Augmented Reality

Augmented Reality is a collaborative experience between the real world and that of computer-generated objects which overlay those generated objects on top of a real-world view, giving the user a combined vision of both simultaneously.

While we’ve all heard about Augmented Reality and how it’s the next big thing, the fact is that it isn’t quite ready for primetime, yet.

Keep in mind that Augmented Reality is very different from Virtual Reality.  In AR, objects are combined with a real-world view.  In VR, the entire view is purely computer generated.

History

The birth of augmented reality has its strongest roots in the 1990s though more recent developments in AR includes projects such as Google Glass, which was designed by Oakley. Despite Google Glass’ failure to meet a welcoming market, many great minds such as Apple CEO Tim Cook thinks AR holds great promise for consumers and the market.

The first major technology that marks the rise of AR was the invention of the headphone, earphone, and/or headset. It is easy for us today to write-off this technology as augmented reality because the auditory sense is not as engaging as the sense of vision. Nevertheless, when we put on a headphone, we are fundamentally augmenting our environment by changing what we hear.

Of course, we can choose to completely replace what we hear be a simple act of turning up the volume or overlay the digital audio input atop of the audio from the real-world by adjusting the volume low enough such that you can still perceive the auditory input coming from both realities.

Why hasn’t it gone mainstream?

Perhaps the reason why augmented reality hasn’t gone mainstream, yet, it because the foundation for its use hasn’t been completely laid down.

Although it’s fascinating, AR has not been broadly accepted by consumers, as some experts thought it should have, largely due to a few shortcomings such as ergonomics, basic utility, and corrective lenses.

Future possibilities

Augmented Reality is a very thought-provoking and exciting prospect once you fully grasp the possibilities.  With AR, our perception of the world will be more subjective and less objective.

Augmented reality will make it possible for people to perceive the world however they choose, all within the bounds of the software.

Predictions

There will be many companies and organizations that specialize in producing and marketing diverse types of augmented reality technologies.

It will be a trend of the future, evolving just as the computer has evolved into what it is today.

Some people will live entire lives in AR, preferring the augmented world to the real world.

It will be used for high art and entertainment.

When this technology reaches its peak, the line separating the real-world from the augmented world will begin to fade. The word “real” itself will need redefined.

Who Will Benefit?

As with every other technology that came before AR, some industries stand a greater chance of reaping AR’s benefits while other industries will experience little or no practical application and reward from AR.

Education is one great example illustrating the potential benefits. Teachers will quickly take advantage of interactive lectures, which will be far more engaging, rewarding, and fun than traditional lecturing techniques. Instead of reading books, students will experience adventures which will leave a bigger print on their memories.

AR And Business?

An industry that won’t benefit as much from AR is e-commerce. Since e-commerce is online based, augmented reality becomes difficult, if not impossible, since AR is a combination of technology and the natural world. Perhaps virtual reality technology would be a better fit for e-commerce and B2B websites where the environment is a completely simulated one.

The Road Ahead

Despite the lack of enthusiasm on the part of the consumer, augmented reality seems all too inevitable when you get a clear picture of the power which this technology commands or will command.

There have always been setbacks even with the biggest technologies of our time. It often took someone to figure out what key factors were missing, or what components that weren’t needed, to bring about the kind of change that propelled a technology into the mainstream.

Unfortunately, AR has a few hurdles to overcome – but will have its day – in the future.

Robb Sands is the Marketing Manager for KnownHost.com, the managed shared hosting experts where affordable prices and the best uptime on the planet can be found.


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