At this present age, it would be difficult to find someone who has not yet heard of augmented reality. The continuous development of augmented reality has spurred a lot of devices and software applications which we may have encountered at one point in our lives. As a matter of fact, augmented reality – or virtual reality – has always been linked to our high-end technologies, from our handheld smartphones to distinct modern devices.
What started off as a mere concept in science fiction has now become an integral part of our daily existence, from voice-enabled virtual assistants to location-based reality games. But what is augmented reality?
Augmented Reality Defined
Before we take the concept further, it would be necessary to define what augmented reality is. As its name implies, some aspects of the physical and real-world are "augmented" or bumped up in augmented reality (AR) using computer-generated sensory input such as graphics, video, or GPS data. It aims to enhance one's apprehension of what is real by applying several techniques which are usually done in real time. Such methods involve using the elements of the environment that the person is in and overlaying supplemental information on such environment using technology.
Several devices and gadgets have appeared with the emergence of augmented reality. For example, a head-up display (HUD) presents information without the need to look away from the user's usual viewpoints. Devices which resemble eyeglasses can also render AR displays wherein a camera is employed in such eyewear to intercept the real world view. An augmented view can be seen through the eyepieces which the image is projected.
Augmented reality has also found its way onto our software. Integrated into hardware devices, these software applications derive real-world coordinates from camera images. An Augmented Reality Markup Language (ARML) is a data standard consisting of XML grammar to identify the location and appearance of objects in the scene. Many of these software apps are now used in various sectors including architecture, education, commerce, and medicine. Software apps with augmented reality have also been infused in games and navigation.
Relevance of Augmented Reality
While already a marvel at this present time, the concept of augmented reality will most probably be able to help shape the future of our technology. As of now, augmented reality provides a variety of uses to several areas. For example, in the medical sector, augmented reality is used to aid those who are preparing for surgeries. In the military, augmented reality is used by pilots to a transparent display which shows altitude, and airspeed, among others. In the field of education, augmented reality may be used to discover new concepts through diverse applications.
In everyday lives, navigation is made possible through augmented reality. This makes it easier to move from one place to another. Gaming applications may also use augmented reality. With games like “Pokémon Go,” you can be transported into another world while using your phones.
Truly, augmented reality has gone a long way from just a mere fictional idea. It has become a relevant portion in our daily activities, whether we are aware of them or not.
Designing Augmented Reality
To become an efficient designer of augmented reality, you should know several things which could help you create a quality yet entertaining software. Here are several tips on how you can improve your craft as a designer.
Primarily, you should allow your customers to try the application or the device before they even buy it. Being a relatively new concept, a lot of your clients might not be able to have a sufficient idea regarding augmented reality.
By encouraging them to try your project, they can experience it first-hand giving them an ample knowledge and a desire to purchase it. Demonstration of the product would not really suffice, so as letting them watch a video. People are seeking for experience, so you should be able to provide them with one.
You should also set realistic goals and objectives when designing a project involving augmented reality. When chasing the next big thing, try to consider establishing and reaching for explicit goals. Ask yourself the outcome you want to have at the end of the project.
After setting your goal, establish concrete plans and variables on how to achieve such objectives. This will give you a better view on the methodology of your project. For example, when you seek to raise the level of awareness of people through augmented reality, you should consider the type of people who may benefit, and the level of adoption of your product.
You may also need to repeat testing and iterating the project until it is worthy of being released. And as a general rule, you should kick your product 12 to 16 weeks ahead of schedule.
The Future of the Future
Augmented reality poses a bright future for technology. Yet designing a product involving such concept involves time and effort. As a designer, you hold the future of augmented reality. Be able to follow some of the tips, focus on your goal, and you will be good to go.