Immersive media – also referred to as ‘extended reality’ – is an umbrella term for VR, AR, mixed reality and 360-degree video; where the physical world is emulated through a digital simulated world. These types of media may slightly differ, but they essentially are the means to the same end.
One of the biggest benefits of using immersive media is the unlimited opportunities. You are able to transport audiences to any time or place, creating an impactful experience that will get your message across.
With much lower attention span of audiences, immersive experiences help you have a captive audience. Users are choosing to give you their attention and can’t shift to other activities.
Like all other ideas, early adopters of this platform are enjoying a competitive edge, but it is only a matter of time until using VR, MR, and AR will no longer be a novelty.
It is essential to understand this technology today rather than trying to play catch up later. After all, it’s extremely likely that competitors are already learning how to leverage this platform to reach consumers.
What is Augmented Reality ?
At the very core, Augmented Reality transforms a large amount of data and analytics into images or animations that are overlaid on the real world. Today most AR applications are delivered through mobile devices, but increasingly delivery will shift to hands-free wearables such as head-mounted displays or smart glasses. There are Augmented Reality technology companies that offer cutting edge augmented reality services to help businesses take the plunge with AR and move up the value chain.
Though many people are familiar with simple AR entertainment applications, such as Snapchat filters and the game Pokémon Go, AR is being applied in far more consequential ways in both consumer and business-to-business settings. Today, many of the top augmented reality companies in India are successfully creating experiences that are not just taking gaming to a new level but also working well in business cases like training, remote maintenance and more
AR is all set to take on the role of a preferred media across industries, homes, retail stores, hospitals, educational institutes, etc. According to one estimate, spending on AR technology will hit $60 billion in 2020. AR will affect companies in every industry and many other types of organizations, from universities to social enterprises.
At this time, we already see how AR is transforming how we learn, make decisions, and interact with the physical world. It is also on track to change how organizations deal with customers, train employees, design and create products, and manage their value chains, and, ultimately, how they compete.
How Does Augmented Reality Work?
Augmented reality starts with a camera-equipped device—such as a smart phone, a tablet, or smart glasses— loaded with and AR application. When a user points the device and looks at an object, the software recognizes it through computer vision technology, which analyzes the video stream.
The device then downloads information about the object from the cloud, in much the same way that a web browser loads a page via a URL. A fundamental difference is that the AR information is presented in a 3-D “experience” superimposed on the object rather than in a 2-D page on a screen. What the user sees, then, is part real and part digital.
AR can provide a view of the real-time data flowing from products and allow users to control them by touch screen, voice, or gesture. For example, a user might touch a stop button on the digital graphic overlay within an AR experience—or simply say the word “stop”—to send a command via the cloud to a product.
AR allows users to have contextual information presented to them in an engaging manner. For e.g. AR in a manufacturing unit, users in different roles, such as a machine operator and a maintenance technician, can look at the same object but be presented with different AR experiences that are customized to their needs.
A 3-D digital model in the cloud, works long with its “digital twin” to create an information bridge between the smart object and the associated AR content. This model is created either by using computer-aided design, usually during product development, or by using technology that digitizes physical objects. The twin is actually the vehicle through which the AR software accurately places and scales up-to-date information on the object.