It might feel like we’re far away from a Matrix-like world, but in reality, we experience augmented reality without even realizing it. If you’ve played Pokemon Go or used the IKEA Place app, you’ve experienced augmented reality.
What is augmented reality or AR? Augmented reality expands our physical world by adding layers of information to it. It creates an enhanced user experience by adding graphics, sounds, and sensory feedback to our natural world.
There’s constant innovation in this field, and it’s quite exciting to look at the imaginative ways in which we’re seeing augmented reality today, and where we’ll experience it in the future.
See under the patient’s skin
Project DR, developed by University of Alberta students, allows CT scans and other medical images to be displayed onto a patient’s body, with the image moving as the patient moves. “There are lots of applications for this technology, including in teaching, physiotherapy, laparoscopic surgery and even surgical planning,” said Ian Watts, developer of ProjectDR, in an article by the University of Alberta.
Enjoy informative tours while traveling
Applications already exist that allow tourists to enhance their sightseeing experiences. With just a smartphone that has a camera, a tourist can walk around a historic site and see facts and figures as an overlay.
Enhance the classroom experience
There are dozens of applications for AR in classrooms, allowing students to understand complex concepts in no time, while making it fun. Textbook materials can be supported with AR examples to better engage students, 4D flashcards can be used to teach students about subjects like anatomy and biology.
Dive into the world around you
Add a layer of digital information to the world around you with the Layar Reality Browser. It uses the camera and the GPS location feature to retrieve data based on your location and add data about your surroundings to your mobile screen.
Make geometry fun!
With Arloon Geometry, you can view 3D models of any geometric shape. Objects can be scanned to view 3D models, or unfold those models to flat figures. Students can interact with and learn geometry easily, in a fun manner with apps like these. It also teaches calculus.
With the augmented reality and virtual reality industries expected to expand beyond $160 billion by 2023, there will be many more innovations to come. The days of asking ourselves, “What is augmented reality?” may be behind us sooner than we think.