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Augmented Reality Meets Business

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Augmented Reality Meets Business

  1. 1. Augmented Reality Meets Business 1
  2. 2. Augmented Reality: The Definition Augmented Reality is a type of virtual reality that aim’s at replicating the real environment with the virtual world. It is fast becoming a mass technology in various domains. Some of the key trends according to the Augmented World Expo that was held in Santa Clara, California in June 2013 are:  Software and Hardware Integration  Mobile AR Apps  Business Applications Mobile AR is definitely one of the hottest augmented reality trends 2013, which will drive the entire AR industry in the future. In fact, Mobile AR has already been driving the augmented reality industry for the past few years. Brands such as Metaio and Qualcomm featured their AR technology and services at the Expo. Wikitude too launched a tool that helped to create content with their platform. Finally, Seac 02 showcased that AR Code application designed for communication and marketing campaigns. A whole new set of applications is emerging as a consequence of addressing specific practical problems in different industrial sectors. Several companies showcased technology that enables the training and support for operations in repair. Epson,Merlin, NGRAIN, Columbia industrial tasks including University, Seabery, Joinpad all maintenance demonstrated and interesting applications. Most of the exhibitors demonstrated 2D NFT and SLAM tracking techniques during the event. Some employed depth cameras to demonstrate how changing patterns of behaviuor in a system could be recognized and tracked. Few others, like Metaio and Inglobe Technologies, demonstrated their latest 3D trackers as the next natural step for the tracking technology that enables powerful AR tools to be used in different sectors as opposed to more standard 2D image tracking and GPS/compass referencing techniques. The growth of the augmented reality applications market is expected to be exponential with the revenue 2
  3. 3. growth from $181.25 million in 2011 to $5,155.92 million by 2016, at a CAGR of 95.35% from 2011 to 2016.The most attractive of all the segments is the smartphones segment; followed by the tablets, and so on. Themajor players that provide software for augmented reality are Total Immersion (France), Metaio (Germany),Wikitude (Austria), Zugara (U.S.), and Layar (The Netherlands). Key Drivers for Growth in Augmented Reality Industry Key drivers in the growth of augmented reality include growing mobile device ownership and usage, increasing bandwidths and more brands using mobile to drive commerce. “As mobile industry transitions from keypad to touch screen as the new interaction mechanism, Augmented Reality based interaction will drive the next wave of growth ,” said Neil Shah, senior analyst for the global wireless practice at Strategy Analytics, Newton, MA. “As a result, companies such as Google, Apple and Samsung are investing in this area.” Augmented Reality in Healthcare Industry The healthcare industry is ripe to take advantage of the features of Augmented Reality. Following are some of the areas where AR technology can be leveraged to improvise the services of this industry: Patient Monitoring: Considering a case where a physician needs multiple angles of viewing of the physical manifestation of a patient's symptoms, video conferencing can be inconvenient. Wearing a pair of augmented reality glasses, the video stream broadcasted to the physician will be a lot more detailed. This experience shall be equivalent of having the patient "sitting right in front" of them. Care Management: Patients under care management are frequently visited by care providers who register the vitals of the patient and report back on their health status. Currently, care providers register the vitals in paper forms, and then the data is manually fed into the system. Doing so involves a lot of overhead and there is always a risk of misplacing the forms too. This issue can be addressed by moving 3
  4. 4. the system to a mobility platform. The data collected during these interactions can be synchronized with secure cloud storage or could be relayed back in real-time. A pair of augmented reality glasses can be synchronized with the care provider's calendar and will prompt them on their appointments. They can extend maps feature's and provide "turn-by-turn" directions on how to reach the patients house. They can record the entire interaction process between the patient and the care provider, and since they are wearable devices, they will not obstruct the care provider either. Furthermore, in-case the care provider feels an immediate need to get a consultation from a physician, she can leverage the connectivity features of such devices. With more players bound to enter the market in manufacturing augmented reality glasses, the cost of such devices would be comparable to tablet computers. Wellness and Fitness: Not all applications of AR in medicine are aimed at care providers; the growth in apps has made smartphone users able to easily and cheaply educate themselves on medical topics and terminology. In earlier blogs, I have stressed on the importance of mobility and social media integration to wellness management. The basis of augmented reality lies on leveraging the best of mobile and social media platforms. Developing fitness management applications for augmented realty glasses will result in a paradigm shift in how users interact with these applications. One could project live data like heart rate, and distance run over your glasses that allows us to get interactive with the whole process. Future Outlook for Augmented Reality The future of augmented reality is clearly bright, even as it already has found its way into our cell phones and video game systems. Augmented Reality (AR) will fundamentally change the way how we access, understand, enjoy and share digital information. The vision of being able to point a mobile device camera at anything in the real world and instantly receive contextual information is beginning to take shape as a roadmap to the future of AR. Enabling technologies and the vast growth of content will turn AR into a daily-used standard interface. John Jackson, a research analyst for the research firm IDC said, “There is a gold rush mentality around the space now and it’s hardly clear who is going to emerge. We have to think about this as a platform that makes use of lots of different technologies and mashes them up to give you a new way of interacting with the world around you.” The research firm further said that the expansion of cloud computing will be the main driver for developing such large number of augmented reality apps and tools. Cloud-based content libraries are essential for the proper functioning of the augmented reality devices along with rapid access to wireless networks. 4
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