In this article we discuss what augmented reality is, the operation of this technology, its beginnings as well as the applications it can have today, both for consumers and in the industry.

Companies that have already opted for this technology (Amazon, Facebook or General Electric) are seeing an improvement in the quality and productivity of their employees.

More and more AR applications are emerging that improve our way of acquiring knowledge, decision making as well as the way we interact with the world in which we live. The AR will also revolutionize the business world by changing the processes of organization production, product design and creation, as well as the way employees learn.

WHAT IS AUGMENTED REALITY?

When we talk about augmented reality, we mean the technology that superimposes virtual elements on a vision of reality, that is, it adds data and digital images in the physical world. In essence, the AR combines elements of a real environment with elements of a virtual environment created in 3D and allows them to be manipulated in real time.

But at what time does AR arise? For a long time there have been man-made inventions related to providing additional information to its users about the environment. In 1957 the filmmaker Morton Heilig invented a prototype similar to a video game machine to which he gave the name Sensorama. This device projected 3D images (objects and situations) and also included a surround sound, vibrated the seat and threw air on the viewer.

Around 1990 the term was coined by Boeing Tom Caudell, a researcher who at that time was involved in the development of software that aimed to improve the manufacturing processes of his company.

Augmented Reality Applications

Augmented reality advances by leaps and bounds, being increasingly used by brands such as Snapchat or Nike. The first has developed Spectacles 3, sunglasses that integrate augmented reality technology and 3D effects. For its part, Nike presented this year, Fit, an application that uses RA to indicate to the consumer what size of shoe is appropriate.

However, many people have a very narrow view of RA as they associate this technology with entertainment applications, since they may have had only AR experiences with Pokémon GO filters.

However, augmented reality has many more applications and applies in both consumer and industry environments (B2B). Here are some of the possibilities offered by this immersive technology:

Augmented reality to be oriented abroad:
For example, AR GPS Compass Map 3D is a free application from Google that helps you to orient yourself in the environment thanks to a floating compass that appears on the screen of your smartphone and tells you how to get to a point on the map through an arrow. In short, using the AR this application allows the user to orient themselves without the need for signs or indications.

 

 

Augmented reality in training:

Knowing the human body is much simpler with augmented reality applications such as this one that allows us to see each part of the human body (joints, muscles, bones and organs) as if it were a real body, being able to see each layer in detail.


It is an application designed to help students, teachers or health professionals and transform education into a much more attractive and effective experience by being different from conventional training based on books, texts and manuals.

 

Augmented reality in catalogs

 

Showing an industrial machinery can be very complicated, because there are cases in which the dimensions of this do not fit in a stand. With augmented reality you can see an infinity of virtual 3D objects on the real catalog from a mobile device or tablet, as we see in the following video. The screen shows the catalog of the physical environment, but together with certain objects of this seen in a three-dimensional way.

 

Augmented reality in navigation:

Until a few years ago the drivers to choose which exit to take on the road, had to obtain information from a flat screen map and, having seen static image, decide how to apply it in the real world, that is, the driver had to mentally join the image on the map to take the right detour.

Apple launched a patent for an AR display screen, which “can increase a user’s perceived reality by capturing images in front of the user (for example, in front of a vehicle) and superimposing a navigation layer on a display of those images captured in real time By superimposing the navigation layer on the captured images, the user can clearly and easily understand in which lane to position themselves without having to decipher how the general symbols relate to the real world. “

This reduces the mental effort to process the information, avoids distractions and, above all, minimizes the driver’s error, allowing it to put all its attention on the road.

 

All the applications of which we have spoken, demonstrate that augmented reality technology is changing the way we interact with the physical world, facilitating in many cases our daily life as well as the way of displaying physical products (AR catalog).

 

CAPABILITIES OF REALITY INCREASED IN THE INDUSTRY

In the industrial sector, augmented reality brings with it different advantages for the industries that decide to bet on it.

 

TIME SAVING

Let’s take as an example that we are a company that is responsible for designing and building aircraft carriers. Formerly, engineers did not have this technology and were forced to constantly compare the ship with complex plans. With the help of augmented reality, these professionals could see the final design superimposed on the ship, which allows to reduce the testing time by 96%, that is, from 36 hours to only 90 minutes. In general, companies reduce the time required for production tasks by the AR by 25%.

 

IMPROVES THE DISPLAY

The applications in augmented reality allow to have a more complete vision, similar to the vision of X-rays, being able to show characteristics of the products that, without the use of this technology, would be difficult to perceive. In the health sector, there is an intelligent virtual surgery software that gives the surgeon the opportunity to visualize anatomical structures in real time and that has managed to transform the world of medicine.

A few months ago, the Public University of Navarra performed the first surgical intervention with the support of augmented reality glasses designed by Microsoft, HoloLens. Through this device, medical professionals can obtain information on a virtual screen about the steps that should be followed during the operation.

MOST EFFECTIVE REMOTE COMMUNICATION

How many times have we tried to resolve any issue through a phone call or via email? Explain by one of these two ways to an operator what steps to follow to resolve an incident is really complicated especially when the piece that the technician is indicating on the other side of the phone is missing.

The methodology that companies have traditionally had to solve the breakdowns has been through written instructions or through videos, which makes them sometimes too long, difficult to follow and not very interactive. The application of augmented reality in the industry results in greater productivity of the workforce and greater ease in solving incidents, since it is a more direct and faster solution that provides visual guidance step by step in time real about different tasks of the production process such as the assembly or operation of the machine.

Assist AR comes to solve exactly this problem. It is a tool that allows the resolution of incidents in real time using smart glasses, which integrate augmented reality systems. This product, developed from Innoarea Projects, allows operators to communicate in real time with an expert and guide them through an augmented reality device, without having to move, which translates into a significant decrease in costs and reduces the time needed to resolve incidents.

 

In Innoarea we have a lot of augmented reality solutions focused on the industry. Would you like to make the leap and take advantage of the benefits of augmented reality for your company?

Contact us and together we will design solutions that will improve the productivity and competitiveness of your company.