Not too long ago, augmented reality was still something you saw in futuristic sci-fi films. But having a super powerful computer in the palm of your hand was once a dream too—so will augmented reality be the next thing to sweep through the tech scene?
While certain types of augmented reality have already caught on, the question still remains how it could look in the future. Augmented reality could stay tied to our smartphones, or it could be a different device altogether. This could have really interesting effects in the world of mobile casino gaming, because we could see it affect the way we play. Could you be playing an augmented reality version of roulette on your dinner table in ten years? Find out more about the tech so you can make your bet on where it will lead us.
What is augmented reality?
Augmented reality is kind of like a filter on the world around you. AR technology takes what you already see and super-imposes a computer-generated image on top of it. (Imagine looking at your living room wall and seeing a slot machine on it.)
What’s the difference between VR and AR?
Augmented reality shouldn’t be confused with virtual reality. While they have some similarities, they’re actually quite different. Virtual reality completely immerses you in a different reality, usually by wearing some sort of headset. VR is popular in gaming because it lets you step into the game. Augmented reality takes this to a new level by bringing the game to you.
Do we use AR already?
There are already some uses for AR, especially in gaming. You might remember the Pokémon Go craze in 2016, where you could point your phone at a certain location, and you’d see an AR Pokémon appear and be able to capture it. Many of the selfie filters in apps like Instagram and Snapchat are also powered by AR.
It’s also been used for lots of marketing by companies like Pepsi (in an interactive AR bus stop) and L’Oréal (to let people try on different shades of makeup). In healthcare, it’s been used for phobia therapy and to help people with autism. It’s also being used by the US Army to help soldiers locate targets and help them take aim and judge distance when shooting.
What kind of AR apps already exist?
There are many different apps that already exist for you to experience AR for yourself. If you’re doing a home remodel, you can see how a new couch or paint color would look in your room using an app like AUGMENT. Another cool use of AR, in apps like ARCity and Sygic, is to give you more information about things you’re seeing, like what’s inside a building, or to give you better GPS navigation directions.
There are also a ton of AR gaming apps. Besides Pokémon Go, gamers can also play games like Real Strike, a first-person shooter AR game. If you want to play with friends, games like Temple Treasure Hunt let you create treasure hunts for others to follow.
How does it work on a smartphone or tablet?
Most AR is currently used on a smartphone or tablet, by using your device’s camera to scan the environment and then adding the AR image on the screen. There are some other methods, like eyepieces, that are better for certain applications and could take off more in the future.
What could AR look like in the future?
As AR continues to develop, it’s likely that we’ll see it become a lot more common. Currently, a lot of the AR technology is niche or not widely used. But as the technology gets better, it also becomes more attractive to users, which could increase its popularity.
According to Forbes, 65% of AR companies are testing out uses of the technology in industrial settings, which could be in healthcare, engineering, or many other fields. It could help quickly diagnose diseases or injuries or point out issues in machines in factory settings. Only 37% of AR companies are working on consumer products that could end up in our hands—but that will still result in some cool and useful new apps for us in the coming years.