Is the future augmented?

For many years now there have been numerous product launches which offer a new take on reality.  Virtual reality is still very niche and very appropriate to gaming however augmented reality has always been the distant cousin with no real user case until now.  As consumer grade technology has improved most new devices possess the power to offer a very good AR experience, just look at Pokemon go.  However, if we look at credible uses for the masses numerous companies are now targeting the consumer and you could completely decorate / refurbish your house if you wanted.  Amazon and Ikea have apps to which preview items for sale and you can view them in the proposed location with a mobile device; even Dulux has created a paint visualiser to enable you to see how rooms could look different with different wall finishes.  Google and Apple are even offering platforms for people to create Apps using AR.

So what about the enterprise?  Usage is certainly not far off especially as tablets are common place in the office so the time to dabble with POV/POCs is nearly here.  Especially if the technology can move from 2D to 3D recognition and new form factor technology like glasses become mainstream.

So where could it be used?  AR overlays digital data onto the real world so anywhere which dangerous is ideal, in the training environment, like the consumer space in Building Design, Refurbishments, Marketing.   How about linking insurance quotes to object placement apps like above?  You can even see it leveraging some of the translation services offered by google or object identification for people with disabilities like Seeing AI from Microsoft.

So get those thinking caps on as when you link AR to AI you have a very powerful proposition.

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Reality 2.0

The thought of changing ones perception and entering a Virtual or Augmented Reality is not new.  However over the last few years the technology has advanced to where the price point is now within everyone’s grasp.  Back in June 2016 I wrote about AR so this time I will provide some insights into VR.

Virtual Reality as we know it today originated from Science fiction and its first reference is believed to have come from the 1935 short story “Pygmalion’s Spectacles” by Stanley G Weinbaum  where he described a goggle-based virtual reality system with holographic recording of fictional experiences, including smell and touch.  Since then there have been numerous products which have lead us to today and I imagine everyone has used something that tried to enhance reality  (Back in 1939 View-Master  stereoscopes were introduced) or seen a Program that glorified the Technology (In 1974 the Holodeck made its debut on Star Trek. ).   In its infancy VR mainly resided in the gaming community however recently it has fragmented into multi price point options accessible by all.

At the low end we are seeing headsets which range from Cardboard to Googles Latest Daydream View  where Apps can be downloaded onto your phone and the phone used as the viewing platform.  Just search VR on the Apple or Google App stores and see the options; they are not just games.

At the high end however even more Innovation is being seen.  With the likes of the HTC Vive  and the Oculus Gear or Rift suddenly enterprise grade headsets are appearing that can solve enterprise problems.  Applications are now being created where the headsets can be used for immersive, education, engineering and medical procedures.  In the Business environment you just need to forget the gaming angle and suddenly the possibilities are endless.  Any Digital process which can be changed in real time could be viewed via a headset and changed in seconds to enable Agile development.  Think of the Marketing opportunities and how the sales process could start before the final product is finished.  As the technology matures over the next few years and its price point moves to a consumable item everyone will be embracing Reality 2.0.