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Posts Tagged ‘AR

Augmented reality – AR, is a world-known term nowadays. Nonetheless it is not that new as we are used to think. We’ve been seeing versions of AR for quite some time already. The concept is pretty simple: take a real-life scene, or a video of a scene, and add some kind of explanatory data to it so that you can better understand what’s going on there, or who the people in the scene are, or how to get to where you want to go, for example sports coverage on TV.

“AR has been around for ages,” says Andy Cameron, executive director of Fabrica, an interactive design studio which works with Benetton, “maybe going back as far as the 1970s and art installations that overlaid real spaces with something virtual.” He mentions in particular the work of pioneering computer artist Myron Krueger.
 

 
Nonetheless AR changed a lot in recent years. It became much more accessible. AR has come within reach of all sorts of developers – and millions of people gained access to using AR every day, often in the palms of their hands.

The appearance of powerful smartphones and computers with high-resolution photo/video cameras means that you don’t have to wait for the AR effects as you do with sports TV channels. They can simply be added into real life.

Without doubt, in next few years we will see rapid development of AR and experience it in various spheres of our lives.
 
Industry/military/medicine

Industrial, military and medical applications concerning the validation of designs or plans are a specialization of Augmented Reality. When soldiers need information on their surroundings they can receive detailed 3D maps. If a doctor is performing surgery, a live image of a human subject is accessible. Important occupations in need of crucial information use Augmented Reality tools to visually superimpose their solutions.
 
Navigation

A surgeon performing a complicated procedure or a firefighter trying to find his way out of a burning building can visualize a much more accurate and safe course of action with the help of augmented reality. Similarly, you can see a particular place through your augmented reality incorporated smartphone camera, and immediately find out the nearest cafes, bookshops, dining places.
 
Education

Educational resources are emphasized by Augmented Reality systems and can be used to re-create historical events, activate regular books into 3D images, or even present structures of the galaxy; all superimposed in real-time. Augmented Reality is extremely useful for educators in classroom settings or during presentations and allows students to gain a deeper understanding on the topic at hand. By merging content to media the reading experience is enhanced and the reader is fully engaged. The text and images are on a page as usual, but Augmented Reality allows you to see dynamic, 3D computer graphics “hovering” over it.
 
Shopping

E-Commerce / M-commerce applications will offer a virtual fitting room where apparel can be tried on live.
 
Housing/interior decoration

Innovative technology is providing value for all audiences in the interior design industry. Manufacturers, designers, and the end consumer are all finding use in these technologies in relation to traditional methods. Soon new tech will become the standard, as it helps shoppers make quicker, more informed purchase decisions through personable experiences. If you are interested in creating a more interactive and meaningful experience for your clients or customers, Augment offers custom AR solutions to allow your shoppers to bring your products to real life.
 

 
These are just several spheres where AR solutions will be further developed. At Altabel Group we are keeping track of AR innovations and are ready for new challenges in AR development. And what about you?

Feel free to share your thoughts about AR prospects for the near future in comments below!

 

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Yana Khaidukova

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altabel

Altabel Group

Professional Software Development

E-mail: contact@altabel.com
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Technology is winning its everyday challenges at a pace faster than ever before. As compared to the previous year, tech trends have become embedded to practically every sphere of digital business. There is constant growth of software spending on technologies because technology is now rooted in every sphere of digital business. For entrepreneurs and self-starters it is necessary to leverage strategic technologies to reach target audiences next year.
 

What is to become mainstream in 2017?

AI & Advanced Machine Learning

Artificial intelligence (AI) and advanced machine learning (ML) are represented by many technologies and techniques such as deep learning, neural networks, natural-language processing. They have a potential to create more advanced systems that are able to adapt. Such systems will be able to change future behavior, leading to the creation of more intelligent devices and programs. But the trend is to develop ML and AI to autonomously operated systems in long-term perspective. These techniques are likely to be introduced into almost every sphere of digital business as inborn components within a decade.

Virtual & Augmented Reality

The world is now ready for augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) technology while early-stage devices are springing up in different spheres. Much work is done to transform interaction of human beings to the next level by moving them to immerse environment with the help of VR. It allows undergoing training in remote places or creating certain scenarios under pre-established criteria. As for AR, it can blend the real and virtual worlds, which has great potential for application in lots of businesses. It is estimated by market researchers that worldwide revenues for the AR/VR market will grow from $5.2 billion in 2016 to more than $162 billion in 2020. That is why many observers claim that the year 2017 to be a starting point (or at least a transition period) of AR/VR versions of practically every application to emerge.

Intelligent Things

Robots, drones and vehicles-these intelligent things have spread tremendously through the current year. But what potential do they have for the coming year? It is predicted by Gartner agency and other research firms that the apps that control IoT devices will also use machine learning and AI. This means that all the ordinary elements of environment, from toothbrush to your car, may become interconnected and collaborate to make decisions in everyday practice. Major advancements are yet to come. Experts claim that solutions to tie every app which controls intelligent things together into a single, seamless user experience are to be made in the year 2017.
 

Digital Twins

Next year is predicted to be the time when digital twin’s idea will spread to most remote parts of the world. It is a software replica of a physical thing or system which uses sensor and physics data. The sphere of application of a digital twin will widen with the time and by the year 2020 they will likely to be used for improving operations and creating new things.

Conversational systems

Intelligent objects are predicted to have some form of conversational interface in the near future. And the coming year, in particular, is likely to produce a device mesh when there will be a merge of different interaction techniques resulting in innovative digital user experience. It is now represented by a trend in app development which lets users interact with apps through texting. The next year is likely to provide such solutions to other intelligent objects which surround us in everyday life.

Mesh App and Service Architecture

MASA- or “Mesh App and Service Architecture” is considered to be an IT-system which enables communication, collaboration and learning within some digital ecosystem. Such architecture will hold together and interconnect different services to enable users gain experience through shifting across different sections (e.g., desktop, smartphone, vehicles).

Adaptive Security Architecture

There is much room for new smart devices for better learning and protecting. It is especially necessary in the vulnerable system of IoT which can be brought down by DDoS attacks. The idea behind adaptive security architecture lies in recruiting AI smart solutions within security tools. IoT is now becoming a special frontier for security specialists. Will 2017 become a year when new remediation tools and processes will be embedded into IoT intelligent devices? The answer is to be given soon.

These are some of major tech trends we’re in store for in 2017. They seem strategic and have lots of potential to grow to autonomous systems, like in case with AI and advanced machine learning. Some of the abovementioned trends are likely to take off next year; others will boost their presence in the digital business in several years. But even ordinary people will soon be able to experience the world where boundaries between real and digital blur.

What’s your idea of the tech trends for 2017? Please feel free to share your thought in the comments below.

 

Yuliya Tolkach

Yuliya Tolkach

Business Development Manager

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altabel

Altabel Group

Professional Software Development

E-mail: contact@altabel.com
www.altabel.com

We’ve all seen the explosion of Pokemon Go: the app hit number 1 in app stores pretty much immediately. Not only is it breaking records in terms of numbers of users, it’s boosted Nintendo’s market value and actually changed the behavior of thousands of users, who are frequently seen doing fairly ridiculous things.

PokemonGo

The media has tossed every angle at this new phenomena, trying to paint it as destructive or dangerous. That may or may not be true, but its popularity is undisputed: Pokemon Go has surpassed Tinder in downloads.

The popularity of Pokemon Go is due to a perfect storm of simple game theory and social conditions: brand affiliation, augmented reality, low barrier of entry, compulsion loops, etc.

1. History and Brand Affiliation
Pokemon creator Satoshi Tajiri’s work spawned a behemoth in gaming, and included card games and television shows – all starting from a simple game for Game Boy. Up until Pokemon, handheld experiences were isolated. Pokemon broke down those barriers by allowing players to face off against or trade with their friends. You could also fully customize the 151 characters, which was brand new at that time. The personal touch enhanced the connection to the brand and established the deep nostalgia we are seeing in millennials today.

Younger kids – true digital natives – are discovering the franchise for the first time on their medium of choice: smartphones. Parents who played the Game Boy version as kids are even playing the new app version with their kids. The summer release of Pokemon Go also means the weather is prime for getting out of the house and exploring on foot. In addition, school is out, giving younger kids plenty of free time.

2. AR and Viral
Snapchat has essentially paved the way for the augmented reality aspect of Pokemon Go. For years, we have been taking things from outside the computer and placing them inside the interface so that we can understand the function. We make a “trash can” look like a trash can in our digital interfaces because that is a metaphor that we can understand. As people spend more time in front of a computer, the reverse is happening. We are taking the functionality from computers and smartphones and placing it in the outside world. Fantasy, meet reality.

3. Low Barrier of Entry
This game is simple to play, learn and understand, meaning the audience can be wide and varied. Creating an effective game – one that brings in new players, keeps old ones, and makes money off of some of those who stay – is becoming more difficult. Games have become more complex as the technology of mobile devices increases, but Pokemon Go, while complex in terms of technology, is simple. It is also super accessible: partly because of the brand affiliation, and partly because it does not require a separate console.

4. Compulsion Loops
The Compulsion Loop is core to most games. The best ones have multiple compulsion loops and this game is no exception. The loop comprises three stages, each enhancing the next, so players keep improving.

Pokemon Go’s compulsion loop is simple:

1. Collect stuff to catch Pokemon
2. Collect Pokemon
3. Level Pokemon

Brands like Starbucks have used gamification tactics to drive customer loyalty. Users of Starbucks’ My Rewards accumulate points every time they purchase, but it does not stop there. The program also has 3 levels based on the degree of loyalty, with more personalized rewards the higher you go in order to keep customers engaged.

5. Neurological Reward Systems
Video games are known for producing mood-boosting chemicals (called endorphins) as a reward for a mainly motionless task. You sit down and complete a level, your brain recognizes your achievement, and you are hit with an endorphin rush. Pokemon Go does exactly this with every Pokemon catch. However, you know what else is good at producing endorphins? Exercise. In addition, when you get gamers off the couch and out chasing Pokemon, the brain gets a double hit of the good stuff.

There is one more addition to the brain chemical mix that plays into the popularity of Pokemon Go: social interaction. The social interactions from Pokemon Go produce a large rush of endorphins, creating a triple whammy of feel-good chemicals. Countless games and apps have the two previous reward systems but have not exploded in popularity as Pokemon Go has.

Key Takeaways for Retailers and Brands

  • Experience is holistic.
    It’s not just about what happens behind the screen. With mobile, the environment is tied to the experience. When someone goes to a bank machine they are not just interacting with the screen in front of them. They are influenced by the line behind them, time of day, whether they feel safe, and the time crunch they are feeling. This plays into the user experience of every interaction and with mobile devices this has to be taken into consideration.
  • AR is the future.
    With features like geolocation, image recognition, and object tracking, it makes sense that augmented reality, when combined with a mobile device, will make our world a better place. By combining our love for social media and need to understand our world around us with technology, AR bridges needs and motivations of a variety of users. Companies need to be aware of this and look for opportunities to develop more immersive and expansive mobile experiences.
  • Pay attention to neurological reward systems in all designs.
    Finding ways to simply reward users for rudimentary tasks goes a long way to the prolonged use of your product.

The game already has more users than Twitter, but regardless of whether Pokemon Go is here to stay or not, companies can learn a lot from a customer-first brand like this. Already Go-themed bar crawls are being planned, and there are multiple meetup groups across cities everywhere. There is even a Pokemon Go dating app in the works.

If a retail brand can get even a small percentage of the amount of traction that Pokemon Go has seen, they will be well on their way to success.

 

Ogneva Tatyana

Tatyana Ogneva

Business Development Manager

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altabel

Altabel Group

Professional Software Development

E-mail: contact@altabel.com
www.altabel.com

Do you remember the first Pong arcades with unsophisticated graphics launched nearly 30 years ago? Since then video games have become an instant hit among youngsters. However the technology is improving at a rapid space and computer graphics are pushing the limits of photorealism. Today scientists and engineers are integrating the graphics from your television and computer screens into real-world environments. This advanced technology is called Augmented Reality or AR for short, which is about overlaying pieces of a virtual world over the real world (in contrast to Virtual Reality (VR) that is about replacing the real world with a virtual one). AR is a beautiful blend of digital and real images enhancing what we see, feel and smell or hear, e.g. you can point your camera at a movie poster and watch its trailer, or you look at the sky and ask for the weather and it gives you that information. So, basically AR comes down to the following three vital questions: where to display, what and how. Let’s find out.

Let me start with the last question: “How?” Below I’m going to itemize five of the numerous AR tools that exist at the moment and that can be used to develop apps for smart-phones, tablets or even smart-glasses.

  1. DroidAR is a free and commercial framework that gives location-based AR functionality to Android apps. For instance, gesture detection or support for static and animated 3-D objects that the user can interact with like clicking on them. Another vivid appliance is marker detection. It’s a part of the functionality offered by DroidAR, however the documentation that exists for the project is under fulfilled. Nevertheless there is a section on the project README file on GitHub that gives an overview of a closed-source version of DroidAR, DroidAR 2. Compared to its open-source fetch it has impressive improvements.
  2. Vuforia is available for Android, iOS and Unity. It has become the industry leading AR platform – with 10s of thousands of apps, and 100s of millions of app installs. The main Vuforia SDK features are multi-target detection and tracking (e.g. images, English text, objects), virtual buttons. There is also a version of the SDK for smart glasses (namely Epson Moverio BT-200, Samsung GearVR, and ODG R-6 and R-7). That is currently open for early access applications from experienced developers.
  3. Wikitude AR SDK is available for Android, iOS, Smartphone, Tablet, Smart Glasses, Cordova, Titanium, Xamarin. Wikitude’s all-in-one AR solution includes image recognition and tracking, 3D model rendering, video overlay, location based AR and so much more.
  4. With the help of AR Browser SDK you can add and remove POIs without refreshing the view, interact with them by touching them or pointing the camera to them and perform activity on them, for instance send SMS or share on Facebook. AR browser SDK is available for Android as well as for iOS. The mail features include 2D POIs, custom callback on clicked POI or on centered POI, video support, great performance and memory management, customized elements: pop up label, radar and radar dots, very simple interface API for developers, start and stop functions to prevent memory or battery starvation and finally check sample code.
  5. Metaio SDK is a perfect tool for developing AR apps on Windows PC, Mac OS and in Unity. You can deploy apps for iOS and Android. Metaio’s functionalities are 2-D image, location tracking, 3-D object, barcode and QR code scanning, continuous visual online and offline search and gesture detection. Moreover, Metaio has also created its own AR. It allows software engineers to develop AR apps using typical web technologies (HTML5, XML, Javascript) and deploy them passim.

Hope I gave a full answer to the question “How?” and now let’s move to the questions “Where? and What?”. The yesteryear AR usage was limited mostly to military applications, which were designed to give helicopter pilots and ship captains more definite methods of acquiring targets and tracking enemy movement. Nowadays, tech companies have an entirely new vision for the opportunities that augmented reality provides, hoping that with advances in computing power and miniaturization, soon the number of people wearing an AR-capable device will compete the same stats we see with smartphone ownership in 2015.

According to the prognosis by 2017 more than 3.5 billion AR applications will be downloaded, 600 billion dollars will be spent in AR technology revenues by 2016 and Compound Annual Growth Rate of global AR market will make up 132%. But if you still can’t figure out where you will be able to use this bleeding-edge technology, I will point out some real ways where people all over the world from different spheres such as medicine, public service and finances will benefit from AR adoption.

  • Digital Marketing. AR use in digital marketing is notably appealing. It’s recognized as an enhanced marketing application, as not only can additional content be put within 2D advertisement, but also can result as interactive, awesome and high viral potential eye-catching tool. Key digital aspects: advergaming, Augmented packaging, interactive consumer products, street marketing and geolocalized apps. As a rule consumers react very positively to amusing and ingenious marketing. Thus the brands become memorable.
  • Customer service. Nobody likes to call to a customer support and listen to the endless scripts recited by a rep. However in the future if you have any problems with setting up TV or the cables cut off, the customer support can come to you. Imagine having a service technician come to your house to fix your washing machine. He’ll point his head-up display at the washer. A camera will capture the model number and then upload it to the corporate cloud. That will prompt a download of schematics and instructions, along with an overlaid virtual-reality view of the machine’s components on his display. So instead of hearing generic instructions, like “Press the red button” and “recheck the port,” someone could walk you through the process and see the things you’re seeing, enabling the customer service rep to point things out in more detailed, visual way and helping problems get solved in a more efficient way.
  • E-commerce and M-commerce. AR can offer a virtual fitting room where clothes can be tried on live. It gives you a chance to browse a virtual catalog of clothes, shop directly within your favorite magazine, or go to a virtual store and avoid the queues. Rosenthal of Goldrun, the creator of an AR pop-up shop for Airwalk in a New York City park says:” Augmented reality is going to radically change the shape of commerce.”  AR can turn such public places as parks and airports into shopping centers. It’s a perfect way to kill time and a clever way for business owners to economize money on commercial real estate.) However even real shops could benefit from integrating AR into their design. They could display their items that will be on shelves soon, or items that aren’t sold at that location – and soon you’ll even be able to feel these items with the help of your phone. It’s obvious for everyone that augmented reality could juice up window displays and cut costs.
  • Urban Exploration. Are you in a new neighborhood or in an unknown city? You can throw away your guidebook and turn on AR-application with real time display of enhanced maps. Acting as a GPS, Augmented Reality provides classified and suggestive information that you are looking for whether it’s a restaurant, bar, grocery store or museum and library, etc. And another awesome way to explore your city – or any city -is to overlay 3D maps that show what the city looked like at any point in history. If you’re walking down Broadway, you would be able to “see” horse-drawn carriages parked on the street in front of old parlors. It’d be as if you were walking in a history book.
  • Educational resources. Seeing the potential for AG in educational sphere isn’t hard. Education will be emphasized by Augmented Reality systems and can be used to re-create historical events, activate regular books into 3D images, or even present structures of the galaxy; all superimposed in real-time. So when viewed through the lens of smartphones one can see the picture of an engine animated in an engineering textbook or a working 3D model of a beating heart that you can walk around of rotate by hand.
  • Rescue and Safety operations. Unfortunately, it’s impossible to avoid emergencies in our life. Rescuers, firefighters and policemen very often find themselves in a chaotic situation where they need to make sense of the environment and navigate a place they’ve never been. Wouldn’t it be great if they could see a virtual map of the site or have “X-ray vision” to see sewage or power lines?

While some years ago there was a vast debate about its foreseen impact on society, today AR applications are becoming mainstream. There are apps that allow a museum exhibit to tell its own story, that help you decide which furniture looks better in your bedroom, that bring a tiger you just drew on a piece of paper into life, or that warn you about all the signs you ignored while you were driving. These are examples of already available apps that provide some sort of AR functionality. The one thing is for sure is that smartphone population is rising, thus the level of processing power as well. As long as the resulting augmented content remains engaging and innovative, consumers will certainly adopt augmented reality as a new and fun twist to conventional marketing and services.

Besides I would like to notice that the new era of true digital immersion is waiting just over the next horizon and now is a perfect time to implement AR technologies into your business. It is now up to you – developers, designers, entrepreneurs, scientists, educators, investors, artists, marketers, hackers, journalists, and more – to bring the augmented reality experience to consumers in a fun, productive – and lucrative way. If you have already tried it, you are welcome to share your experience in comments. If not, it will be interesting to know what predictions you have re AR. What is your opinion? Please, feel free to share your thought below.

Thank you for your attention 🙂

P.S. By the way, did u know that in 1901 author L.Frank Baum first mentioned electronic display spectacles overlaying data onto real life, in 1975 television weather reports were the 1st application of AR on TV, in 1989 the term “virtual reality” was coined by Jaron Laanier, today AR is already used by Boeing, BMW and Volkswagen on assembly lines and in the nearest future AR contact lenses will be implemented to the United States Military.

 

Anastasiya Zakharchuk

Anastasiya Zakharchuk

Business Development Manager

E-mail: anastasiya.presnetsova@altabel.com
Skype: azakharchuk1
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altabel

Altabel Group

Professional Software Development

E-mail: contact@altabel.com
www.altabel.com


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