Our digital age brings forth the most wondrous of developments, and at a rapid pace. Augmented Reality (AR) could change the way we live as we say goodbye to 2D images on screens and hello to the hologram.
Put simply, it’s a technology that superimposes computer-generated images into the users’ vision from a device such as a headset or a phone. The magic happens when you interact with those images. We can touch them, move them, hear and even smell them. Check out Microsoft’s Hololens, for example. Leaders of this remarkable technology say that it will replace phones in just a few years!
1. Create things the way we were intended to
AR technology follows the principles of neuroscience, the idea being that we can use computers in a way that’s natural to us. For example, instead of designing something on your computer, you might reach out in front of you and make it with your hands like one naturally would if they wanted to create something. No longer would we need to hunch over machines that go against our natural senses. Find out more about this concept here.
2. Reduce anti-social behaviour caused by technology
AR enables collaboration. A team of people could sit around a table, wearing their augmented reality headsets and work on a hologram together. It’s easy to think that technology isolates us and makes us less interactive, but what if it isn’t the computer, but simply the way in which we’re using it?
3. Better informed
In time, the headset will evolve into something virtually invisible that we could wear every day like a contact lens. Eventually, just as our phone is nearly always in our hands, we could be wearing mini AR devices that are far less obtrusive and allow us to be more informed about what’s around us at any one time than we are today. For example, if we look at a shop, we might instantly be given information about it; what they sell, how much things cost and customer reviews before we even stood foot in the shop! Or an art gallery could feed us information on an exhibition as we view the art.
4. Easy instructions for everyday use
AR could also assist us with driving just like a GPS does now. But instead of Google Maps, images could appear in your vision showing where to drive. Fixing things around the house could also be made much easier as we are guided through the process whilst we’re doing it.
5. We might need less ‘stuff’
We may end up needing fewer real-life items around us as certain physical objects will be provided by AR. A television could be superimposed on the wall and other objects could be plotted (virtually) around the room, like a painting on the wall or a list on the fridge.
6. More effective education systems
Educational experiences could be vastly improved with AR because we can enable people to learn through personal experience. According to Zenka, a person remembers so much more about something when they actually do it, as opposed to reading about it. They say that after two weeks, the brain remembers 10% of what it reads, 20% of what it hears and 90% of what it does. A medical student could study the brain by exploring the hologram that appeared before them or an architecture student could position their design in the spot it is intended to be built!
7. Enhanced online shopping experience
Try before you buy takes on a new meaning. Imagine being able to see what a lamp will look like in the place you plan to put it before you buy it. Or how about trying clothes on whilst online shopping? AR would allow us to superimpose the image in front of us and see what it will look like before we buy.
AR really could be the beginning of something extraordinary. It’s quite possible that if we were to begin placing digital information around the world, we may be able to experience such places without actually being there. Now, that is a game changer.