Augmented reality is appearing everywhere from advertising campaigns to gaming. While it’s fun to see your favorite Pokemon sitting on your desk or countertop as you try to catch it, as you can with Niantic’s game Pokemon Go, it’s not a practical use for the technology. The AR market will be worth $35 billion by 2022. Here are ten real-world AR examples that you need to see to believe.
There’s nothing worse than buying a piece of furniture that you love and think will look great in your home, only to bring it in and find out that it’s not quite the right shade or clashes with the rest of your decor. IKEA is utilizing augmented reality to allow customers — and interior designers — to view a piece of furniture in the room before you ever make a purchase.
Building anything, whether it’s a three-bedroom home or a skyscraper, requires plans and blueprints. Technology has made these portable, but it’s still hard to visualize where everything is supposed to go until things come together. Trimble is using augmented reality to create 3D visualizations of blueprints that a construction worker can view and walk through using a hard hat equipped with a Microsoft HoloLens. The 3D model is projected onto the real environment, so it’s easier to see where everything needs to go.
No one likes trying on clothes, especially if they’re not sure of their size. Clothing retailer Zara realized this and replaced their in-store mannequins with AR-interactive displays. By downloading the Zara app, a customer can see the clothing on living, breathing, moving models — and even order the outfit right from the app with a couple of taps.
Business cards are a great way to give your information to potential clients or customers, but they haven’t changed much in the last 100 years or so. AR could potentially make your boring old business card relevant again. Looking at the card with an AR program could bring up interactable buttons to take the recipient to your social media pages, or to contact you directly. A program called Image Live Tracking attaches your phone’s image tracking and uses it as an anchor to generate and attach virtual items.
We’re well on our way to becoming an interstellar species, and flight training for these missions will need to be more comprehensive than ever. Boeing is using augmented reality in its Constant Resolution Visual System to train pilots This technology could also be used in air and spacecraft to provide the pilot with a full 360-degree view of the skies around them while in flight.
For B2B customers, installing a soda machine can be a great way to earn some passive income, but finding the perfect cooler to fit in your store can be a challenge. Coca-Cola is trying to make this step easier to encourage more B2B customers to sign on with an AR app. Using augmented reality, you can see what the cooler will look like and how it will fit in your facility to help you find the perfect one. Coca-Cola is also using AR to improve it’s bottling and equipment maintenance procedures.
Building a spacecraft isn’t easy. They don’t call it rocket science for no reason, but the actual construction process often requires the use of detailed manuals and complex instructions. NASA is working to eliminate the need for these bulky manuals by using mixed reality and Microsoft’s HoloLens. This technology was already employed during the construction of the Orion deep space capsule. Instead of reading thousands of pages of instructions, the details are displayed in real-time on the surface of the capsule.
Most of us won’t get the opportunity to set foot on our nearest celestial neighbor, even if we manage to get there in our lifetime, but that doesn’t mean you can’t explore the red planet. in 2016, NASA and Microsoft opened the Destination: Mars experience at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Using a Microsoft HoloLens, intrepid explorers can visit the surface of Mars without ever leaving the ground. From a business perspective, this could be used to visit new and exotic locales or scout out locations for potential storefronts or popups without ever leaving the office.
You wouldn’t want a neurosurgeon working on your brain if you were their first live patient, would you? Augmented reality is giving surgeons and other medical professionals the chance to practice delicate procedures without the need for a live patient. CAE Healthcare and Microsoft partnered in 2018 to use the Microsoft HoloLens in surgery and ultrasound training.
Practical AR Applications
While gaming seems like the primary use for augmented reality, it’s not the only use for this new technology anymore. These ten examples are barely scratching the surface of everything that AR can do — and will do — in the future.