Augmented Reality
September 4, 2015

The Best Uses for Augmented Reality

Written By Rebecca Larkin
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Augmented reality, it’s much more than that thing your Ikea catalogue asks you to do. Yes, it can be used to help you visualise and place furniture in your living room before you buy it, but there are far more uses for augmented reality than you might realise at first thought.

But first, what exactly is it?

The clue is in the name, takes visual data from the real world – generally from a camera – and augment it by layering information on top. Contrary to Virtual Reality, which is an entirely simulated experience, Augmented Reality provides an extra level of interactivity with the real world; enabling your users to alter their surroundings and let your products come alive.

Contrary to what you might think, it’s a suitable and applicable tool for almost any industry, from interactive educational tools to games with an extra dimension, to healthcare. Utilise AR technology to advertise your brand and superimpose a computer-generated image on your audiences’ world.

Most people are under the impression that the only real, commercial applications reside in a retail or e-commerce setting, so we’re going to explore 3 other amazing uses for AR.

Locational

Imagine a map. Bland, static, boring, right? Now imagine an interactive map with augmented reality features. It sounds a lot better right?

Of course it’s not just for maps, with augmented reality you can animate your surrounding or a location. A shopping centre could have a location map for it’s shops, and a museum could create an interactive exhibit, which brings the object to life through a phone screen.

A super ambitious example of this kind of augmented reality can be watched below. National Geographic have always been involved in the latest technology developments, as it’s great for their brand to be engaging with audiences on different levels. Their use of augmented reality, although on a massive scale, bought people closer then ever to nature, from a shopping centre.

Of course most people would be after a smaller scale when creating locational apps with AR, and there’s a definite gap in the market for it.

Educational

Engaging children and making education seem fun is the bane of every teacher’s life and that’s where augmented reality comes in.

The nature of the technology is to rely on visuals, storytelling and interactivity, all of which are perfect ways to introduce some fun into learning.

Perhaps the most prominent AR app in the educational sector is Aurasma. Aurasma can be used to bring interactivity to classroom displays, enrich classroom activities and bring together the physical and digital world for children.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5qRcIek4NY0

Another company leading the way in making augmented reality an educational aid is Magic Leap. Magic Leap, much like National Geographic, are doing things on a bigger scale but they prove that education and augmented reality can go hand in hand for any age or subject.

Healthcare

Another industry that was always going to go hand in hand with AR is healthcare. There is a huge buzz around mHealth and it comes as no surprise that augmented reality is something that healthcare is looking to use.

With the Google Glass EE in the works, and the Microsoft Hololens, there’s some incredible new technology bridging the gap between healthcare and AR.

The Microsoft Hololens has an extremely broad list of uses, making it a perfect augmented reality tool as it is interchangeable to suit every industry. In healthcare the Hololens will simplify the way surgeons view and process information during surgery, enhance medical training give an added level of interactivity to medical education.

In healthcare especially AR has the potential for great things, and to enhance the industry, and we’re excited to see how this new technology will affect mHealth developments.

We know that most consumers will be after augmented reality on a smaller scale, and AR infused apps are our speciality. Have a look at our augmented reality services and don’t hesitate to get in touch with your ideas. We love working with AR and with so many uses, it’s hard to find a situation that wouldn’t be enhanced by it.