May 18, 2017
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Augmented reality is more than Pokemon Go and Snapchat

“AR (Augmented Reality) is designed to add, enhance the things you do as a human being: Being outside, socializing with other people, shopping, playing, having fun. AR can make all those things better,” mused John Hanke, Niantic CEO and the man behind Pokemon Go.

Niantic’s brainchild took the world by storm when Pokemon Gowas released in July 2016. Players of all ages flocked to the streets looking for Pokegyms and Pokestops, to the point that some government facilities had to release advisories to control the influx of people itching to catch a stray Pikachu.

Photo courtesy of Buzzfeed

Even though Pokemon Go’s fire fizzled way faster than expected, there’s no denying it played a major hand in introducing the masses to Augmented Reality. However, the concept of augmenting our real-world environment with computer-generated sensory has been around a lot longer than we realize. One glaring example? The daily weather forecast we see on television. 

Photo courtesy of Pinterest

The potential of augmented reality goes beyond entertainment purposes—like Snapchat, for instance. Mark Zuckerberg even mentioned it in the F8 developer conference.

Architecture and Construction

Architects no longer have to rely solely on computer programs for 3D renders of their blueprints. With AR, they can easily visualise a project on-site, as if it were already finished in real-time.

Photo courtesy of Technology Review

 John Myers, senior manager of a US-based construction firm, uses Microsoft HoloLens to view project mockups, where he can easily troubleshoot problem areas even before they start building it. The $3,000 dollars they paid for the gadget was a worthy investment, he says. 

 

Education

Good news for students: you may be bidding worksheets and Powerpoint presentations goodbye, once AR goes mainstream.

The education sector foresees greater interaction among students through AR applications in educational materials such as textbooks and flashcards, which will greatly benefit young children and their relatively short attention spans. 

Photo courtesy of BBC

Museums and galleries can simulate historical events and display tidbits of trivia for every artefact scanned. For older students, sketching geometrical forms and chemical structures will be a thing of the past. 

 

Medicine

The industry tasked with taking care of human life will also greatly benefit from advancements in AR. For instance, the technology can aid surgeons undergoing life-threatening operations by allowing them to plan and practice through simulations of real-patient cases. 

Photo courtesy of MedTech Boston

Watch the video below for a glimpse of the scenario: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gxm_Ka0j99M.

 

Can you think of other ways AR can improve our lives in the future? Share it through the comments section below!