights to get the latest info and inspo. See you in other articles!