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Augmented Reality Powered by the Internet of Things

Augmented Reality Powered by the Internet of Things

Augmented reality is a digital manifestation of utility applied to our basic senses to enhance our ability to perceive, and its value magnified by the emergence of the internet of things. We have used many forms of identification, magnification, and  investigation in our past. Physical proximity is not necessary to change the state of a utility, so long as you have connectivity, there is a program that is able to change the physical state through your digital commands. Our ability to interact with a location without actually being there has many implications, enhanced and complimenting other technologies that are designed to experience a task different.

Machines and devices can be maneuvered from distant locations, but the environment is more greatly enhanced by intelligent presentation of relevant information. The ability to customize the information that you wish to receive, filtering based on interests, and interacting with gestures and motions in the real world are all ways in which companies are trying to enhance our human experience. And the applications are unlimited, from gaming and entertainment to medical and workplace situations.

Much of augmented reality is still just a digital (virtual) elements overlapping the real world, often through a virtual reality (VR) lens, glass, or goggles. The most “exciting” applications being education and medicine, allowing collaborative learning, teaching, guidance, but above all, an augmented and enhanced experience of the environment and experience of the individual.

Wearable tech is a large step toward a more seamless experience of the power of both computational power and networking. We are closer to being cyborgs than we have ever been, and finding great uses for developing and adapting this technology. Here is an example of Microsoft’s HaloLens:

 

 

When we talk about augmented reality, most people begin thinking of holographic imagining and interaction with virtual objects in space. Leap Motion is working to help make this possible, but they are still a long ways away.

Oculus is another large player in the VR space, but it’s interpretation is somewhat different than that of Microsoft’s, even though they are taking a very similar approach from a goggle and technology standpoint. It’s about being immersed in a true virtual world, not just an augmented one. Here is their video:

 

And then comes Google Glass, which is stepping more toward the next step in our way of interacting with the information around us. Forward head syndrome has replaced carpal tunnel as the repetitive stress injury of our time, with everyone leaning into their phones at every available minute, accessing the news, weather, their friends, email, tasks, and so much more. Glass allows you to do all of this while still simply looking ahead. Here is a demonstration:

 

Google announced that though they discontinued selling Glass in its existing form, they ares till developing the next interface to information that augments our reality.

Virtual Reality has come a long way, but true augmented reality still has a long way to go. There are a lot of other companies doing more focused work in these spaces, utilizing the technologies to help doctors, technicians in the field, and in the areas of psychology, training, and education. There are still so many obstacles, from process power to hardware miniaturization, user adaptation to the development of viable, well iterated applications. What’s certain about this that augmented reality is only going to get better, and change the way we experience our world the way the internet once did.

James Watson