Seamlessly blending reality with computer-generated graphics and animations, augmented reality is the technology which has enabled a real-time interaction between the virtual and the real. AR is the live view of the everyday surroundings supplemented by digitized media via various highly advanced computer techniques. In contrast to virtual reality, which is often the figment of one’s imagination brought to virtual life, AR is the enhancement of an individual perception of reality.
In the gaming and entertainment sector, virtual and augmented reality have taken over almost every other technology. According to industry stats, AR/VR consumer market revenues are expected to hit a staggering $120 billion by the year 2020. Promoting this gaming concept to a whole new level is the integration of the revolutionizing technology into mobile devices such as smartphones, iPad’s and tablets which consistently make use of existing navigational systems to operate. Today, more and more location based augmented reality applications and games are making their ways in the market.
Let’s take a look at what Location-Based Augmented Reality actually is, its existing solutions, as well as discover the unchartered potential of L.A.B.R apps and games from a business perspective.
What is Location-Based Augmented Reality?
The technology of receiving location information was made available to the public back in the year 2000. With the help of a revolutionary invention known as the Global Positioning System or the GPS, which is essentially a highly interlinked network of satellites, communicative devices were able to accept signals pinpointing geospatial location. Initially, the GPS was used mainly for navigation purposes, but as the network and computing technologies evolved, they were able to experiment with the GPS in a multitude of different applications.
On such application which benefits from location awareness is Augmented Reality.
An interactive display technique for digital data that overlays digitized information on physical places or objects, AR when combined with the location awareness capabilities of a cellular device is called Location-Based Augmented Reality.
Augmented reality is the culmination of several highly complex technologies such as image processing, networking, image recognition and even audio mixing. Conventional AR development is a combination of these techniques with various processing algorithms and programs implementing those algorithms to produce applications which superimpose pre-installed information onto electronic display screens.
Taking it a step further, the amalgamation of conventional AR development with GPS systems and geospatial data techniques, along with location sensors such as gyroscopes, digital compasses, and accelerometers, L.B.A.R is born.
Applications which are developed utilizing this cutting edge technology allow the dual feature of recognizing as well as retrieving the location of a cellular device along with supplementing freshly acquired data along with the pre-installed info to deliver a smooth functioning system.
The Existing Solutions of L.B.A.R
Augmented reality is by no means a new technology. Having been in existence since the early nineties, AR has been in use in a multitude of different sectors. While there exist numerous solutions of L.B.A.R, it is very recently that this phenomenon burst into mainstream media. Some of the best mixed reality apps available in the market are primarily location based.
There are applications such as Layar, which allow its users to view digital content from a variety of sources in one place based on your location, or Yelp, which helps discover nearby local establishments, events, restaurants along with their details all geo-tagged and accessible via a smartphones’ camera viewfinder.
Then there is Fieldtrip, a location based augmented reality app that is your personalized tour guide. Or Wikitude, a real-life search engine which allows you to look up places and locations around you with the help of a freshly captured image. Star Walk is another app which utilizes the location data of your smartphone to present a detailed view of the star constellations visible to you from your vantage point, all updated in real-time.
Apart from these existing apps, numerous museums, and public exhibits make use of location-based augmented reality to create immersive three-dimensional displays for their visitors.
However, of all the various AR apps and games in popular use today, there is one that is particularly famous: Pokemon Go.
Achieving overnight success, Pokemon GO is the first location-based augmented reality mobile game to be propelled to such heights of popularity. Capturing the attention of gamers of all ages, Pokemon GO allows users to capture virtual creatures superimposed throughout the real world, visible via the device’s camera.
The game functions by designating the various real-world landmarks as something called ‘Pokestops’ or areas where players can obtain items needed to progress in the game, as well as ‘Pokemon Gyms’ where different Pokemon battle it out against one another. The use of navigation and mapping system means that the game isn’t limited to famous geo-tagged landmarks around a village/city/town. Rather, in-game locations can be set to any area, shop, or even inanimate, ornate objects.
Pokemon GO requires no specific equipment or resources apart from some space on a cellular devices’ server. While the simplicity of the game is one of the biggest factors which attracts the droves of players flocking all over the streets of the world, trying to catch em’ all, it is also one of the reasons why there are developers out there furiously emulating the same concepts to develop games of their own. If that’s the kind of thing you’re into, you can read all about making your very own Pokemon GO game, here.
Growth Possibilities of L.B.A.R in the Business World
Augmented Reality allows the addition of visual overlays or three-dimensional interactive imagery on actual views which is a phenomenally useful concept that is especially useful in the tech-driven times of today. However, it is unfortunate that the limitless potential of augmented reality for business purposes remains unrealized even in tech-driven times of today. The current usage of it is still largely centered on the gaming and entertainment industry when it has the potential revolutionize business processes and enterprise workflows.
With projections of this industry becoming as big as the desktop PC market in the years to come, augmented reality is expected to be as transformative for the consumer base as it is the businesses.
Apart from the obvious, such as the smartphone device makers, data and network companies, and software industry, AR has the potential to impact every individually known sector today. In fact, a few years down the line, there will be very few businesses that will remain unaffected by this technology.
As it is, the retail and services sector has already readily adapted to the AR culture. As of this moment, there are numerous apps available in the market which allow for a more immersive and personalized experience to the customers. Some apps enable you to envision furniture placements in your home before you buy them, and even one’s that let you try on different cosmetic brands and products too.
Based on our experience, here are the areas of the commercial market that we feel will be most impacted by AR niche applications in the next 3 to 5 years.
Consumer Businesses and Services
Augmented reality is likely to become the biggest sales booster for consumer businesses. By having single service apps, companies can engage the costumer’s visual senses for a far improved, highly immersive shopping experience. Three-dimensional product visualizations and demonstrations are sure to increase sales as well as business market shares leading to greater profitability.
Teaching and learning, mainly the business areas pertaining to education are likely to be the most affected by an increased influx of augmented reality technologies. AR will allow ready access to highly sophisticated teaching equipment necessary for proper demonstrations and learning. What’s more, with the use of AR environments, classrooms can provide real-life simulations with immersive surroundings for better training without the consequences, especially in the healthcare and military education systems.
How Can AppReal Be of Help?
The tech trends are expected to shift towards the business side as the mobile processing in the workplace experiences an industry-wide boom. As it is, various sectors are already looking into augmented reality based solutions to boost their businesses. That said, mobile based applications and games for corporate and commercial purposes are no joke. Not only are they an expensive investment, but they also require the skill and expertise of a professional.
If you find yourself in the market for a highly efficient and innovative augmented reality app or game, that’s engaging and made to your specifications, feel free to contact AppReal today.
A mixed reality development company that specializes in providing world-class IT solutions to clients across the globe, AppReal utilizes cutting edge technology along with the technical know-how of over 200 highly qualified, veteran professionals.