Are you ready for Augmented Reality?

It’s no big surprise that Mark Zuckerberg mentioned that the oculus project is not intended to be solely for virtual reality, which is an all immersive experience, but also in development for augmented reality. This is said to be one of the biggest leap forwards we expect to make in consumer technology of the the next ten years. While we’ve seen attempts fail already (eham qr codes and Google Glass). The likely causes being a both a market place and a product not ready for widespread use.

Augmented reality is defined as ”a technology that superimposes a computer-generated image on a user’s view of the real world, thus providing a composite view.” In the most practical sense the point of augmented reality is to create a different view of interacting with digital information that is layered on top of the real world. A broader definition would include anything that expands the user experience with the digital world beyond the static screen.

As Elon Musk explains in this video, the current way we interact with screens are by nature unnatural.

The same is true with the abstracted way we interact with digital information on a two dimensional screen. Because of this robotics and 3D printing, can be considered an extension of the field of augmented reality, as they bring the digital to literally interface with the real world. For the point of discussion in this article we will largely focus just on the virtual interactions with the real world through projected displays, and alternative input methods, including wearables, optics, and sonographic technology.

The Hardware

  1. Phone. We already use our phone or tablet for the majority of augmented reality, the majority of the features are just for fun like SnapChat’s update two weeks ago that turn your face to do, well it does something. Many people already use Yelp’s Monocle, which came out several years ago. It’s a functioning preview of what to expect in the future, where one can just walk down the street and see the reviews on businesses they walk past.
  2. Phone Extensions. Phone add ons like Structure, able to scan three dymentail spaces for the capture of interiors of places or exteriors objects, digitizing physical structures for either virtual placement of objects inside inside the space, or virtual of modification, or replication for literally any possible use.
  3. Glasses. While Google Glass was the most famous eyewear augmented reality interface, there have been several renditions since then for specific use. However, investments have been made to create something much more dynamic than the two dimensional overlay that Google Glass provides. Magic leap, with an investment from google of $550M from Google is likely to use a similar technology to that of
  4. HUD. Straddling between the eyewear and the HUDs (Heads Up Display) are helmets that are designed for use during motorcycling like Scullyhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3o-V4IkHgVg

     and work helmets like DAQRI.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=56&v=qIU456jtkmw

    However the primary use will mostly be in the field of vehicular operation such as Hudway

     and Navdy,

    .  

  5. Wearables. On of the key features of augmented reality is that they often rely on alternative forms of inputs. Most of the time those are verbal, or gesture based, but also augmented reality can tap directly into the inputs that are part of the natural functions of the body both passively and actively. This means that muscle use can be an input through smart suites, rental scans can be tracked, and passive inputs like heartreate and blood pressure can also be used as AR inputs. However, it does go a few steps forutehr by using actual brainwaves, and thoughts in order to get things done. Two great examples of this are MindRDR

     as well as Emotive 

  6. Mirror displays/ NanoParticle. Mirror and window projected displays will transform the fashion and cosmetic industries to allow buyers to see how things would look on before they purchase.

      Also, Magic Mirror is no longer something out of fairy tales, it actually allows users to try on clothes without going into the changing room. 

  7. Drones. While leaders in this field like Parrot are creating augmented reality games, the concept of Drone technology is actually fundamental to augmented reality (it also serves as the bridge between what is throughout of as traditionally augmented, reality and robotics. 

The Applications

What may not be know often thought about is how augmented reality is already (sort of)in use and, how it directly impacts small businesses:

  1. People are using it first in their cars’ HUD. The first systems to begin adopting augmented reality are natural environments where we cannot be distracted by looking down at our phones. Driving is the most natural first place of adoption. Apps like Hudway, Navdy, their motorcycle helmet counterpart Skully are designed for increased ability in navigation and hands free communication.  These systems already integrated with Google Maps, which mean optimization for google maps is going to matter for a whole lot more than just getting good standard search engine rankings. But showing up first for people already in motion will impact the snap decisions of people enroute, who need to know a good place to pick up that last minute birthday cake. Check out these tips for optimizing your google maps profile.
  2. In Store shopping. Probably one of the most exciting startups brings a lot of the same technology we use in conversion optimization and onsite SEO, into physical places through a complex monitoring system, that helps store owners understand how people are moving through their stores, and provides them the data necessary to learn and adjust to people’s spending habits.
    Wouldn’t It Be Nice to Know Your Shopper? from RetailNext on Vimeo.
  3. Tourism. Tourism is probably one of the most natural nan d
  4. Customizing products
  5. Landscaping
  6. Home Decor
  7. Retail

What are the possible future applications:

  1. Proposals for home improvement to hair stylists
  2. Enhanced training for health and wellness
  3. Comparative Pricing
  4. Radical Transparency

What can businesses do to get ready for augmented reality?

  1. Accommodate for the tech
  2. Manage your reputation
  3. Control the major platforms
  4. Contribute when it comes

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