Artificial intelligence has been the most happening and hottest technology of this century. Most of the big giant companies in the world are investing heavily in the field of AI. According to CBINSIGHTS, tech giants like Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft, Google, and Apple (FAMGA) have all been acquiring AI startups aggressively in the last decade. The image below shows the cumulative number of acquisitions made by leading tech companies. Apple leads when compared with other giants in terms of acquisitions made.
According to a report by Yahoo Finance, tech giants such as Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Apple, and Intel are also equally attracted to another technology – augmented reality. Many of the large tech giants are trying to penetrate the booming AR market. According to a report by Zion Market Research, the global augmented and virtual reality market was valued at around US$26.7 billion in 2018 and is expected to reach approximately US$814.7 billion by 2025, at a CAGR of 63.01% between 2019 and 2025.
Can Artificial Intelligence Make Augmented Reality More Intelligent?
According to Wikipedia, augmented reality is “an interactive experience of a real-world environment where the objects that reside in the real world are enhanced by computer-generated perceptual information, sometimes across multiple sensory modalities, including visual, auditory, haptic, somatosensory and olfactory.” The real-world experience can be made more impressive by clubbing both AR and AI together. Let’s explain this with the help of an example.
Suppose you are planning to purchase furniture from some online store. You are concerned about whether the furniture will match the room design where you are planning to place the furniture. What if it looks weird? No need to worry about such situations anymore – augmented reality comes to your rescue. But augmented reality alone can’t help you solve this problem. The underlying technology that will make this happen is artificial intelligence. In short, AI is the factor that is enabling AR to interact with the environment to offer a unique experience to people.
There are several ways by which AI and AR together can provide a unique experience, and a few of them are as follows:
1. Occipital Bridge
Occipital Bridge is a mixed reality headset for iPhones. People who have iPhone 6s or above and Occipital Structure Sensor can make use of this facility to get a fully immersive virtual reality experience with real-world structures. The structure sensor turns mobile into a real portative 3D scanner. Structure sensor feeds into an AI system and provides a mixed reality experience in the headset. This experience is provided by making use of instant depth perception and precise positioning with six degrees of freedom.
Tango is an augmented reality computing platform developed by the Advanced Technology and Projects (ATAP). A skunkworks division of Google used computer vision to enable mobile devices to detect their position relative to the world around them without using GPS or other external signals. Indoor navigation, 3D mapping, physical space measurement, and environmental recognition are some of the experiences created by application developers using Tango.
3. Mobile Augmented Reality
There used to be a time when Pokémon could only be played on cards. But Pokémon Go, an augmented reality mobile game developed by Niantic, changed the way we used to play Pokémon games. In Pokémon Go, you were able to find Pokémon in the real world. It was made possible by blending data from multiple sensors to form a digital representation of the world that can be overloaded on top of the physical one. The result was, users were able to have a fantastic experience.
4. AR and Social Media
Social media giants like Facebook are investing heavily in VR and AR to give their users a variety of experiences. Facebook invested heavily in Oculus Rift to bring in believable character avatars using generative models through deep learning. A few years from now, you will be having a cup of virtual coffee with a person who is miles away from you. Thanks to AI for making these things happen.
5. Phase-Functioned Neural Network (PFNN)
Researchers from the University of Edinburgh have developed a Phase-Functioned Neural Network that uses machine learning for character animation. This type of technology can be useful to offer smooth experience while playing MMO games. Such technologies can be used to realistically animate a large number of on-screen characters at the same time pretty smoothly.
6. Try Before You Buy
Try before you buy something is the new and most useful feature available thanks to artificial intelligence and augmented reality. For instance, furniture retailer IKEA created an iPhone/iPad app that lets users virtually place furniture in their homes. Before buying any furniture, people can try out if the furniture suits the room which they are planning to put it in. A customer can place a sofa at the place where they intend it to be and see for themselves how it will look. Similarly, L’Oréal brings AR makeup sampling to Facebook. Customers can try how makeup will look on their face before actually buying it. Such facilities help to give compelling experiences to the people, along with improving customer experience.
Artists have also started investing in creating interactive artworks in order to engage people with their work. Apart from this, AR finds application in the education field also by providing a visual experience to the students.
The scope of AI and AR is not limited to any of these mentioned uses. Researchers and scientists all over the world are working hard to make the lives of people easier and more interesting. The day when we all wear AR glasses or some other devices to experience a visually fascinating experience is not far away. Get ready to be part of the technology that will change the way we see our world. Augmented reality and artificial intelligence are a game-changer that can create wonders in people’s lives.Guest Post