We may not have flying cars or hoverboards, but we’re one step closer to Marty McFly’s future, thanks to the power of augmented reality (AR).
AR has the potential to transform the way we live to make us more comfortable, efficient and healthier. With interest in AR reaching new heights, end-users are beginning to understand the benefits of this technology in their personal and professional lives.
In this article, I’m going to talk about how AR developments are helping to build a more connected world and share my thoughts on why I believe we’re only at the beginning of the AR revolution.
What Has Been Achieved with AR So Far?
Augmented reality first came about in 1968, and there have been countless developments made since then. So, before we dive into the future of augmented reality, let’s take a look at what has been achieved with AR so far.
Augmented Reality in Construction
AR has been making waves in the construction industry to help businesses win more projects, improve collaboration with team members and offer off-site assistance.
In recent years, more and more construction companies are turning to AR to give clients a glimpse into what they can expect from a project. For example, with the correct AR tools, clients’ visions can be brought to life through visualisations of the finished site.
We also created Fixzy Assist with construction experts in mind. Through their smartphones, off-site construction experts can offer real-time guidance (with visuals) on any issues for an instant diagnosis. What’s more, our AR measurement technology gives users a chance to create highly detailed 3D visualisations of a floor plan in just a few seconds.
We all know that time is money. The good news is AR can take the pressure off those in the construction sector by boosting collaboration and reducing the number of unnecessary call-outs to sites.
Augmented Reality in Healthcare
I don’t need to harp on about the pandemic and all its horrible side effects — we’ve had enough of that all year. But the pandemic made one thing abundantly clear: the healthcare industry needed a technology infusion, stat.
AR has been trickling into the medical industry around the globe during these trying times to support video consultations and allow healthcare providers to provide expert advice remotely and safely.
Although the UK was relatively lacklustre in its approach to telehealth before 2020, we’re well and truly on our way to a more efficient NHS thanks to technological advances. However, we’ve only hit the tip of the iceberg. Tapping into the power of augmented reality could see overworked medical professionals spend more meaningful time with their patients by reducing unnecessary in-person appointments.
Augmented Reality in Education
AR is being employed to support training in niche, hands-on sectors — especially in the trades, like plumbing and electrician professions.
Using augmented reality in education, students can learn how to safely handle practical situations (like fitting a pipe or tackling electrical repairs). Through visual, virtual layers, they can put their theoretical knowledge into practice.
There’s plenty of untapped potential when it comes to using AR in the classroom. Although educators express an interest in deploying AR technology, the number that follow through and implement it is still quite low.
Why? In my opinion, AR can feel out-of-reach for organisations. We’ve grown accustomed to the idea that augmented reality is hard to use and impossible to foster without a resident tech whizz. But with interfaces becoming simpler and AR entering the mainstream with everyday applications, it’s only a matter of time before it becomes embedded in our classrooms.
The Future of Augmented Reality
AR has come leaps and bounds from its origins in the 1960s. It’s now a practical resource for businesses across all industries, all over the world. In fact, by 2023 there will be an estimated 2.4 billion mobile augmented reality users worldwide. That’s an increase of 2.2 billion since 2015.
In the future, I imagine augmented reality will bring customers and service providers even closer together, especially if we continue down the remote path, which is likely. For example, remote assistance will become the norm across sectors, and AR will be implemented more and more in healthcare to reduce the strain on overcrowded facilities.
Early adopters are already seeing the benefits of AR on their bottom line and in their client relationships. According to a study conducted by Facebook, 75% of all business owners expect to utilise AR and VR technology in the next two years.
So, in my opinion, we’re teetering on the edge of an AR revolution. To put this into perspective, AR is currently where Zoom was a couple of years ago — underutilised but about to skyrocket in popularity.
The Influence of the Pandemic on AR
In the same vein, the pandemic has shone the spotlight on augmented reality innovations, accelerating the uptake of AR in businesses. Company leaders have realised the perks of providing remote services in terms of time and money. Now that they’ve experienced the benefits of working remotely, it will be difficult to do a U-turn back to in-person services.
AR technology is the future because we need it now more than ever. We came face-to-face with a world-changing event. We discovered that time is precious, and we learned that technology is a must-have in keeping the world safe and connected.
Experience the Future of Augmented Reality with Fixzy Assist
Fixzy Assist uses cutting-edge augmented reality, artificial intelligence, computer vision and deep learning to help bridge the gap between customers and experts and streamline collaboration between colleagues.
Get in touch to request a free demo.