Augmented Reality (AR) is experiencing life as you know it with an added layer of virtual information. The superimposed data can be any type of content: still images, videos, texts, or audio tracks… and perhaps one day media that’s not even conceived yet. This new extended universe is usually revealed through a scanned marker or trigger image. Welcome to the rabbit hole!
To understand and grasp the full potential of any given technology, it’s important to delve back into its first steps.
Different industries are racing to implement augmented reality in their business offers, as customer conversion numbers have been at an all-time high since AR entered the mainstream market. Here are a few instances that are thriving thanks to augmented reality:
When augmented reality penetrated the retail field, everything we know about shopping shifted overnight! "Try-before-you-buy" became the norm, and AR was the cornerstone on which was built that new experience. Purchasing clothes, eyewear or even furniture has always been tricky. And that's where AR technology came in and filled that market gap with state of the art science.
In the automotive industry, AR presents hidden opportunities that wouldn’t have existed otherwise. Augmented reality is currently used for manufacturing, maintenance, repairs, and identifying issues in the vehicle. As a fellow driver, you can find this technology applied on certain car models where the speed, mileage and mechanical errors blink on the windshield. This is a safe way to keep your eyes on the road!
The benefits of AR in the healthcare sector are enormous. When not utilized as a guidance system in small surgeries, this science helps create medical imagery, train future doctors and nurses, and educate patients about their cases. Imagine understanding in-depth all the details of your surgery thanks to an AR version of your limb.
The F&B and hospitality industry didn’t shy away from integrating AR into their dining experience. On the contrary, augmented reality is used to improve the customer’s journey from the get-go. They can visualize the dishes on the menu, playfully discover its ingredients, backstory, and recipes. Not to mention the marketing aspect that the brands use to advertise their products and attract new patrons.
Last but not least, the porn industry has also jumped right on the AR train and it’s been quite innovative. You have an array of options: you can find mobile apps that can project 3D erotic actors in your own surroundings, or that can crop the background of existing videos and make holograms out of the performers.
What’s fascinating to us after a quick analysis of our History of AR timeline and everything that came after, is how fast technology has been evolving. In less than a century, we’ve gone from a cinema industry wizard creating a multi-sensory theatre, to common users trying on designer sunglasses in the palm of their hand.
We, as Designhubz, are trying to take part in this technological revolution in our own way! To date, we have created 4 products that are our pride and joy – more will be rolling shortly, be patient!
1957: Cinematographer Morton Heilig creates Sensorama, history’s first VR theatre
1968: Computer scientist Ivan Sutherland’s Sword of Damocles is the hardware that will become the grandfather of VR headsets
1990: Tom Caudell, a Boeing researcher, is the person who invented the term “augmented reality”
1992: Louis Rosenburg, a researcher in the US Air Force Armstrong's Research Lab, creates the first fully immersive AR system called “Virtual Fixtures”
1999: NASA implements a hybrid synthetic vision system of their X-38 spacecraft that overlays map information to facilitate navigation
2008: Publishing of the first printed magazine ad that used AR for commercial purposes
2013: Volkswagen creates the MARTA app, or Mobile Augmented Reality Technical Assistance that was used for repairs and maintenance of the car
2014: Invention of the Google Glass, the first hands-free AR accessory for internet users
2016: Microsoft Hololens smart glasses hit the market
2017: IKEA place, the first AR app used by a retail company
2019: Birth of Designhubz