AR or Augmented reality. What’s it all about? What gadgets are coming and why will they be better than what we already have? Lots of questions to answer here lets start at the top:
What is AR about?
Augmented reality is completely different from a virtual reality. Augmented reality overlays itself on top of your real world view. It allows for the placing of items in your environment that are not actually there. Obviously for this to happen you need something to enable it; currently human eyes cannot do this, we say currently because things move fast in the developing tech world.
Although Apple are talking big about this tech, it is not something that they themselves have created. AR is a tech that can be utilised across many devices.
Irrespective of any large tech corporations, augmented reality really is tech that will be widespread extremely soon. The uses of this are almost infinite. If you can think of a reason that something needs to be seen on top of the real world then you already have an idea for AR application.
Upcoming AR Gadgets
So, what gadgets will be coming this year in relation to AR? To be honest, most of the true augmented reality offerings are under wraps and not for sale currently.
A lot of current gadgets are badged as augmented but not entirely, unfortunately. Most of them are heads-up displays. In other words the features you see cannot usually be moved from their position. External augmented features will not pop up because you look at their location, this is what we mean when we say heads-up only.
True augmented reality devices will be as good as glasses. They will also be connected to 5G. To meet the data transfer rates required, 5G is really the only possible tech to allow this to work without issue. They will basically be a computer attached to an eye, or, head mounted like glasses are currently.
To give you an idea of the full possibilities, think in terms of the movie Minority Report. When Tom Cruise’ character walks past a shop front the AR shopkeeper pops up instantly and addresses his character by name. It also instantly brings up all his previous purchases and suggested additions based on this data. This is all done within a few seconds; also not possible with 4G. The tech in the film reads the customers eyes to determine who they are. We are not there yet thankfully.
Need to buy a new suite for the living room? Want to know how it is going to look before you buy it? This is a perfect use case for augmentation. Just bring up the item you are interested in and place it in your room of choice. Now you can see exactly how it will fit in with the room color-scheme wise and whether it is too large etc. This can be applied with pretty much everything you would ever wish to buy. Obviously when it comes to gadgets you will not be able to test them out. With furniture and other mundane objects though, augmented reality is the way to go!
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