Thanks to Apple’s recent product launch event, augmented reality (AR) is getting a lot of attention these days. Apple’s next generation of phones — the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X — will all carry Apple’s ARKit, a free iOS 11 software update that enables developers to create augmented reality applications that place digital objects in the real world.
With Apple’s ARKit and a similar technology by Google called ARCore, smartphones and tablets have been completely transformed and augmented reality is set to become a large part of our lives. In fact, TechCrunch predicted, “AR could become the primary driver of a $108 billion VR [virtual reality]/AR market by 2021, with AR taking the lion’s share of $83 billion and VR $25 billion.”
While augmented reality is often lumped into the same category as virtual reality, the technologies are actually different. Virtual reality completely transports a user into a virtual world. Augmented reality combines GPS and smartphone camera technology to project images and information onto the real world.
The hardware needed can also be very different: Virtual reality systems typically require some sort of headset. But augmented reality can be used with either wearables like Microsoft’s HoloLens glasses, or through a smartphone or tablet, which lends itself to use by groups in a shared space.
Without any additional gear, augmented reality creates an immersive experience and allows everyone in a room to experience the same thing and see the same images, making AR ideal for meetings and events.
“Augmented reality has the potential to add dimension to events that would take them to the next level — not just allowing for deeper engagement and more interaction, but creating solutions that provide a better overall attendee experience,” said Wilson Tang, VP of digital experience with FreemanXP.
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