Augmented Reality (AR)
What is AR?
It’s a way of superimposing computer generated material on real world surroundings and enables you to interact with the computer generated material. AR opens up a whole new world of possiblities.
How does it work?
Applications generally use one of two approaches: marker-based or location-based.
Marker-based: when you scan an AR object with a smart device, a software recognises a particular pattern of markers (appears as green dots). The pattern is sent to a database and when a match is found, the added material will show, be it 3D images, video, infographics etc.
Location-based applications use the ability of a smart device’s location detection features and then offer data that’s relevant to that location: finding your way around a city, remembering where you parked the car, etc.
Where can it be applied?
There is a great potential in this technology as a unique and versatile visual communication tool in providing solutions for Product Design and Engineering, Training and Education, Service, and Marketing and Sales.
AR can be applied to the entire lifecycle of a product or project to help design better products, improve internal and external company operations as well as increase brand identity and sales.
- AR glasses/headsets facilitate a field service engineer’s work: Enable handsfree, real time communication between e.g. him and an expert centre or a colleague; enable sharing a real time view of the equipment; getting instant help through graphic images and videos that are superimposed onto the glasses’ screen etc. This leads to obvious savings both time- and moneywise for all parties as well as improved quality assurance.
- Scan a product and get e.g. installation or service instructions or content list;
- Make your printed material come alive with AR – ads, brochures, leaflets, calendars, business cards, etc. For example an AR brochure can act as a gateway to video presentations, 3D images, purchasing, etc.;
- Scan a building and get its history and other data.
Augmented vs Virtual Reality
Virtual reality is based upon a complete simulation of a real world environment. VR users completely immerse themselves in this fictional world. With augmented reality, you see the real world but with the addition of computer generated images which are overlaid on various objects within the real world. In other words, virtual reality replaces the real world with the artificial whereas augmented reality enhances real life with artificial constructs.