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The Future of the Web : Part Two – Augmented Reality

We are watching you

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, or are staunchly dedicated to resisting the era of smartphones and cling desperately to your indestructible Nokia 3210, chances are you’ve seen or even used an augmented reality app.

Whether it’s using the IKEA app to provide a virtual preview of what that KLIPPAN will look like in the bay window, or letting your kids run about hurling virtual raspberries at an elusive Pikachu in Pokémon Go.

Augmented Reality is the live integration of digital information with the user’s real life environment, or to put it simply, a way of showing you things that aren’t actually there. And it’s got incredible potential.

A series of small walls.

Augmented Reality programs have already seen use in some pretty impressive fields.  Medical teams are able to use an app to plot where your veins should be in order to help them draw blood or place an IV.  The military have used AR for enhanced target acquisition and to highlight potential dangers to combatants.

One of my personal favourite uses is in the field of archaeology, where apps have been built to show visitors to a particular site what the ruins may have looked like when they were built. Buildings now lost to history, but made visible through modern technology.

Not only are augmented reality apps able to virtually project 3D objects into your environment, but also to isolate objects and enhance them with digital information.

The improvements being made in optical recognition technology are staggering, allowing your phone, tablet or webcam to locate and identify objects and report information about them.  The potential for the luxury hotel market is amazing.

Imagine the capability to pull out your phone, point it at a chair in your hotel room and have the app pop up a plethora of information from who made it and out of what materials, to related furniture pieces in the same collection, down to simply the price and where to buy one.

Please place item in the bagging area

As the technology grows, it should become more and more commonplace, and that excites me.  Even if it’s just because, rather than pick up a tomato, take it to the checkout, choose vegetables (instead of fruit!), browse until I find the correct genus of tomato, balance it on the scales and then place it in the bagging area, only to be shouted at by an oddly mechanical woman that I’ve somehow done it all wrong; I want to be able to wave said tomato vaguely at a robot in the supermarket and have it ring me up as I walk out proud with my purchase.

Paul - Kingsland Linassi

Written Bypaul

Published InThinking

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