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How Augmented Reality (AR) is Developing Fast and Growing to be the Next Big Thing in Technology

For most people, augmented reality (AR) is still an exotic and futuristic technology that they think is impossible to grasp. However, contrary to popular belief, it’s one of the simplest revelations of the 21st century. Although it’s still in development, AR is available for use, and it can enhance your life in many ways.

Augmented reality examples

From catching imaginary beasts to saving countless hours when shopping in retail stores or redecorating your home and office, AR is a wondrous technology.

The growth in augmented reality - How did it all begin?

The first augmented reality glasses were The Sword of Damocles, created in 1969 by Ivan Sutherland. With them, people could see crude objects in front of them, but it was nowhere near the 3D technology we have now. In the 70s and 80s, augmented reality still wasn’t as popular nor ready for widespread use.

At the beginning of the 1990s, perhaps the biggest augmented reality revolution happened. Louis Rosenberg created the Virtual Fixtures program, specifically for the US Air Force. It began being implemented as a part of pilot training.

Earlier, trainees would have to ride fighter jets unskilled and risk dying due to an accident. Virtual Fixtures generated everything – from winds, runways and even maps seen from the bottom of a helicopter.

The 2000s saw the birth of the ARToolKit by Hirokazu Kato, as well as the AR Travel Guide for mobile devices that ran Android. In 2013, Google developed its Augmented Reality glasses, the revolutionary Google Glass. They could be connected to the internet via Bluetooth. Microsoft also introduced its VR devices, the HoloLens, and Windows Holographic.

Augmented reality (AR) today

Augmented reality companies have grown in the last few decades, giving birth to an exciting and competitive market. How exactly is AR embedded into our world, and which facets of life does it cover? You won’t believe us, but it’s already everywhere. Here are just some of the most prominent examples.

Augmented reality games online

Augmented reality games

Remember Pokémon Go? A smash hit game that broke all records in the gaming sphere involved people scanning the world around them using their camera sensor, only to be greeted by virtual 3D monsters. It’s one of the first and most popular AR games.

AR in Fitness

The app Fitness AR allows runners to scan the terrain from a 3D perspective and map out a run before they embark on it. It uses existing satellite data and augments it with virtual lines, markings and everything else customized by users.

Augmented interior design

Have you ever faced the problem of buying a piece of furniture only to realize it doesn’t fit? IKEA Place made that a thing of the past. By scanning your house, you can add any IKEA product in HD 3D form and see how it fits your current setup. Easy and painless!

What does the future hold for augmented reality?

AR gaming

Although there are already many AR games that are simple and yet endowed with technology. In just a few years, we may have the opportunity to fight zombies and aliens in 3D augmented reality in our backyard.

AR surgery simulations

Can you imagine surgeons scanning every cell of a patient’s body and experimenting with how to execute the surgery on an AR model of his body? AR surgery simulations make it possible by utilizing advanced technologies.

Smart lenses

Soon, we won’t need smartphones to use AR. Instead, intelligent lenses will be connected to our brains to create images and holograms.

AR and its integration of senses

A prominent idea in the AR industry is to make augmented reality more realistic by including the senses of touch, smell, and taste in the equation. It’s still just a theory.

Difference between VR and AR

Unfortunately (or not), AR doesn’t create a virtual world around you, nor does it resemble a simulation out of a Star Trek episode. That’s VR you were thinking about. Virtual Reality completely disregards the real world and creates an entirely fictional rendering to immerse the user. Augmented Reality is similar to VR, but there are several key differences:

  • When you decide to create an augmented reality, you can manipulate the elements of existing reality. This means you can modify as many parts of the image you see through an app or augmented reality glasses. For instance, you can make the sky red, or you can add fire-breathing dinosaurs chasing you. AR is much more customizable than VR.

  • VR completely “cancels” the existence of the real world. With AR, you can add new sounds, videos or objects in unlimited quantities.

  • VR includes building the world from the ground up, whereas AR is grounded in reality. Because it retains elements of reality, it can be used as an aid in various activities, from video games to top-secret military projects.

Augmented Reality (AR) advancements are highly promising

As per the predictions made, AR is moving forward at the right pace, and it has a great future for all of us. By 2025, it is expected to grow tremendously and perform wonderfully beyond our imagination.

As far as market value is concerned, Grand View Research predicts AR to generate more than $597 billion in 2030 compared to $38 billion in 2022, backed by its technological advancements in the fields of travel, medicine, real estate, retail, defense and technology. The key players in the AR market today are Sony, Apple, Google, Microsoft, Zappar, Magic Leap and more.

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