Sometimes it’s easier to imagine and create if we can relate to something we know. That’s what’s really interesting about this take on augmented reality. It’s the idea that we might be able to better engage when the technology joins us in our world, rather than placing us somewhere new and unfamiliar.
Virtual reality seems to get all of the attention. But there’s another technology that’s just as captivating and perhaps more practical: augmented reality.
Unlike how virtual reality creates a new sensual environment, augmented reality (AR) uses digital tools to offer an interactive experience that is grounded in reality. This perspective helps. With users still partially in their realities – a hospital floor, shopping aisle or even Mars – augmented reality gives professionals practical training experience that’s not too far from the real world. AR has also started to provide consumers with an advanced, contextual look of a product even if the product is not there.
That’s why the future of augmented reality looks bright, even though it is sometimes viewed with less excitement than virtual reality. Maybe that’s because right now consumer-based virtual reality applications outnumber those for augmented reality, but it might not be long before consumers join working professionals in seeing the value of an augmented viewpoint.
Lucas Stephane, an assistant professor at the Human Centered Design Institute at Florida Institute of Technology, neatly summarizes the potential adoption of augmented reality by comparing it with how people view any new technology. “If it’s going to be useful, then I will use this stuff,” he said.