Augmented-reality applications for handheld devices are increasingly prevalent and integrated.
And don’t discount this technology as purely entertainment. The ability to augment the real world with additional information through a device’s camera view can be used for business applications as well as entertainment.
If you’ve ever watched NFL (or college) football, the yellow first-down indicator is an example of augmented reality.
“Augmented reality involves the layering of digital objects over a camera view of the world, allowing users to interact with an environment transformed by virtual items,” Ryan Kim wrote in the San Francisco Chronicle.
Augmented reality is getting a lot of visibility in TV ads as a number of the handheld gaming devices (i.e. Nintendo DS) are integrating augmented-reality capabilities. But there are applications happening in communications, marketing and learning as well. Medical training, manufacturing training and device repair are three areas where augmented reality is having an impact in learning.
A December 2010 article in Earth Times highlights Volkswagen’s use of augmented reality for training service personnel on new-model vehicles.
“Three-dimensional design data is projected onto the surfaces of a production vehicle, in the correct position and in perspective even from different viewing angles. This creates a kind of 'virtual x-ray vision' for the viewer, which enables them to see otherwise hidden components and structures inside the vehicle,” said Professor Juergen Leohold, head of the Volkswagen Group Research.
Augmented reality has moved from strictly a mounted, heads-up display technology to a mobile one as well. And with mobile comes the enhanced impact of GPS location that allows mapping-augmented information to the device’s location.
Here are more examples of augmented-reality applications:
Consider how these applications or something similar might impact your business.
How are you using augmented reality?
Andy Petroski is director and assistant professor of Learning Technologies at Harrisburg University of Science and Technology.