We’re on the cusp of a technological revolution that promises to bring innumerable benefits to countless industries over the coming years.
Augmented reality is incontrovertibly one of the most exciting emerging technologies of the 21st Century - so much so that the industry surrounding AR, as well as virtual reality, is forecast to rise to a market size of $192 billion by 2022.
Image Source: Statista
While augmented reality isn’t exactly ‘new,’ with AR headsets having traceable origins that stretch over 50 years, the development of remote AR is set to become a game changer and bring with it many benefits for the world of business, healthcare and entertainment.
Current usage of AR tends to be more individualistic, where users can utilise e-commerce apps like IKEA Place to visualise a digitally rendered piece of homeware positioned inside their living room, or capture monsters in their local supermarket thanks to the wildly successful Pokemon Go!. Remote AR, however, opens the door to limitless collaborative opportunities. By taking AR’s framework and opening up augmented views to multiple participants around the world, daily tasks like business meetings can become wholly immersive. Users can also benefit from connecting with each other remotely.
Below are four industries where remote AR could really be a game-changing force.
Augmented reality is set to breathe new life into the field of healthcare in the coming years, with the ability to be utilised by both doctors and surgeons in a way that can overlay digital guidance over their field of vision to provide speedier diagnoses and supreme accuracy during operations.
The key advancements in the industry can arrive in the form of remote AR, with services like Proximie already making headway in building a workable service that allows remote assistance to be conducted by practitioners around the world.
Proximie is innovative in how the program layers digital created content onto a live video stream using the latest AR technology in order to create ‘hands-on’ virtual assistance - effectively enabling surgeons to virtually ‘scrub in’ and provide realistic, real-time virtual collaboration.
AR has already been making waves in the gaming world, and following the success of Pokemon Go!, a mobile app that’s prompted in excess of 800 million downloads worldwide, developers Niantic are aiming to follow up their popular title with Harry Potter: Wizards Unite.
Augmented reality games typically come as single-player entities, despite plenty of opportunities for players to collaborate with friends to achieve goals within the game.
WATTY, however, aims to bring a new dimension to multiplayer AR with WATTY REMOTE - a multiplayer gaming service that enables users to interact purely through augmented reality, even if one or more participants are playing from the other side of the world.
Users are invited by Boo!, WATTY’s anthropomorphic racoon mascot to create avatars and interact with friends and even do battle with them using remote augmented reality.
(A glance into WATTY’s remote AR system where users can battle each other from across the world. Image: Gleb Braverman)
Gleb Braverman, founder of WATTY highlights the potential that remote AR and its uses hold for enabling users to engage across the world: “Imagine if you could share AR with your friend on the other side of the world with just a mobile phone. We’ll actually be able to deliver it with WATTY REMOTE. Our vision is that AR multiplayer will be as easy as online shopping.”
Manufacturing and engineering
Scope AR is an application developed for Microsoft’s HoloLens, and its ability to bring swift and effective precision for troubleshooting within the industries of manufacturing and engineering and beyond has the potential to save companies a collective fortune through the quality of support it provides.
Through Scope’s remote AR capabilities, remote workers can collaborate with information experts who have the power to view exactly what the worker is seeing and share their knowledge as if they were standing right there on site.
Through a digital overlay, experts can remotely provide visual props and assistance in real-time that aids remote workers in a way that could never before be practised. If complex or intricate machinery needs to be operated, Scope’s visual instructions can help users keep well on track with deadlines and continue to work unimpeded.
(A visual interpretation of the level of remote augmented reality that Scope AR is capable of providing. Image: Scope AR)
Remote AR has the ability to make the process of learning much more immersive with teachers soon to be able to conduct entire lessons to remote students and interact with them just as if they were placed inside a classroom.
Such a breakthrough in technology can carry a wealth of benefits for online learning programs and the practices of organisations like the Open University. Remote AR could also prove invaluable to students in developing cities with a poor transport infrastructure, like Jakarta.
Lessons can effectively be delivered for students in real time and educational material can be embedded on users’ screens to add further value to the learning experience.
Such effective remote practices will likely make their way into staff training environments of larger businesses and chains with multiple offices either nationwide or worldwide.