Augmented Reality — How it’s altering the way we see the world.

Augmented Reality (AR) has taken the tech world (and, really, much of the world) by storm. It has changed the way we play, the way we connect with friends and even the way we experience the outdoors. So, what is Augmented Reality? Where could this technology take consumers in the future?

What is Augmented Reality?

AR is the ability to overlay virtual experiences within your current surroundings while using some sort of wearable or mobile device. The latest example of this? Pokemon Go.

Picture this: You’re on your daily walk. You’re enjoying the surroundings: the breeze, the view. Your phone vibrates — there’s a Pokemon nearby. You flip open the map. You see a Squirtle hanging out at the nearby lake. You walk swiftly to get there before it disappears. You make it. You tap on him as soon as you’re there. You see Squirtle right there in front of you on the beach! You toss a couple Pokeballs in hopes it won’t put up a fight. Finally, you’ve caught it — you’ve got a Squirtle!

This experience is 100% AR. Pokemon Go enables users to search, find and catch Pokemon in their surroundings. Users can head towards a lure or geographic location and can literally walk up to a Pokemon sitting on the sidewalk, in a park or near the lake and catch them.

What are future use cases for AR?

Pokemon Go is the first instance of AR being used on a MASSIVE scale. Users around the world are seeing actual Pokemon with the help of their mobile device. But how could AR become more mainstream and be used outside of a game for business purposes?

Here are just a couple ways we’ve found:

  1. Home renovations. Contractors could use an application featuring Augmented Reality technology to give prospective clients an idea of how a home could look after a renovation using their services.
  2. Manufacturing. AR would allow users to see a virtual concept and look inside a specific piece of machinery to see how the mechanisms and mechanics work or what issues could be lurking. This would allow for repairs, replacements and new developments.

Finding a way to integrate AR into your business model could improve customer experience, satisfaction and perhaps even sales numbers.

Food for thought:

AR will change the way we see the world. Could we start to see nearby advertisements while taking pictures with our smartphones? Could it be used to assist medical students in preparing for exams or clinicals? Could the use of AR change the way we interact with businesses? Could AR put missing family members in important photos or at major life events?

To the developers out there: How could AR be implemented on our current smart devices? Is there an application that could allow AR to work across all platforms instead of needing a second smart device for its use? Does this application need to be created by an independent party or by the hardware providers themselves?

Watch as Ryan explores AR and Pokemon Go:

We want to hear from you. Where do you see AR going? How could AR be used in a way that’s easy for everyone to access?

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Authored by Sarah Rockholt.