Technology

Augmented Reality: What is it and why use it?

Many people are not educated on augmented reality. Augmented reality is defined as, an enhanced version of reality where live direct or indirect views of physical real-world environments are augmented with superimposed computer-generated images over a user’s view of the real-world, thus enhancing one’s current perception of reality.

It is often talked about with the other similar creation of, Virtual reality. These two are not to be confused because they each offer unique functions. Virtual reality is a computer-generated simulation that you are able to wear and can be used through smartphones. While wearing the technology, you no longer see the reality of the outside world; you are able to view a virtual world, with no limitations. The major difference between VR and AR is that unlike VR, augmented reality combines reality with computer-generated augmentations. The augmentations are placed on top of reality to enhance your once regular experience.

Augmented reality provides a huge opportunity for businesses. It gives us the chance to change our lives for the better, combining what we know to be the convenience of technology and our regular world. For example, Ikea has picked up on this virtual convenience in a recent sales strategy. The Ikea brand is well known for its large variety of household furniture. How many times have you gone to Ikea and been completely overwhelmed by the number of options? Ikea recognized that and used AR to help their customers make decisions. They created an app where users are able to use their smart phone’s camera to visualize what furniture would look like in their own homes, offices, etc. With the camera, you are able to see a computer-generated simulation of the furniture wherever you want. This undoubtedly helps customers make decisions and brings a level of ease to home shopping.

This app is a prime example of how large the opportunity of augmented reality is. In fact, some 77 percent of U.S. consumers already own a smartphone, providing brands with a platform to develop realistic AR use cases. Therefore, almost anyone is ready for the new phenomena. As technology continues to develop, AR is going to be seen more often than ever. Don’t be the last one to realize the endless possibilities that AR provides for your individual business.

by Audrey Rowe

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