Saturday, March 27, 2010

Augmented Reality (AR) and Analytics:

With technology progressing so fast, developments in the field of AI moving ahead in leaps and bounds, the day is not far away when augmented reality (on a large scale) will indeed become a reality. Well, it's already present in our lives to a certain extent through certain internet applications, but when it becomes part of our physical world, that will mark its true advent on the human society.

Before taking this post any further let's look at what is augmented reality?

Let’s look at how Wikipedia defines AR:

Augmented reality (AR) is a term for a live direct or indirect view of a physical real-world environment whose elements are augmented by virtual computer-generated imagery. It is related to a more general concept called mediated reality in which a view of reality is modified (possibly even diminished rather than augmented) by a computer.

Well in case the definition didn’t get through to you look at the video to get a glimpse into what AR may look in the future:
Fascinating, isn’t it? In fact AR has been used in military aviation for a long time now in the form of heads up display units in fighter aircrafts that give ordinance , spatial and other information to the pilot in a very easy to understand way.

Well now to put things in perspective imagine a world where you combine the best of your real world with the best of virtual world. What have we go there? Imagine yourself walking down the street with an AR gadget (an AR goggle, an AR phone or something else) and getting all the necessary directions on this gadget, getting a list/callout of all restaurants on a street, or going to a store and look at simplify point at an item to get all the details related to that item, look up a recipe in your AR gadget and get all the necessary ingredients that are there in the store.

The best part about AR is with the amount of information gathering it will enable. Imagine yourself owning a retail chain and wanting to know your customers better, what they want, how they interact with products in your stores. All this information can be very easily collected from the AR gadget. This will lead to better customization and we would reach a point where when you enter a store, a restaurant, etc, the teller or the waiter will know who you are , what you like and possibly based on the day of the week what you would purchase or like to order. Sounds great doesn’t it?


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