What is Augmented Reality? Definition?

Augmented Reality is a technology that allows virtual elements (a fictional layer) to be integrated into the real environment. Previously a technology used only in certain sectors of health or industry, augmented reality has been democratised to the greatest number by filters on social networks. In order to use Augmented Reality technology, it is possible to use a computer, a phone, a tablet or Augmented Reality glasses.

The Difference between Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality? Why?

As mentioned earlier, augmented reality is a technology that allows a virtual layer to be integrated into the real environment. Virtual Reality, on the other hand, does not use the real environment to integrate elements, the world of people using augmented reality content will be totally transformed. Virtual Reality, unlike Augmented Reality, will only be usable with specific glasses, known as virtual reality glasses (such as Meta Quest).

The Birth of Augmented Reality? The Beginnings?

Augmented reality was born in the early 1980s thanks to the work of Sutherland who created this technology through a helmet followed by a motion sensor. It was first used in the military on fighter pilot visors in the 1980s.

Reality: the character of what is real, of what is not only a concept, but a thing, a fact. 

Increased: to make greater, more considerable, by adding something of the same kind.

Augmented reality is the superimposition of virtual elements (2D or 3D) in a real environment. This technology has been around for more than 30 years but has really been democratised over the last 5 years.

 

Augmented Reality? media Tools?

LComputers broadcasting Augmented Reality

With their webcams, computers can broadcast Augmented Reality content, for example it is possible to stream on Twitch with Augmented Reality content, it is also possible to integrate Augmented Reality into video conferences such as Microsoft Teams and Google Meets.

Smartphones for Augmented Reality Content

Smartphones are currently the most widely used for AR content. It is possible to create Web AR content (without hosting a native application) but also augmented reality content on social networks, via filters and on mobile applications.

Glasses and helmets of Augmented Reality

Augmented Reality glasses and headsets allow you to experience Augmented Reality content without having to take out your computer or smartphone. Numerous companies and startups are designing glasses and headsets that will soon be available on the market.

How to use Augmented Reality? Use cases?

Augmented reality in the industry

Industry is a sector where precision is very important. This technology increases efficiency without disturbing or slowing down the process. This is exactly the case for Safran and the maintenance of its aircraft. Technicians have to respect standards and stay as close to zero risk as possible. 

In order to optimise the safety of its aircraft, Safran has decided to use augmented reality for the maintenance of its aircraft wiring. Using a tablet, the technician projects the correct structure of the cables directly onto the cabled surface and can therefore quickly check or modify the cables without any doubts.

Augmented reality in the health

Surgery also requires great precision and composure and surgeons only have 2D documents and scans.
Far be it from us to criticise the experts in this field, who have our full recognition and respect, but a single surgical error can cost a patient's life. And that is why the precision in the movements of a scalpel can be helped by augmented reality.

One of the first uses of augmented reality is to display the inside of the body so that the doctor can accurately visualise the patient's abdominal area using this technology. This is a study that a doctor did in 2004 for his final thesis. 
This experiment that this doctor has set up has given more than satisfactory results and according to him, "several clinical experiments on patients demonstrate that our system is usable in the operating room and suggest its routine use in the near future.

Augmented reality in the marketing

Marketing trends have changed dramatically over the last few years and digital has become an important part of brands' strategies.

All digital trends are exploited to reach a maximum of its target. But augmented reality is starting to take an increasingly important place in digital marketing and communication strategies. Since the release of Pokémon Go, a number of people have discovered the benefits of this technology and have started to exploit it. 

In addition, social networks such as Snapchat and Instagram have highlighted the use of augmented reality through their filters. This has shown brands an alternative way to communicate on social networks without the need for ads or posts. 

Augmented reality in thecar

Augmented reality is starting to make its way into the automotive world and particularly into the cars we use every day. Indeed, some car brands already offer augmented reality that is integrated into the car's windscreen. 

This feature can be an asset as the driver can see distances and trajectories as well as the speed at which they are driving. Furthermore, augmented reality is a technology that is integrated directly into the person's environment. Thus, it does not interfere with the driver's driving, as the information is already in the environment he or she is looking at.

Several brands have already put cars on sale that incorporate augmented reality. Mercedes and BMW, for example, have models with intelligent windscreens.

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The benefits and disadvantages augmented reality

The benefits of augmented reality

Augmented reality is a technology that will become a tool used in many fields in the future. 

  • A tool that adapts : AR has the particularity of being able to adapt to all types of domains. It can overlay any content and recognise features of the environment.
  • Technology that fits everywhere: The main advantage of augmented reality is the fact that it can be integrated into many different media depending on its use. All you need to do is incorporate a camera and a projection area and you're done. It is already available on many different media such as connected mirrors, windscreens and glasses.
  • The RA helps humans: It can improve learning, productivity in factories, design quality and can also guide users in their environment.

The disadvantages of augmented reality

  • Requires a budget : For the moment, the development of augmented reality is still in its infancy. Wanting to integrate augmented reality will require a fairly large budget. However, more and more research is underway that will lower the costs of installation.
  • Poor performance: Currently, augmented reality has not yet shown all its capabilities. Thus, it can sometimes fail to live up to expectations, especially on social networks where the precision of the sensors and the projection is often not optimised.
  • Information overload : When used incorrectly, augmented reality can be ineffective. Indeed, if a brand offers an augmented reality experience that is too busy in terms of elements, the user will not appreciate the moment. It's as if in a TV commercial, a lot of elements and texts appear all at once on the screen and you don't have time to look at and read everything.

Augmented reality software

Several augmented reality software packages already exist on the market. Some augmented reality software is free and offers the possibility to create different experiences according to your needs. In this section we will only look at the free software that is available to everyone but requires some coding knowledge and a powerful computer.

  • Meta Spark Studio : is the software that allows you to create Instagram filters and Facebook for the social network. All types of Instagram filters are possible on this tool such as rollers, face animation and AR games.
  • Lens Studio : Lens Studio is the software for creating Snapchat filters. Like Meta Spark Studio, it is free and offers the ability to create any Snapchat filter you want. However, this software requires a solid foundation in coding and augmented reality.
  • Effect House : TikTok recently launched its software for creating TikTok filters in order to give the social network's creators the opportunity to create different content and feed the platform. Its interface resembles the augmented reality software Meta Spark Studio and is therefore easier to handle than Lens Studio.
  • AR Core : is Google's tool for integrating augmented reality experiences on your website. Thanks to this, you can offer visitors to your site to project elements or products directly from their smartphone or tablet on Android, IOS, Unity and on the web.
  • AR Kit : is Apple's tool for creating augmented reality features that are not native to the iOS environment.