Most of us have seen the news about the upcoming virtual and augmented reality devices, and many of us have even seen or tried some of the already released smartphone-based VR products like Samsung’s Gear VR. From these tidbits we’re able to see what appears to be the emergence of a whole new form of tech that will revolutionize the way we function in our everyday lives.
Augmented reality in itself has the potential to become more prevalent than full-on virtual reality, as it can be used casually in conjunction with other activities, rather than requiring complete focus and immersion as is the case with most forms of VR. Augmented reality devices will be able to fetch information about and change the appearance of real world objects in a convenient overlay. What else do we know about the future of augmented reality?
AR is the First Step in Making “Cyborgs” Popular: In case you’re not familiar with term cyborg, it is used to define a human who has had their capabilities enhanced via computers and/or robotics – a hybrid between man and machine. While that might sound like something out of a science fiction movie, let’s ponder how AR might make it more than feasible in the very near future.
Technically, one could say that our ever increasing usage of and dependency on mobile devices has already initiated our inevitable transition into becoming cyborgs. However, with AR devices, the pairing between our brains and the web will be strengthened and better integrated into an interface that could be similar to the robotic HUD displays seen in movies like Terminator.
Of course, even though you’ll always have the anti-progressive crowd that sees such advancements as “scary,” ultimately this technology should have a profoundly positive impact on our day-to-day convenience and overall intellectual capabilities.
3D Scanners Paving a Path for AR Applications: There’s no denying that 3D scanning is the primary technological breakthrough that will allow us to use AR to augment real word places. Many prototype developers are using customized sensors derived from the same technology that the Microsoft Kinect uses, which allows us to take 3D photographs of scenes and then use this information to augment the space with AR.
There are even commercially available 3D scanners that can achieve the same results. For example, the Structure Sensor can snap a 3D rendering of a room instantly, which makes it an extraordinary tool for producing instant measurements. Obviously, such a device will have tremendous implications for architecture, interior design, and other industries that could make use of such a superpower. These scanners can also let gamers turn rooms into gaming environments.
The Next Generation of Development: Today, many software developers are focused on creating apps for desktop operating systems (i.e. – Windows or Mac OSX) or their mobile counterparts (i.e. – Android or iOS). Just ten years ago, the latter did not exist. Ten years from now, we’ll be seeing a new wave of development as society’s most innovative minds come together to produce apps for augmented reality devices.