Augmented reality is not just a cool new technology for games. It changes the way various specialists work in their field of activity. It helps research and development offices explore new ways of creating useful products. And it offers new, efficient work tools in various industries.
From the first rudimentary web apps for virtually trying on hairstyles or makeup to the current enhanced visuals and real-time animations, augmented reality has evolved into a solid, dependable technology. With the quick development of augmented reality glasses and headsets, this technology allows human imagination to take one step further and become more productive in designing and creating new products and services.
We looked at the way various industries include augmented reality in their activities, and have come up with this surprising top five:
As improbable as it sounds, logistics companies account for nearly one quarter of augmented reality glasses sales across the globe this year. This industry has found an innovative use for this augmented reality device: as a hands-free order picking tool in warehouses and for remote inventory taking.
DHL, an industry leader in this field, is one of the top promoters of augmented reality use and it reports an increase of productivity by 15% since adopting smart glasses. Financial forecasts indicate that by 2022, augmented reality glasses sales to logistics companies alone will represent a business worth $4.4 billion.
2. Entertainment and Music
No doubt about it, entertainment is the type of industry everyone expects to embrace augmented reality and any new technologies and gadgets. From the worldwide craze of Pokémon Go to various games using augmented reality, there is a whole universe of possibilities. Rumors state that a Harry Potter AR app will be launched soon, allowing players to choose which character to play as. That’s wicked, as Ron Weasley would say.
As for music, there are a few definite movements going on in this field. The band Kasabian premiered a virtual reality concert for their fans in 2014. And an Irish company creates AR cards by recording artists against a green screen, allowing fans to enjoy performances on their living room tables.
Augmented reality has many applications in education. From the scannable QR codes in museums, which allow visitors to interact with the displays and learn more about them, to advanced simulation apps for schools, this new technology offers an exciting new method of teaching.
In the most advanced form, as embraced by the medical school of Western University in Pomona, California, students can use smart glasses and a virtual dissection table to learn more about the human body through near-realistic manipulations.
From medical students to doctors there is just one step, and augmented reality accompanies them along the way. For instance, VIPAAR is an application which allows surgeons wearing Google Glass to access video guidance and make the right call in difficult cases. AccuVein is an AR handheld scanner which projects the image of veins over the patient’s skin, allowing nurses to insert IV needles in an accurate and painless manner.
But augmented reality is not only meant for doctors. Patients can also benefit from this technology, especially amputees who can deal with phantom limb pain using AR and VR technology.
5. Marketing and Retail
B2C companies can get the most out of augmented reality in order to persuade their leads to buy products. The principle of virtually trying on a product, whether for personal care or home improvement, works very well, especially for customers who are not very confident in online shopping.
Almost all of the globally known fashion and cosmetics brands launched augmented reality apps for their customers. And this trend has extended to non-fashion retail brands such as Coca-Cola and Siemens.
Other industries are also in various stages of adopting augmented reality, such as car manufacturing, travel and real estate.