Augmented Reality allows us to see a digital layer over our physical world. It enables us to access information which you initially could only reach through your computers and mobile devices. With the use of AR information and graphical input such as sensor data, GPS, video and audio is now available at your fingertips. The Augmented Reality technology has already proven to be an extremely viable asset for commercial, navigation, training and maintenance purposes.
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What is AR?
Augmented reality (AR) is the integration of digital information within the physical environment in real time. Unlike virtual reality, which creates a totally artificial environment, augmented reality uses the existing environment and overlays new information on top of it. The important part of AR is that it brings components from the digital world into the users perception of the real world. As a result of this heaps of different useful information can be extracted and shown. The high quality and positional tracking ensures the user perceives the information as a natural part of the environment.
How does it work?
Augmented reality uses the position of your mobile phone in combination with the camera to overlay digital information. It can track your position and move the information accordingly. Besides this it can display information that is provided by the application as well as information from a sensor. Input methods can range from videos, images or even real time variables like temperature. This information can be incorporated in the application or extracted from a server. As a result of the dynamic way to display information it is possible to update the information real time. This provides an easy way to update and distribute information to the required people.
How can we use it?
Using AR within business applications can work out in many ways. Because the application can extract information from multiple sources it is able to display relevant information on the fly. You can use valuable documentation and media to display the information to your users.
While Virtual Reality requires headsets or a device to slide your phone in. The Augmented reality works as a stand alone application on your phone and only requires the use of its camera.
A practical example of using Augmented reality within a corporate setting is using it as remote support. A user might wear a Google glass or other Augmented Reality device to receive information from remote support. As a result of this the cost of support can be reduced. Another example could be to display relevant information to users with the use of the app, including sensor data.