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Augmented Reality

1. What Is Augmented Reality?

AR has been around us for quite a while now, but only recently has it gotten a chance to unleash its true potential. To make it simple, AR transforms data and information into images or animations in the user's environment, and the best part is that all of this happens in real-time. Though most of the AR applications are currently only on mobile devices, it's shifting to hands-free wearables such as smart glasses and head-mounted displays.   

Most of us are already familiar with a very popular AR application called Snapchat. Snapchat uses AR to create its filters on top of you in the real world and in real-time. We can find AR in some of the latest versions of cars as well. A good example would be the "heads-up" displays that help with navigation, collision warning, etc.

Some factories use AR for production-assembly and service instructions. It is replacing traditional methods with new ones faster than ever.

AR is enabling a new information-delivery shift, it will have a huge impact on how data is:

  • Structured,
  • Managed,  
  • And delivered, on the internet.

Web transformation has changed how information is collected, transmitted, and accessed but it has some major limitations. It requires people to translate 2-D information into 3-D, mentally, which isn't workable.

AR allows people to impose digital information directly on real objects, eliminating the need to fill this gap mentally.

This helps in improving our ability to absorb the information and enhances our decision-making skills.

 

2. How does augmented reality work? What are the technologies behind it?

Augmented reality transforms digital information on top of the natural environment. It adds it on top of your camera-captured environment. The components are:

 

  • A Depth-sensing camera:

You need to have a camera to record the visual information to add a virtual object over it. That being said, the camera must also be capable of figuring the subject's distance & angle.

  • Registration tools:

These are tools such as motion sensors, accelerometers, and proximity sensors. This allows a computer to place the sensory information over the objects that should be around the AR user.

 

  • Computer Vision:

As your camera takes an image, it forms an interpretation of an outside world. Then the ML (machine learning) algorithm combines it with the other information, and the combined result is that of an immersive and believable AR experience.

 

  • Output device:

The output device is nothing but the display of the device. It helps in viewing the final image or video. It can be your smartphone, laptop, computer, etc.

 

3. What is augmented reality used for?

Augmented reality (AR) is an immersive experience that is a combination of the physical world with computer-generated input.

Designers create inputs such as photos, videos, sounds, etc., that respond to the environment in real-time.

It can be used for getting that seamless believable experience. A good example of this would be, interacting with the live animal graphics around you in real-time. Plus, the depth of detail and information in it makes it quite believable making us feel like we are in a zoo while being in our homes.

 

4. What is the difference between VR and AR?

Due to the similarities they share, many people think of them as though they are the same thing, but they are not. They are similar in a few aspects but are still different from one another.

VR (virtual reality) creates a completely new reality using computer programs and algorithms. It is a completely new world built from scratch but would make you believe as if though you're in the real world.

It creates a computer-generated immersive environment that you can interact with.

On the other hand, AR enhances the actual environment for you. You remain in the same world; it just adds some additional objects into it which you can interact with. It adds other than replacing something and that makes it different from virtual reality.


5. What are the Different Types of AR?

 

The different types of AR include:

 

  • Marker-based AR:

Marker-based AR is generally an image or a QR code that can be recognized by your phone's camera. It is very popular and common as well due to its inexpensiveness. Although it requires a custom app that can recognize those specific patterns on the QR code. It scans the code and triggers the action which could be an image or a video on your display.

 

  • Markerless AR:

As the name suggests, it does not need a visual mark or object for a camera to augment an image. Instead, you get a chance to move virtual objects. You can use them to try out how an object might look if they were right in front of you. For e.g.: If you're planning on buying new furniture, you can use them to check how they would look if they were there in real-time.

  • Projector-based AR:

This one uses advanced projection technology. It simplifies complex manual tasks of a company's like:

  • Manufacturing
  • Assembly
  • Sequencing
  • Training operations, etc.

This makes it easy for both the company and the employee as well i.e. for the company to explain the whole process, and for the employee to understand them. Instead of using instructions and manuals, lights can be used to indicate the next step in the process.


6. What are the Uses of Augmented Reality?

Though AR has been around for quite a while now, businesses are yet to exploit its full potential. But that's changing as new and new developments are coming up. Here are a few areas where AR is being used:

 

  • Gaming and entertainment:

AR is doing a really good job when it comes to gaming and entertainment; the possibilities are endless. One good example would be Pokémon Go. It was such a huge hit when it got released. This shows where our marketing is heading. A lot of companies have started working on this. So, we can expect more of this coming in the mobile space.

  • Education:

Another potential market for AR is the education market. AR can completely redefine our education system. The medical and healthcare can benefit the most from it and are also developing apps for the same. AR can be used as a training mechanism to improve skill sets on operating sophisticated medical equipment.

  • Travel & Tourism:

AR can completely revolutionize the tourism industry. Just imagine you walking in a foreign land and placing the camera of your phone on a monument to know its history. Sounds amazing, right? AR can make it possible.

  • Public Safety & Security:

AR can be used for public safety and security purposes as well. They can guide people on what to do and how to do it in emergencies and can be a really good help.

7. How are chatbots making use of the AR?

Chatbots play a huge role in the e-commerce market. When combined with AR, chatbots become one of the most promising avenues in e-commerce. Both of them have a huge range of applicability which could help them in getting in more profits. And it also ensures that the customer is satisfied with the entire experience. Since a lot of customers anyways prefer interacting with chatbots, adding AR would take it one step further. When combining the range of options and possibilities, it would be at an all-new level entirely.

Some of the benefits of having this amazing combination by your side are:

  • Sense of uniqueness.
  • More personalized and tailor-made content.
  • Memorable experience.
  • Better customer service.

8. What's the role of AR in the manufacturing sector?

     Roles of AR in the manufacturing sector are:

  • Train the factory workers.
  • Improve the worker's productivity during:
  • Machine installation.
  • Monitoring.
  • Troubleshooting by providing them with real-time information so they can make adjustments/changes as they work.
  • Improve the product design process by providing a visualization of the product.
  • Helps in inspection and maintenance.

9. What are the benefits of using AR & chatbots in Industrial Maintenance?  

  • Reduction of human errors.
  • Faster execution in the process of maintenance and repairs.
  • Fewer machine breakdowns.
  • Reduction in machine downtime.
  • Low maintenance costs.
  • Enhanced operational speed and productivity.
  • Better regulatory compliance.
  • Higher profits for the company.


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