In just a few short years, both augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) have come a long way, making waves in everything from gaming to advertising across the world. Virtual reality, as its name suggests, is essentially a way to use technology to “transport” yourself into a world that doesn’t exist. AR, on the other hand, lets you use tech to alter and add digital layers to the world around you.
Regardless of which way you look at it, this tech is impressive. But does its impact begin and end right there? Is it just another trendy form of technology, or is it really poised to change the world?
The Argument for Augmented Reality as a Trend
The reason why so many people insist that augmented reality is just a fad ultimately derives from the major ways that we see it used. Social media platform Snapchat, for example, regularly offers free augmented reality filters to users. The filters allow them to change the environment around them while taking selfies or recording videos. While that may be a fun way to kill a couple of minutes and make your friends laugh, is it really going to change the world?
Likewise, a lot of mobile app developers are using augmented reality to great effect especially now, as many modern day smartphones have AR capabilities built in. But again, being able to turn any table in your home into an interactive gaming service may be fun and even exciting – but at the end of the day, what does that really mean?
If the broader implications of augmented reality stopped there – with social media filters and multiplayer games - the compelling argument likely would be that augmented reality is little more than a novelty. But thankfully, developers are just getting started.
A World-Shaking Force of Nature
Even though augmented reality isn’t as commonplace as say, a standard laptop, companies globally are finding newer and more innovative uses for AR every day.
Real estate companies, for example, are using augmented reality to allow people to view property details via social networking sites like Facebook. Travel companies are allowing people to literally see and experience far off and exotic destinations before ever booking a trip, right from the comfort of their own homes. It’s also being used within the educational setting, where schools are using AR to turn every square inch of a classroom into a true learning opportunity.
What Does the Future Hold?
When you consider even these basic examples, it’s easy to see that augmented reality has already moved beyond the realm of “simple fad”. Now, as it embeds itself into society, AR has become something that is useful, immersive and engaging. And with large companies like Microsoft, Google, and Facebook focusing on augmented reality, it’s clear that its role in our lives is only going to become more important.
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As the technology continues to advance, it’s easy to see a future where augmented reality creates a more immersive, enriching experience for brands and organisations across the board - allowing them to deepen their relationship with their own audience at the exact same time. In the end, isn’t that the most important benefit of all?
So, what do you think? Is augmented reality a passing trend or is it world shaking?