Augmented Reality: What it Means for Your Business
Augmented reality refers to a phenomenon where information about the environment is transformed by the use of computer technology into information that is real in the user’s environment. The term was first used in 1995 with the publication of the book Virtual World Enhancing Software (also referred to as VSI). The concept was taken further in 1998 with the publication of Houghton’s Virtual Environment – A Tool for Designing and Planning. Houghton described it as an ‘experiential’ environment in which the user interacts with objects in much the same way that he or she would interact with physical reality. In this way it differs from digital object systems which attempt to represent only the virtual environment, with the possible exception of graphics.
Augmented reality has the potential to benefit several sectors, particularly the business sector. In business terms, it can refer to any method of presenting information to users in a completely new way. Augmented reality offers an unprecedented opportunity to present complex, multidimensional data in a new way to users. It is also capable of providing users with more relevant and targeted information than would be possible with more traditional methods. For example, one could use images of a child on a trip to a beach to teach a computer training software how to predict the behavior of a child in situations where that child is in real life.
How does this work? In fact, this is a rather simple process. For instance, you might want to show your visitor a map of your favorite vacation destination. If you are using a computer at your hotel, all you have to do is download your map onto your computer and then display it on the screen of your tablet or smartphone. The information is accurate and fresh, and the way in which you have presented it on the screen will have a significant impact on how accurately your visitor will react. What we are dealing with here is the ability to perceive the world as we understand it – to translate and harness the incredible power of your brain.
This same principle applies to business intelligence. By taking advantage of the power of your brain, you can take advantage of the information superhighway that is the internet. You can leverage the collective knowledge of the World Wide Web to make sense of the messy, confusing, and ever-changing information that makes up the business world. With this information you can make better decisions, create new strategies, and make better sales. As you develop new strategies, your competition will be forced to adopt your ideas, which means that you have a leg up on them in terms of business development.
We live in a world where people change their minds in the blink of an eye. We live in a world where changing human behaviors has become commonplace. In a world like this you must always be able to plan for these changes in hopes that you can adapt to them quickly. Augmented Reality, by providing your business with the tools to interpret and predict human behavior, provides you with an unparalleled competitive advantage.
In the past companies have needed a trained employee who could interpret the corporate data in order to effectively plan and implement strategies. Human interpretation is no longer enough. Thanks to the rise of the smart phone, we are able to tap into the collective unconscious, or the wisdom of the crowd, in order to get our point across to others. With a smart phones and other handheld devices this collective wisdom is at your fingertips. Now you can execute your business strategy while the crowd guides your company to its success.
Companies that embrace an intelligent phones will be able to leverage the collective data of their customers, employees, suppliers, and competitors to ensure that they are always running at the forefront of their industry. If you’re planning a big promotion, there is little doubt that you are weighing options. You may be trying to decide what position to hold, what raises to pay people, and how you are going to increase sales. With smart phones you can capture data from competitors, gather employee demographic information, and understand your market. If you’re a small business owner then you can use ar applications to do an analysis of your competition and find ways to differentiate yourself.
Imagine having a virtual tour guide that leads your team through the steps of a new project, while directing them to the appropriate meetings. Ar augmented reality has arrived! With AR you can experience total immersion in your business, while experiencing all the benefits of a hands-on approach. Implementing a smart phone applications into your business has never been so easy. Your imagination is the limit. The future is coming, and it’s time for you to start dreaming.