In a previous blog post, we talked about the differences between the various types of “reality” technology commonly grouped together as “extended reality” (XR). Many people will already have experienced Augmented Reality (AR) technology in their daily lives some years ago (yes, gamers, we’re looking at you), especially at the height of Pokemon Go popularity back in 2016.
But beyond AR ubiquity in the gaming world, and beyond the use cases in military, travel and tourism, sports, and health sciences — to name but a few industries — many people who have been avid users of consumer technology will probably already have experienced AR use, without even realizing it!
Here are just some very common examples of AR technology applications that you may very well have used without knowing it was AR.
If you’re a parent with a very young child, or have children living with special requirements, then you know a visit to the hospital can be a very challenging time for you, possibly traumatizing for your child, for whom it can be very difficult to explain that they must go through a troubling experience that can even cause pain and discomfort.
But today, many modern hospitals for children have discovered that distraction and entertainment can really help some children relieve the stress and pain that comes with medical procedures, so much so that AR tools and apps are now a huge part of pediatric care.
For example, in this use of the SpellBound AR app, a young boy was able to undergo a catheterization procedure, while actually laughing using an AR app on a phone to watch a greeting card come to life.
Watch out on your next trip to a child’s hospital, there may be more than 1 AR app lurking around for your child!
Ever gone to a museum and enjoyed some of their digital gadgets that help you explore a prison chamber or a ship’s deck, viewing it just as it would have been like in medieval times? Walking around and picking things up, even interacting with digital characters that tell you a story as you approach them?
Well, then you’ve just experienced AR technology! The Moco Play app used in Amsterdam’s Moco Museum, commemorating its 1 millionth visitor, is one example of how modern art museums are increasingly looking to provide visitors with more interactive and engaging art tours, beyond the traditional static experience of viewing art. Imagine the paintings of Andy Warhol and Salvador Dali, even postcards and merchandise all jumping out at you and coming to life just by pointing your phone at them!
When the global pandemic hit early this year, many of us were forced to live in a new reality of social distancing and staying at home. Shopping malls and supermarkets, normally a part of our daily lives, were also shuttered for months, with prohibitions on physical shopping and forcing us to do all of our buying online.So much so, in fact, that the shift to digital shopping has been shortened by about five years, according to IBM’s 2020 U.S. Retail Index report.
Source: IKEA Place on App Store
If you’ve ever tried buying stuff from IKEA during the lockdown, then you might have been encouraged to use their “try before you buy” experience apps that allowed you to preview furniture and other appliances inside your home. Its Augmented Reality furnishing app called IKEA Place basically puts true-to-scale 3D models in your very own living room, bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, wherever… allowing shoppers to see how it would look like and fit into their actual home before purchasing.