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The Future of Augmented Reality (updated for 2020–2021)

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Skywell Software

When we hear the term “Augmented Reality” the first thing that comes to mind is Pokemon Go. However, even though this gaming phenomenon was a watershed moment because it proved that there is a high demand for AR, in terms of the future of AR, it will be in our everyday lives and in the industries where we work or shop. In this article, we will take a look at where AR is headed and the future of augmented reality in our everyday life.

With the development of augmented reality software in full swing, it will affect the devices we use most often, such as smartphones. In the future, smartphones will be converted into glasses and headsets and everything you currently do on your phone such as updating your Facebook status, calling someone on Skype, using turn-by-turn navigation will all be done thanks to AR glasses via motion and gesture detection.

Speaking of AR glasses, the devices that are currently available on the market today will certainly pale in comparison with future models. All of our senses such as touching, hearing, seeing will all be incorporated into next-generation AR devices, they will have a wider view and they will display information almost anywhere within the user’s peripheral vision. Motion gesture technology will improve as well. For example, in the future, instead of typing in an address into your GPS, you will be able to point to a location and the directions will pop up automatically or you will point at an object or building and receive information about it without even knowing its name.

So far we have discussed the future of augmented reality in our everyday life, now let’s take a look at how it will affect some of the industries we rely on every day.

How many times have you walked by store window displays and seen an item that you instantly fall in love with? Most often than not, this item is an expensive purchase, and deciding on whether to buy it or not consists of several factors. First of all, it looks great on display, but how does it look on a real person? Many brands will include an AR functionality inside their mobile that will allow you to point your camera at any item and not only obtain all necessary information about it, but you will also see AR images of models wearing the clothes. This way, you will have all of the information necessary to make a smart decision without even going inside the store.

The retail industry is not lagging behind either. For example, Sephora has within its mobile app something called the Virtual Artist which allows customers to try on all kinds of lipstick via their front camera. If people like what they see, they can add it to their virtual shopping cart and buy it with their phone. Currently, Virtual Artist has been tried 45 million times.

Nowadays, because of the pandemic, consumers are hesitant to spend money during an economic downturn. In September 2020, total EU retail sales decreased by, and the total sales volume is now equal to 100.7 % of the volume reached in February before the COVID-19 crisis. This means that retailers need to get creative. This starts with innovative AR advertising that catches peoples’ attention. We created such a 2.0 % compared with August 2020 solution for Finlandia when they launched a new coconut-flavored vodka. All the user has to do is scan the QR on the bottleneck with their smartphone camera, which launches a video with a bartender showing how to make Finlandia Coconut drink. This sort of interactive technology can help companies in virtually any industry attract new customers and stand out from the competition.

As far as e-commerce is concerned, we have seen a 129% year-over-year growth in the United States and Canada. This comes as no surprise since people are hesitant to make a trip to a physical store, and shopping online is just more convenient. However, retailers who have both a brick and mortar location and an online platform need to be able to offer the shopper the best of both experiences. For example, Cosmia offers consumers the opportunity to virtually try on makeup from the comfort of their own homes. Shoppers can try out individual products or ready-made looks, all thanks to AR. This is an innovative way retailers have been able to bridge the gap between in-store and online shopping while also alleviating the fear of buyer’s remorse.

Back in the old days when we were in school, we had a lot of textbooks, looseleaf papers, posters, and many other physical print materials. Thanks to AR, all educational materials will be interactive, digital, and available at any time. This will give a lot more people access to education and offers a higher level of student interaction since lessons can be conducted in a game format.

Also, you can say goodbye to field trips to the museum or art gallery because thanks to AR, the museum and art gallery will come to you and it will be available any time. These are just some of the future uses of augmented reality in education and it is sure to revolutionize the educational process.

Since we have seen a spike in new cases recently, a lot of state officials have decided to close down schools. This is something we see in places like New York City, Detroit, Baltimore, and many others as well. AR can help parents and teachers make learning fun and interesting by allowing the materials in the textbooks to come to life. For example, if a student is reading about Abraham Lincoln or any event in American history, they could point their smartphone camera at the textbook and see a lifelike representation of Abraham Lincoln on that particular event.

This type of technology can also be useful for college students who are also studying remotely, often thousands of miles away from the campus. If they are studying a subject that is difficult to learn on their own, AR can come to the rescue as well. For example, let’s say a medical student is studying a certain aspect of the human heart. Print and video material will not be as helpful because they don’t offer the same level of immersion and interactiveness that they could get with AR. They could use AR to get a lifelike depiction of whatever they are studying which something no textbook can offer.

There are three big roles AR will play in the future of healthcare.

  • Consumer Education — AR can help patients understand the benefits and risks of certain medications and procedures by providing visual demonstrations or consumer scanning functionalities. Some companies such as Pfizer are already taking advantage of AR by offering a service called Blippar, which serves as a relief finder tool patients can use with their line of ThermaCare products.
  • Assisting Doctors — AR can help doctors by creating serious gaming simulations of how a certain procedure should be done and it can help medical students by offering a very intuitive representation of the human body.
  • Medication Sales — The competition among drugmakers is severe and even the slightest advantage can lead to huge sales. If a salesman is trying to gain the attention of doctors towards a new medication, they can use AR to demonstrate the positive effects of the drug.

The benefits of AR in healthcare we mentioned above are certainly still relevant today, except that they are more oriented towards COVID-19. For example, AR is still used for patient education but now it is geared towards increasing patients’ adherence to treatment and prevention of COVID-19, improving the quality of care of patients with the virus, and eases the overall burden on the healthcare system. Also, since researchers are close to creating a vaccine for COVID-19, AR could be of even greater value by educating patients on how the vaccine works.

As you have probably guessed from the information above, AR is now deeply rooted in our everyday life and many industries are rushing to harness all of the benefits. In the future, all of our mundane tasks will become obsolete thanks to AR. For example, if you are tired of your commute to work, there will be all kinds of immersive entertainment. In fact, the office as you know will not exist in the future. Your workspace, meetings, computer etc. will be accessible from anywhere in the world, thus eliminating the need to commute.

So keep an eye out for the latest trends and developments in AR everything is designed to make your life more convenient and enjoyable.

Source: https://arvrjourney.com/the-future-of-augmented-reality-updated-for-2020-2021-c6d52f5a6d48?source=rss—-d01820283d6d—4

AR/VR

US Army using Augmented Reality overlays in its research for the detection of roadside explosive hazards

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In Augmented Reality News 

January 23, 2021 – The US Army Combat Capabilities Development Command (DEVCOM), Army Research Laboratory (ARL), has recently announced that it is employing the use of augmented reality (AR) overlays in its research for the detection of roadside explosive hazards, such as improvised explosive devices (IEDs), unexploded ordnance and landmines.

Route reconnaissance in support of convoy operations remains a critical function to keep Soldiers safe from such hazards, which continue to threaten operations abroad and continually prove to be an evolving and problematic adversarial tactic. To combat this problem, ARL and other research collaborators were funded by the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, via the ‘Blood Hound Gang Program’, which focuses on a system-of-systems approach to standoff explosive hazard detection.

Kelly Sherbondy, Program Manager at the lab, said “Logically, a system-of-systems approach to standoff explosive hazard detection research is warranted going forward,” adding, “Our collaborative methodology affords implementation of state-of-the-art technology and approaches while rapidly progressing the program with seasoned subject matter experts to meet or exceed military requirements and transition points.”

The program has seven external collaborators from across the country, which include the US Military Academy, The University of Delaware Video/Image Modeling and Synthesis Laboratory, Ideal Innovations Inc., Alion Science and Technology, The Citadel, IMSAR and AUGMNTR.

In Phase I of the program, researchers took 15-months to evaluate mostly high-technology readiness level (TRL) standoff detection technologies against a variety of explosive hazard emplacements. In addition, a lower-TRL standoff detection sensor, which was focused on the detection of explosive hazard triggering devices, was developed and assessed. According to the Army, the Phase I assessment included probability of detection, false alarm rate and other important information that will ultimately lead to a down-selection of sensors based on best performance for Phase II of the program.

Researchers use various sensors on Unmanned Aerial Systems equipped with high-definition infrared cameras and navigation to enable standoff detection of explosive hazards using machine learning techniques.

The sensors evaluated during Phase I included an airborne synthetic aperture radar, ground vehicular and small unmanned aerial vehicle LIDAR, high-definition electro-optical cameras, long-wave infrared cameras and a non-linear junction detection radar. Researchers carried a field test in real-world representative terrain over a 7-kilometer test track and included a total of 625 emplacements including a variety of explosive hazards, simulated clutter and calibration targets. They collected data before and after emplacement to simulate a real-world change between sensor passes.

Terabytes of data was collected across the sensor sets which was needed to adequately train artificial intelligence/machine learning (AI/ML) algorithms. The algorithms subsequently performed autonomous automatic target detection for each sensor. The Army stated that this sensor data is pixel-aligned via geo-referencing and the AI/ML techniques can be applied to some or all of the combined sensor data for a specific area. Furthermore, the detection algorithms are able to provide ‘confidence levels’ for each suspected target, which is displayed to a user as an augmented reality overlay. The detection algorithms were executed with various sensor permutations so that performance results could be aggregated and determine the best course of action moving forward into Phase II.

“The accomplishments of these efforts are significant to ensuring the safety of the warfighter in the current operation environment,” said Lt. Col. Mike Fuller, US Air Force Explosive Ordnance Disposal and DTRA Program Manager.

The Army noted that future research into the technology will enable real-time automatic target detection displayed with an augmented reality engine. The three year effort will ultimately culminate with demonstrations at multiple testing facilities to show the technology’s robustness over varying terrain.

“We have side-by-side comparisons of multiple modalities against a wide variety of realistic, relevant target threats, plus an evaluation of the fusion of those sensors’ output to determine the most effective way to maximize probability of detection and minimize false alarms,” Fuller said. “We hope that the Army and the Joint community will both benefit from the data gathered and lessons learned by all involved.”

Image credit: US Army

About the author

Sam Sprigg

Sam is the Founder and Managing Editor of Auganix. With a background in research and report writing, he covers news articles on both the AR and VR industries. He also has an interest in human augmentation technology as a whole, and does not just limit his learning specifically to the visual experience side of things.

Source: https://www.auganix.org/us-army-using-augmented-reality-overlays-in-its-research-for-the-detection-of-roadside-explosive-hazards/

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LIV Now Supports Full-body Avatars from ReadyPlayerMe, Making it Easy to Stream VR Without a Green Screen

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Many VR streamers use complicated mixed reality setups to show themselves from a third-person perspective inside the virtual world. LIV, a leading tool which makes this possible, now supports free, customizable, full-body avatars from ReadyPlayerMe, making it possible to stream your avatar inside of VR without the need for a green screen.

In addition to true mixed reality streaming, Liv has supported streaming with avatars for some time. However, actually finding a unique avatar for yourself was no simple task. Now, Liv has partnered with avatar maker ReadyPlayerMe to make it as simple as can be.

ReadyPlayerMe allows you to build a free full-body avatar—optionally based on a photo of yourself—in mere minutes. You can use the avatar as the character in select Liv-supported VR games, allowing stream viewers to see your movements in third-person.

Here’s an example of a ReadyPlayerMe avatar in Pistol Whip streamed via Liv:

What Sadie said! They have improved on them, they now are full body and support finger tracking and full body tracking! It’s pretty smooth! pic.twitter.com/J8rY5UwWOo

— AtomBombBody (@AtomBombBody) January 17, 2021

Avatars from ReadyPlayMe are moderately customizable, and easy enough to get something you’re happy with relatively quickly, though we hope to see more customization options in the future (like height, build, and more control over outfits).

Image courtesy ReadyPlayerMe

You can make your own ReadyPlayMe avatar to import to Liv right here. If you want to download your avatar for some other use, you can make one here and download it at the end of the process as a .GLB file for use in other applications.

Streamer Atom Bomb Body also has a detailed walkthrough for configuring Liv with your new avatar here:

The post LIV Now Supports Full-body Avatars from ReadyPlayerMe, Making it Easy to Stream VR Without a Green Screen appeared first on Road to VR.

Source: https://vrarnews.com/details/liv-now-supports-full-body-avatars-from-readyplayerme-making-it-easy-to-stream-vr-without-a-green-screen-600b772745b9dcae3e9a590f?s=rss

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Pinterest’s new AR feature lets you try on virtual eyeshadow

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Shopping online is the primary way people get most of the items they want or need, but there are some downsides: you can’t try on clothes to make sure they’ll fit right and it’s not easy to determine whether a particular makeup color will look good on you. Pinterest has introduced another feature that addresses the latter problem, one that … Continue reading

Source: https://vrarnews.com/details/pinterests-new-ar-feature-lets-you-try-on-virtual-eyeshadow-600b6e18c1c62e453a615b12?s=rss

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Magic Leap announces partnership with Google Cloud to Spatial Computing to enterprise and Google Cloud customers

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In Augmented Reality and Mixed Reality News

January 22, 2021 – Magic Leap has today announced that it has entered into a multi-phased, multi-year strategic partnership agreement with Google Cloud to deliver spatial computing solutions to businesses and Google Cloud customers.

Through the partnership, Magic Leap will deliver its enterprise solutions on the Google Cloud Marketplace and explore potential new cloud-based, spatial computing solutions running on Google Cloud.

Magic Leap stated that as enterprises have evolved their operations over the past year to meet the needs of the changing business environment, demand for solutions that support business continuity, agility and borderless collaboration has accelerated exponentially. The partnership is therefore designed to meet those demands.

Beginning in 2021, select Magic Leap solutions that provide tools for businesses will be available in the Google Cloud Marketplace, allowing developers who create solutions on the Magic Leap platform to reach global customers via Google’s marketplace. Magic Leap’s own solutions, such as its Communication, Collaboration and Co-presence platform, will also be made available in the Google Cloud Marketplace as well.

“As we continue to build momentum for spatial computing in the enterprise market, we are very excited to partner with Google Cloud to deliver unique cloud solutions to their customers and ours,” explained Walter Delph, Chief Business Officer, Magic Leap. “Google Cloud offers best in class infrastructure for leading edge solutions designed to provide efficiencies, continuity and innovation to businesses across the globe.”

In the second phase of the partnership, the two companies will jointly explore opportunities to integrate Google Cloud capabilities in artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, and analytics into Magic Leap’s Communication, Collaboration and Co-presence platform to support co-presence in any enterprise setting globally. According to Magic Leap, potential use cases involve applying cloud capabilities to help capture data and knowledge from experienced technicians in manufacturing settings, enhancing remote-technical support and training using augmented reality (AR), or providing complex or personalized procedure support in the healthcare industry.

Magic Leap added that it is working on the development of an AR Cloud product that will help to “advance the activation of spatially-aware enterprise solutions across multiple industry verticals.” The ‘Magic Leap Augmented Reality Cloud’ will allow enterprises to build applications that are spatially-aware and collaborative. The company also stated that it will explore the optimization of its AR Cloud by working in collaboration with Google Cloud, leveraging its network, content delivery services, and evolving 5G network edge compute services.

“More than ever, organizations are looking for ways to keep teams connected and support employees with innovative solutions in the cloud,” said Joe Miles Managing Director of Healthcare and Life Sciences at Google Cloud. “We are excited that Magic Leap has selected Google Cloud to expand the availability of its solutions for productivity in the enterprise. We look forward to working together to help Magic Leap scale its cloud-based solutions globally, and to help customers deploy next-generation collaboration and productivity solutions in the workplace.”

For more information on Magic Leap and its augmented and mixed reality solutions for enterprise, please visit the company’s website.

Image credit: Magic Leap

About the author

Sam Sprigg

Sam is the Founder and Managing Editor of Auganix. With a background in research and report writing, he covers news articles on both the AR and VR industries. He also has an interest in human augmentation technology as a whole, and does not just limit his learning specifically to the visual experience side of things.

Source: https://www.auganix.org/magic-leap-announces-partnership-with-google-cloud-to-spatial-computing-to-enterprise-and-google-cloud-customers/

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