Remember the bicycles piled in the yard that showed where your friends were? What about the jingle of coins in your pocket as you headed to the arcade? Stranger Things
may have recalled these distant memories, but what if you could still see bicycles piled against your neighbors’ door or listen to the jingle of coins as you played with your friends? This is Augmented Reality and its aim now is to get you off the couch, exercising, playing, and enjoying camaraderie. Ready, Player One
Five Trends to Watch
As we navigate the next stage of our virtual and augmented realities, there are a few trends to watch
- AR, VR, and AI Will “See” Objects - Augmented Reality (AR), combined with Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Computer Vision, will help computers “see” and label what’s being seen. Machine Learning will ramp up to offer increasingly correct identification of objects whether it’s the dinosaur exhibit at the natural history museum or connects the dots for stargazing in a planetarium.
- VR Gets More “Real” for the Mainstream – In other words, developers are able to offer more immersive experiences. New developments in hardware technology, such as eyeball tracking and field-of-view help power the idea users can interact and explore less like a video game and more like real-life.
- AR Can Help Keep Your Eyes on the Road – Remember KIT? The car who talked, could self-diagnose, and navigated with barely a hand on the wheel? It’s not so far-fetched now as it once seemed as vehicle manufacturers increasingly opt for voice assistants and some begin to offer graphics’ overlay of footage around the car. Others go a step farther, projecting data onto the car windshield, assisting with navigation, lane identification, and potential hazards along the way.
- AR-Based Entertainment Branches Out – No more piled high pizza boxes, sitting in the dark of your parent’s basement. AR today is about getting moving; physical activity and balancing tech life with real life. Toys and Gaming companies are on the bandwagon to get families moving. Location-based gaming has grown by leaps and bounds as has interactive projection-based technology. Some applications can transform your immediate environment into an immersive gaming experience while others can transform playgrounds which, when unlocked by parents, can offer choose-your-own adventure types of projects to complete. Enter whole being of mind, body, spirit. And we’ve barely scratched the surface.
- Worldbuilding, Personalized Character Building, and Augmented Board Games – Each of these are about bridging the gap between the physical and digital world and is most changed when it comes to board games.
As exciting as these trends are, it’s not all fun and games when it comes to the next advances of AR. This technology is also being used to help discover early onset of Alzheimer’s and most recently has found its way into the operating room. Or at least, it will be soon as companies look to bring the AR and VR technologies into the OR
Training and Teaching with AR
AR & VR technologies are being used for teaching and training in just about every industry it seems. From Walmart to the Military, business is seeing the benefits of allowing individuals to practice their roles without the associated real-world risks. But when it comes to the healthcare industry, this is where AR begins to really shine.
What if we could predict not only detect early onset dementia
, but catch the onset of mental illness as well? One company, recently cleared by the FDA, is working toward just that, with the specific goal of predicting Alzheimer’s early. With an estimated cost of around $290 billion which could rise to over $1 Trillion by 2050, their claims of 94% accuracy in detection 6 to 10 years early is good news for families. Memories are how we share our stories and no family wants to miss theirs. Could technology as disparate as it once made us be bringing us closer together? With these latest, that just may be the case.
So, whether you want to let out your inner child, practice a new skill without real-world ramifications, or simply know your memories will be with you for a lifetime, AR offers something for everyone. Every industry. Every business. It has infused our world and is breathing life back into our lives.
Want to be the wizard behind the curtain, the Data Analyst to know what’s next, or the Data Engineer who builds the next great technological advance in the AR spectrum of services and capabilities? We may have a role for you.
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