12 Dec Augmented Reality And What We Can Expect From The Future
You’ve heard about virtual reality but less is known about its overshadowed sibling, augmented reality. Its aim is to take your surroundings and superimpose computer generated visual details onto them. It’s a huge shift in the landscape of technology, in that you must take part in the world around you as opposed to interfacing with a virtual one. However, many people in both fields believe that virtual and augmented reality will merge. The implications and applications of such a technology are massive.
Google, Apple, Microsoft, Samsung and many other companies are developing augmented reality hardware and software. Perhaps, none more exciting that Magic Leap, a startup that raised 1.4 billion dollars from investors including 542 million from Google. They’ve been very selective with what they let out into the public, but here is a quick example of what they can do:
There are some uses of augmented reality being created for more than just entertainment purposes that are just around the corner. For instance, there’s an app being developed called “Social Car” that is designed to reduce road rage. Your smartphone would project a holographic screen onto the windshield and information about the car in front you would appear in a noninvasive way. The idea being, you would be less inclined to exhibit road rage if you knew that person that cut you off was racing to the hospital to assure that their pregnant wife had proper care as she went into labor.
Augmented reality is also making it’s way into classrooms, engaging students in ways that were previously thought to be impossible. We’re still ways away but in a decade or so students will be able to learn complex concepts in palatable and engaging forms. Teachers will no longer have to rely on their artwork to convey a concept like photosynthesis when they can have an amazing representation of a plant receiving light energy from the sun right there in the classroom. The implication being that this dynamic and engaging way of teaching will sway students that ordinarily wouldn’t be engaged through traditional methods, and solidify the understanding of the concept for the kids that are interested to begin with.
Interior decorating is another industry destined to be affected by augmented reality. As of right now, there are apps available that allow you to point a smartphone or tablet at part of your home and see what it would look like to have an ornament or piece of furniture in that location, to see if you would like in the context of that room. At some point down the line, people have the option to integrate digital decorations as much as they please in their homes. With the ability to project images, things like televisions will be obsolete. You’ll have a computer generated television that will most likely be customizable in size and be able to move it anywhere you want.
As of right now there’s only one commercially available augmented reality headset, the Microsoft Hololens, which costs three to five thousand dollars. But like all technology, the price will fall as the quality improves and becomes part of our everyday lives.