Perhaps the most impressive of all augmented reality stats comes from an unlikely source: Google. At the time of its release in July of last year, Pok mon Go quickly became an augmented reality hit, creating an overnight sensation in terms of its downloads and revenue potential. Google’s success with the service and subsequent success with its brand name, Google Maps, has paved the way for other companies to follow suit with their own augmented reality apps. Just as Google has been the driving force behind many of the most successful apps of recent years, it appears that it may be behind the success of the eponymous Pokemon Go, as well.
In the simplest terms, augmented reality is simply the use of technology to present real-life data in a different form. The obvious starting point is computer-generated graphics, which are in effect rendered as 3D images that can be loaded into the user’s device. Next, there will be the use of GPS, which is meant to provide accurate location data for a device’s user. Users will then have the ability to enter these locations into the device’s GPS system, which will then present them with a list of places that they may want to visit. All of this happens without the need for more conventional buttons, menus, or commands. In a very real sense, the user is essentially “directing” their experience through their brain.
One example of augmented reality games is Pokemon Go, which uses wearable art devices and a variety of map applications to help players locate, explore, and take part in various aspects of the Pokemon universe. The success of Pokemon Go is owed in large part to the fact that it leverages some of the power of the mobile virtual reality technology of the smart phone to offer something more than a simple game. Users of smart phone augmented reality devices can now literally become trainers, visiting gyms, parks, and other areas in their area to partake in real life ‘cafe’ games with fellow trainers.
In addition to the obvious uses for Pokemon Go like playing the game, many augmented reality enthusiasts are also taking advantage of one of the most important augmented reality trends: creating smart phone apps that make use of the device’s GPS technology. This allows Pokemon Go to take users directly to different locations where different creatures are found, which is a significant departure from past handheld gaming. Pokemon Go is an excellent example of how combining a specific type of device with a specific type of software can lead to significant improvements in augmented reality trends. Smartphone augmented reality apps continue to evolve into high-tech solutions for a growing number of users.
Perhaps the most popular application of AR technology today is automotive navigation, which has been around for quite some time. In many cases, car owners and drivers may already be comfortable with their existing GPS applications, but there is always the risk of becoming lost when traveling on the highway. Luckily, advancements in smartphone augmented reality applications are improving the way drivers are guided through dangerous roads by incorporating detailed maps and graphics on the screen of the smartphone. Once drivers have learned to turn the system on, they will have access to comprehensive maps created by major carmakers, including detailed road closures, traffic signals, and lane markers.
Another emerging use for smartphone augmented reality is in the realm of healthcare. Doctors and nurses can use their phones to perform a variety of functions, such as viewing X-ray images or conducting a physical examination. More significantly, doctors and nurses can use their devices to conduct clinical assessments, identify patients, create charts, write reports and perform other vital sign monitoring duties. The potential applications of this technology goes far beyond the medical profession, however. Since the introduction of Google Glass in 2021, the consumer market for wearable devices has expanded to include individuals of all ages who may experience eye, head, or hand problems that limit their independent lifestyle.
No matter the application, augmented reality provides consumers with a more intelligent way to interact with the world around them. In fact, Google scholar has developed an application that helps people track the progress of student progress through their smartphones. In this instance, the tracking was conducted as part of a research study led by Dr. Ziv Kalman, a specialist in rehabilitation at the University of Southern California. As you might expect, the study involved two groups of students who were assigned to carry out a series of activities using Google Glass. While one group went on a real physical tour of a museum; the other was given a set amount of time to perform a series of activities via their smartphone, which included tracking the actions of each student, browsing images and reading informational text.
While the study is still ongoing, Dr. Kalman believes that future augmented reality devices will be able to monitor physical therapies, detect and correct muscle imbalances, and even monitor the condition of children with special needs. Ultimately, we may soon live in a world where doctors can seamlessly detect and treat a wide range of medical conditions that existed not even a few years ago. Just imagine what it would feel like to have the next life-saving diagnosis is carried out right in front of you. The prospect alone of a technology is enough to drive medical professionals to look into innovative new applications of the technology.