What is Augmented Reality — and what it most certainly isn’t

The response which I get very often when I try to explain what is it that we actually do is astounding. People either never heard of AR, or in the better case, they confuse it with web 360° viewers, VR gaming or mixed reality. Thus I decided to clean this thought-mess once and for all.

Augmented Reality as we utilize it

There is a lot of different ways of using AR ranging from games, maps, signage all the way to the retail. The part that we as a company focus on is previewing 3D objects/models/products in the space of Augmented Reality.

It means, basically, that we provide a platform with which you are able to display 3D objects real-time in the scene which is captured live by a camera of your smart device. This way the user can quickly preview products in real size and in real colour or material.

What products can be previewed in AR?

The only limitation that exists is the complexity of the product — to some degree and the actual logical usability of AR with regards to viewport to product size ratio.

First, let’s explain the complexity part. The more polygons and vertices you have, the longer the loading time. Same with the textures. It is required to find an optimal balance between the quality an loading time in order to keep the user experience smooth and pleasing. Another thing is the device. Newest iPad will most certainly perform better than a 3-years old Android phone.

Now for the size question. In order to keep things reasonable, let’s just say straight away that trying to preview life-size pirate ship with 5,5" screen would be impractical. Not like it’s not possible, it just would not meet the purpose. So in conclusion, there is no real limit in size but the sheer practicality of previewing certain model through a given viewport.

Whatever… just tell me what it is used for

Ok, well here we go:

  • furniture — sofas, chairs, tables, shelves, beds, cabinets…
  • fireplaces, radiators, heating units, AC ventilators, heat pumps…
  • office furniture, acoustic boards, office pods, modular furniture…
  • carpets, rugs and bean bags
  • home decor stuff — vases, small lamps, miscellaneous decorations…
  • electronics — speakers, screens, TVs, washing machines, fridges…
  • outdoor furniture, sunshades, parasols, fountains
  • medical equipment and furniture
  • saunas and portable spas
  • wall and ceiling-mounted lighting
  • frames and statues…

And virtually anything that you can make a 3D model of.

Few words from one of our clients Glamm Fire on the topic of using the Augmented Reality application. More examples can be found in our video gallery.

What about VR or 360° configurators?

Nope, Augmented Reality has nothing to do with those two, well except maybe the 3D part. Virtual Reality requires some kind of a headset device which displays something completely different from what actually is around you in physical space. 360° web-based viewers or configurators are usually javascript based web applications that have been designed to preview 3D models online. Check out three.js and you will understand immediately.

Hopefully, this suffices as an explanation for what we do with the AR technology. If you are hungry for more information visit www.arvisual.eu or shoot us an email at info@arvisual.eu.