Are you crazy about Instagram masks that change your appearance or tons of interactive mobile games, for example, with cute pets? It’s a reality thanks to Augmented Reality — modern technology, which expands our physical world by adding layers of digital information to it. Unlike virtual reality (VR), AR doesn’t create entire virtual environments, but manifests itself in the existing environment, adding sounds, video, and graphics to it. AR sounds like another topic for a science fiction film, but today it fits easily in a simple smartphone.
ARKit from Apple and ARCore from Google are the titans on the world AR market. More and more large and small companies are using Augmented Reality to promote their business. Let’s look at the features of frameworks and how AR can come in handy for your products and services.
ARKit from Apple
At the moment, Apple isn’t interested in virtual reality, they focused on the development of augmented reality. In 2017 the company presented ARKit — the platform for creating AR apps. Within ARKit, developers can create a wide variety of virtual images with a previously inaccessible degree of integration into real life. Apple is always trying to bet on the strongest side of its business — the perfect interaction between software and technology.
What the newest platform can offer?
In 2019 Apple presented the updated platform ARKit 3. The new development impresses with its possibilities of interaction between real and simulated. Advanced technologies allow you to identify people in AR, capture their movements, and transmit to virtual objects. Also, ARKit 3, using the front lens, can now track up to three different faces. Besides, the latest AR technologies can simultaneously work with both front and rear cameras. Do you want to interact with augmented reality with your friends at the same time? Thanks to the support of joint sessions, several users can do it now.
ARKit 3 will only be supported by the newest iPhones and iPads. The list of devices includes iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, iPhone XR, as well as the latest generation of iPad Pro tablets. This is because new technologies of augmented reality are extremely demanding on resources.
ARCore from Google
The first development of Google was the AR platform called Tango, which did not receive popularity and had very limited functions. As a result, the company decided to create augmented reality on Android, eliminating all the flaws, so this is how ARCore appeared. Today, ARCore has about 100 million potential users.
ARCore technology scans the surrounding space at different angles, determining the remoteness of objects in the frame. As a result, it is possible to create a full depth map of space. This allows to more accurately impose virtual objects on objects of the material world.
Three basic principles of ARCore:
- The platform tracks the movement of the phone. Using data from the phone’s camera and sensor, ARCore determines the position and orientation of the smartphone in motion. This allows you to accurately position virtual objects.
- ARCore understands of space. AR objects are located on a table, floor, or wall. Therefore, the SDK allows you to define horizontal and vertical planes.
- Technology can evaluate the degree of illumination. ARCore evaluates the illumination of space and allows developers to customize the lighting of virtual objects to make them look more realistic.
How to use AR for business?
The potential for using AR for business is very wide. The introduction of augmented reality elements into everyday life is carried out through many channels now. It can already be said that over the next five to seven years, AR applications will transform the entertainment industry, e-commerce, healthcare, education, beauty industry, and tourism.
Using VR, you can fully visualize objects that are in development. This is useful for the construction industry and real estate; in which you can visualize houses before their construction or future interior.
VR is a deeply immersive learning environment. We are talking about the image and also about the unique ability to work with a sound that allows simulating a real space. You can completely recreate the cockpit of an airplane or a car, visualize new equipment, etc.
Retail and eCommerce
All the world’s largest retailers are moving in the direction of AR and VR: Amazon and Alibaba are working on the implementation of these technologies, the Walmart network has filed a patent application for a virtual showroom, and the eBay marketplace has announced the launch of the world’s first online store.
Ikea already has such an application. It allows you to pick up furniture and arrange it in your home thanks to augmented reality. It is also popular in the fashion market. Applications determine your height and parameters with minimal errors and allow you to try on clothes without leaving your home. So, in the future, we will not need to spend time on long and exhausting shopping. Even children’s books come to life on the screen of your smartphone.
Consumer experience continues to develop, so companies are looking for interesting ways to create a unique experience with their product or service. So, the technology of augmented and virtual reality is gaining popularity. Brands release their masks for Instagram, make interactive AR games for children with their products, enliven their logos and mascots on phone screens, and create other interesting advertising campaigns.
The future will not be possible without AR technology. We can predict that in the next 5-10 years they will appear in every area of our lives: home, medicine, shopping, just on the streets.
In the future, more breakthrough AR projects which will be financed by technology giants await us. However, it is worthwhile to clearly define what the consumer needs and how to implement it technologically. A balance in the development of hardware and software can ensure the sustainable development of the industry, which will bring us even closer to the era of mixed reality.