In our recent blog post titled, The Evolution of Virtual Reality, we spoke about VR making its transition to a palpable tool for consumer content in 2017, however countless sources seem to predict that augmented reality will be the real star of 2017.
So what is augmented reality? Well, augmented reality, also known as AR is a live direct or indirect view of a real-world environment in which elements are augmented by computer-generated input – more commonly video, graphics, sound or GPS data. Augmented reality technology works by enhancing the users perception of reality. In short, AR marries components of the digital world with the users perceived real world for an immersive, interactive and digitally manipulated experience.
Whilst there are nods to AR from the early 20th century, AR arguably did not make its leap towards consumer audiences until 2013 when it started to be used by car manufacturers to create ‘new age’ vehicle service manuals. Perhaps the biggest and most anticipated augmented reality news came in 2014 when Google announced shipment of Google Glass, a consumer centric, wearable AR tech. Naturally, this caused quite a stir in the tech world and whilst the concept was great, the execution and development were not and a wave of health and safety concerns, unattractive design and lack of purpose meant the pricey $1,500 tech was never released to the public.
But perhaps the beauty of AR as it has evolved today is that you do not need additional hardware to experience this technology. Take Pokémon GO for example, summer of 2016’s hit mobile game. Downloaded more than 100 million times in its first month, it is being cited as the game that truly brought augmented reality to the public at large. Many who downloaded the game were experiencing a taste of augmented reality for the first time, which is why perhaps the hype around this ‘new’ interactive experience, powered through a mobile handset, was so extensive.
Maybe the popularity of AR is accountable to it being the most accessible reality option. Whether you’re chasing Pokémon, contemplating a new make-up look, immersing yourself in the history of World War 2 or browsing the Land Rover virtual showroom, you should expect to see augmented reality a lot more in the year to come.
Want to experience augmented reality for yourself? Check out this article from DIGITAL TRENDS as they explore some of the Best Augmented-Reality Apps.