The New York Times & Facebook Announce Augmented Reality Driven Partnership
October 23, 2020
People often associate augmented reality technology with the gaming industry, but the truth is that this technology is used in many other industries as well. Augmented reality has been embraced by businesses in various industries, including healthcare, automotive, manufacturing, and retail. Now, it seems media companies may also be ready to use this technology to enhance the consumer experience and grow their businesses. The New York Times recently announced a multi-year partnership with Facebook to create “augmented reality driven reporting.” The two companies will work together to develop a series of augmented reality filters and effects that will be available to users on Instagram. The goal of this project is to help Instagram users connect with and gain a deeper understanding of The New York Times’ journalism. A HISTORY OF THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE NEW YORK TIMES AND FACEBOOK The fact that The New York Times and Facebook are working together may come as a surprise to some, given the rocky relationship that the two companies have had over the years. In 2017, Facebook launched Instant Articles, a feature designed to help media companies create fast, interactive stories that could be published directly on the social media website. The New York Times was one of countless other media companies to participate in the launch of this new feature. But it was also one of the first companies to pull out after coming to the conclusion that it was a one-sided deal that did not benefit the publisher. This isn’t the only time that Facebook and The New York Times haven’t seen eye-to-eye. The former CEO of The New York Times, Mark Thompson, lashed out at Facebook in 2018. Thompson criticized Facebook’s policies that characterized certain news stories as political or partisan content. The CEO argued that this policy failed to recognize the difference between politics and reporting on politics, which in his opinion, was harmful to journalism as a whole. Facebook may not have been responsive to these criticisms at the time, but recently, the company has taken a new interest in forging strong relationships with media companies. Last year, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg stated that the company was committed to doing a better job of supporting journalism. This partnership with The New York Times marks a step in the right direction if the company still wants to achieve this goal. The New York Times & Facebook Announce Augmented Reality Driven Partnership [https://relaycars.gryffin.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/image-242.jpeg] HOW WILL THE AUGMENTED REALITY PROJECT COME TO LIFE? Launching this augmented reality project has truly been a team effort for Facebook and The New York Times. The publisher’s in-house advertising agency, T Brand, has incorporated augmented reality technology into promotional campaigns in the past. But The New York Times did not turn to the T Brand team for assistance with this project. Instead, The New York Times created an Augmented Reality Lab within the company’s research and development unit to bring this project to life. The Augmented Reality Lab is operated by more than a dozen employees of The New York Times. The team at the Augmented Reality Lab are responsible for developing the filters and effects that will be used on Instagram. The filters and effects will be created using Spark AR Studio, which is a platform for developers that is owned and operated by Facebook. The teams from Facebook and The New York Times will collaborate throughout every step of the development process. Facebook will be working closely with the Augmented Reality Lab team to help them understand the best ways to utilize Spark AR Studio technology. In return, the Augmented Reality Lab team will provide Facebook with feedback on what features to add to Spark AR Studio and how to improve the overall user experience. Even though this project is a partnership, The New York Times has made it very clear that its staff will remain in full control of the editorial content featured on Instagram. This means Facebook will not have a hand in creating the content that is paired with these augmented reality effects and filters. Furthermore, The New York Times will have full control over the design of the effects and filters. In addition to allowing The New York Times to use its Spark AR Studio technology, Facebook will also be providing financial support to this project. However, the terms of the agreement have not been made public, so the amount of money that Facebook is investing into this project is unclear. The New York Times & Facebook Announce Augmented Reality Driven Partnership [https://relaycars.gryffin.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/image-243.jpeg] HOW WILL THE AUGMENTED REALITY PARTNERSHIP AFFECT THE USER EXPERIENCE? The augmented reality effects and filters developed by The New York Times will create a more exciting and engaging user experience for consumers. The full catalog of augmented reality effects and filters will be available on the @NYTimes Instagram page. To see the complete collection of effects and filters, users will simply need to visit the “effects” tab on the @NYTimes account page. By tapping on an effect or filter, users will be able to read small snippets of information about current events. The small snippets of information will be superimposed over backdrops created using augmented reality technology. For example, a user who visits the @NYTimes Instagram account may see that the first story found on the “effects” tab is related to air pollution. If the user taps on this story, they will be able to read small snippets of information regarding how the levels of air pollution have changed due to the coronavirus pandemic. These snippets will be superimposed over an augmented reality backdrop that shows polluted air in a major city. In addition to simply viewing the effects and filters in this manner, users can also overlay the effects and filters onto their own images and videos to share with their followers. This gives users the opportunity to create their own unique content using The New York Times’ augmented reality technology. Plus, it is an easy way for users to share information on newsworthy topics with their followers. Neither The New York Times nor Facebook has discussed how many effects and filters will be created as part of this partnership. But The New York Times has revealed that the first group of effects and filters that will be available will be related to air pollution, the California wildfires, and the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage. WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF THIS PARTNERSHIP? The New York Times could benefit from this partnership with Facebook in a number of ways. First, The New York Times hopes that this will make journalism—and staying on top of current events in general—more exciting and appealing to consumers who otherwise would not be exposed to these topics. Encouraging users to create their own unique content and share it with their followers is a great way to introduce The New York Times to new consumers on Instagram. The publisher also hopes that the augmented reality effects and filters will help consumers connect with news stories in a more meaningful way. The technology has the power to transport consumers to another world and allow them to see what the story is about for themselves. They won’t have to visualize the devastating effects of the California wildfires, for example. Instead, the technology will help them see it with their own eyes in a way that photographs and video footage simply cannot. As a result, these news stories may have more of an impact on users. The partnership also solidifies The New York Times’ position as one of the most innovative companies in the news industry. Throughout the years, The New York Times has experimented with virtual and augmented reality on a smaller scale. But this project sends a clear message to competitors that The New York Times is not afraid to go big or go home when it comes to incorporating new technologies into their marketing strategies. The New York Times & Facebook Announce Augmented Reality Driven Partnership [https://relaycars.gryffin.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/image-244.jpeg] WHY IS THE NEW YORK TIMES AND FACEBOOK AUGMENTED REALITY PARTNERSHIP IMPORTANT? As previously mentioned, The New York Times has dabbled in the use of augmented reality technology in the past. But this augmented reality partnership with Facebook is noteworthy for three reasons. First, this partnership represents a massive expansion of the use of augmented reality technology in the media industry. Expanding the use of this technology in the media industry could introduce countless consumers to augmented reality for the very first time. This could drive substantial growth in the global augmented reality market in the years ahead. Second, The New York Times only used augmented reality technology on its own website in the past. This project marks the first time that The New York Times will publish content enhanced by augmented reality technology on other websites. By publishing this enhanced content on Instagram, The New York Times could transform the way that social media users consume news stories and other content. Finally, the partnership could help bring the tech industry and publishing industry closer together. If this partnership is successful, other media companies may be more inclined to work with tech companies to incorporate innovative technologies into the products and services offered to consumers. It’s too early to evaluate the success of this project, but The New York Times remains hopeful. In fact, the publisher stated that they hope to be able to create countless other filters for the Instagram platform in the future. But regardless of the outcome, this project is yet another example of how companies are using augmented reality to create a more positive consumer experience and grow their business.
Training Employees for Automotive Assembly Using Augmented Reality Apps
September 28, 2020
Although the use of virtual reality and augmented reality training isn’t restricted to the vehicle assembly line, it is a good example of how these technologies are changing our approaches to learning real-world skills. In the past, education would often follow a standard pattern of studying the theory and then applying the practical use on the job or under supervised scenarios. While this has, to some degree, worked for decades, there is a better way. With automotive augmented reality training, there is no need for these learning processes to be separated. It can be a smooth transition from learning the theory, to seeing how it works, and practicing. All of this is also done in a safe virtual environment, reducing risks and costs for employers. A lot of new employees (and their supervisors) can experience high levels of stress when the ‘on the job’ training starts. This is mainly due to the possibility that something serious could go wrong, halting production, or even causing an injury. With Augmented reality, the training can begin in the virtual world, and that training support can even be overlaid onto the real world. This helps to increase confidence and avoid issues. It allows new staff to practice to their heart’s content until they feel confident enough to take on the job for real. In this article, we take a look at the many areas augmented and virtual training can improve for automotive processes. HOW CAN AUGMENTED REALITY BE USED IN TRAINING FOR THE ASSEMBLY LINE? Virtual reality and augmented reality allow staff to practice and fully develop complex skill sets in the safety of a harmless virtual environment. This makes it a useful way of training staff for almost any job but is particularly effective for automotive production training. Many major car manufacturers have already jumped on this training approach, including famous brands like Volkswagen and Audi. [https://relaycars.gryffin.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/image-55.jpeg] CASE STUDY BMW wanted to improve its training program, and so contacted Capgemini. The aim was to get people trained up faster and to a high standard, but without needing additional staff commitments or delays in other areas. The solution was an AR training app that “provided employees with access to individual, hands-on dashboard assembly practice before being put into the assembly line”. It resulted in impressive benefits, such as reducing costs, reducing training times, improving staff job satisfaction, and more. The app was also created to be easily updated and expandable, allowing for more BMW training programs to be developed. DEEPENING UNDERSTANDINGS Learning from books is all very well and good, but augmented reality can almost literally bring learning to life. The 2D diagrams and explanations in books are helpful, but with augmented reality, people can see the ‘real’ objects and interact with them in a quite natural way. Being able to move, pull apart, or even ‘explode’ and object into its individual parts can give a much deeper understanding of it. [https://relaycars.gryffin.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/image-56.jpeg] If advanced enough, augmented reality apps can also allow students what happens when things are not aligned properly, or if parts of the process are skipped. This not only shows them how things work but why every part of the process is important. Being able to see how everything fits together and works is more of a fun and interactive experience, which in turn leads to better knowledge retention in many students/employees. SAFETY The main and most obvious impact on safety is the ability for trainees to be able to practice potentially dangerous tasks in a safe virtual environment. This makes the transition to ‘on the job’ practice less daunting and reduces risk significantly. VXCHNGE points out that “The factory floor has always been a complex and potentially hazardous environment, but AR technology could provide a new level of visibility.” This is good for employers and staff, as fewer injuries result in less time off work and less expense on legal claims or compensation. Fewer claims can also result in lowered insurance premiums. However, virtual training can also help to improve safety in other ways, such as practicing the procedures of worst-case scenarios. This enables staff to be prepared, without the need to shut down a facility or machine to practice the process. COST REDUCTIONS We mentioned above that a safer environment could result in reduced premiums, but there are also plenty of other cost savings. New staff can practice as much as they need, without taking up more time or focus from supporting staff members, as AR apps handle the training process. Staff working with objects or materials do not need raw materials and resources to train. Materials normally required to train staff will largely no longer be needed, such as engine parts or panels that would be required to practice on. The equipment is also not taken out of service for practice purposes, or the company doesn’t need additional equipment to be held aside purely for practice. As staff get to practice virtually as they need, and can even get augmented support on the job, mistakes are reduced. Fewer mistakes lead to fewer production issues and lowered training costs. TRAINING EFFICIENCY Whether augmented or virtual reality is used, this immersive training approach improves training consistency and retention. Once the apps are developed, the training is standardized. However, the experiences within the training are also highly personal, as each person can learn from their own mistakes and practice whatever they need to focus on. It has been proven that virtual reality training programs lead to higher knowledge retention levels. The University of Maryland studied this in regards to virtual reality learning and found above a 90% retention rate, which is far higher than most traditional training approaches. This was put into content by pixovr.com who summed up the findings in the statement: “At 90+ percent recall, VR training would score in the A-range, while desktop computer training, at a shade below 79 percent, would be stuck back in the C’s” This is because learning is more engaging, interactive, and literally ‘hands-on’. However, should a staff member start to forget or feel unsure about something, with augmented reality training available, it is easy for them to brush up on their skills without needing to interrupt other staff members. What’s more, training programs and ‘refreshers’ can easily be created and updated, allowing for the latest knowledge to be on hand and easily accessible. It can also be interactive, with staff from anywhere training with other staff members. This can be useful for collaboration or international business training programs. All of this helps to create a consistently educated and trained workforce, increasing confidence, and lowering stress levels. Gamification of training can even make it fun, more rewarding, and far less stressful than learning on a live assembly line. [https://relaycars.gryffin.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/image-57.jpeg] INCREASED PRODUCTIVITY Another positive aspect of augmented reality training is that it isn’t limited to only being in the classroom. Augmented reality can be continued to be used on live systems, or ongoing with the correct headset. It can add information and ‘advice’ to real-world equipment, used in the development of processes, and for assisting with new scenarios. Augmented reality, for example, could be used to not only plan the layout of an entire automotive factory or assembly line but to also actually test that the designs work and see how effective it would be once operational. All of this, before needing to spend anything on materials or machinery. The advanced high-level cameras used can also assist with the production process, highlighting where something could go or even if there is a malformation in a part that has just been produced. Collaboration can be from anywhere in the world, allowing effective discussions, planning, and practicing implementation virtually by any employees, regardless of where they work in the world. As far as making announcements is concerned, it can be as effective as mobile messaging, except that the recipients do not need to stop what they are doing and everyone wearing a device will get the message. Even maintenance can be notified and lesser skilled or new employees guided through the process step-by-step virtually, ensuring machinery keeps running to optimum efficiency. From providing tips and info to highlighting dangerous defects, augmented reality can improve efficiency significantly in both training and the live workplace. In effect, training can be a continuous augmented reality assisted process. [https://relaycars.gryffin.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/image-58.jpeg] WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF VIRTUAL REALITY OR AUGMENTED REALITY FOR TRAINING? To summarize the aspects listed above and more benefits of virtual technology in training, the key takeaways are: * Courses are not only standardized (instead of relying on different staff), they are also highly focussed and interactive * Augmented reality and virtual reality incorporates numerous learning approaches, making them compatible and attention-grabbing for most people * Learning is more fun than with only using books, especially when augmented reality tasks are gamified * Training is often faster and yet also more beneficial to trainees * Trainees feel more comfortable and more confident, as they can practice activities as many times as they need * Retention of materials learned is increased * For some jobs, this can even lead to muscle memory retention, allowing staff to work almost instinctively after training and without being on the assembly line prior * Training can be undertaken as an individual or with other staff locally or from any other locations * Training is safer for all * Performance is tracked and feedback can be provided remotely, whether virtually or written * Costs are reduced by allowing skilled staff to continue working while allowing new staff to fully train in a virtual manner * Costs are continually reducing as more developers move into the field and hardware prices continue to become more mainstream affordable * Easily accessible via any compatible device, often including augmented reality headsets and even compatible mobile phones * There is no need to wait for a disaster, or to shut down machinery when worst-case situations can be rehearsed virtually The possibilities of augmented reality training apps for the automotive assembly line are still unfolding. However, it is clear that this approach is effective and that it is likely to be adopted in many other sections, including outside of this sector.
Augmented Reality in Automotive Safety Features to Drive the Future
August 31, 2020
Augmented reality is jumping into the driver’s seat and positioned to dominate the auto industry. Currently, virtual reality is used to showcase vehicle features in e-showrooms throughout the internet, and the technology allows consumers to take virtual test drives of new cars. Augmented reality safety features will be the future of the automotive industry, with new makes/models displaying smart capabilities that detect potential threats to keep drivers safer on the road…and in parking lots, too. The concept of virtual or augmented reality is understood by many to be a world or space that is separate from reality and our world. While this definition is true as it relates to virtual showrooms (to view cars) or virtual test drives, not all VR is inherently unreal. SAFETY FEATURES THAT ALREADY INTEGRATE AUGMENTED REALITY Augmented reality’s future in the automotive industry is becoming more prominent; in fact, AR is already in many of our cars—whether we realize it or not. Here are some of the common safety features in current automobiles that already integrate augmented reality. AUTOMATIC STOP Today’s new makes/models may feature automatic stop capabilities when a threat (like a person, animal or other car) is detected while the car is in reverse. This feature is a form of virtual reality. The car is programmed to automatically react to the threat of a presence. The result is fewer accidents and injuries. The car, however, and its virtual intelligence is in charge…not the human behind the wheel. SPEED LIMIT SENSORS Yes, all cars have the ability to track your speed; speedometers are nothing new. What is new are speed sensors that actually pick up the speed limit in every area you are driving. Changing speed limits are not uncommon, especially as drivers pass into new cities or municipalities. Speed limit sensors will notify drivers of the speed limit in that area, and this feature ensures that, hopefully, drivers slow down to obey the changing speed regulations. LANE GUIDANCE Some cars have integrated lane guidance capabilities into their safety features. This allows drivers to understand their lane navigation. This feature may be even more beneficial during night driving, when lane visibility may be more limited. SMART REAR VIEW MIRRORS Night driving also can be difficult because visibility through the rearview mirror may be poor. New vehicles now include ‘smart’ rearview mirrors that are programmed to access the back-up camera; this feature provides drivers with a clear view of the road (and automobiles) behind them. REAR AND FRONT CAMERAS Accidents can happen on the road or in the parking lot (pulling in too close to a post). AR technology now can limit the potential for little (or big) fender benders and accidents nearly everywhere. Cameras located around the car are connected to sensors throughout the body of the vehicle. When a threat is detected that could result in an accident, the car will beep or, in the case of a vehicle programmed to do so, stop completely. Screens within the dashboard also allow drivers to visualize their turning radius and see all areas of their surrounding environment, further limiting the potential for an accident. SMART DISPLAYS In most modern vehicles, a smart display is a standard feature. This, too, is yet another form of automotive safety AR. The display alerts drivers of their mileage, fuel levels, oil life, tire pressure and any other safety issue that could affect the car or the driving experience. [https://relaycars.gryffin.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/image-14.jpeg] THE FUTURE OF AUGMENTED REALITY SAFETY FEATURES Augmented reality is integrated into many modern vehicles, but there is much potential for growth for this technology sector. Here is a look at what the future may hold for augmented reality in the automotive industry: NISSAN’S INVISIBLE-TO-VISIBLE TECHNOLOGY Nissan addresses the future of augmented reality safety features and the new advances on the horizon for the automotive industry.So what’s next in augmented reality? Nissan discusses invisible-to-visible technology, which is a form of AR “that merges the real world and virtual world to make information visible which the driver would not otherwise see.” This new technology allows for drivers to see what is around the corner and “potential hazards around a building….” Drivers could see someone behind a building and anticipate that the individual may cross their path. Or perhaps there is another car or some other potential threat. Nissan’s new tech gets even cooler and more space age, though. The augmented reality lets family and friends join a ride virtually. Yes, their avatars can appear in the car like real (or unreal) passengers. This may give a lonely driver some sense of companionship, letting them drive more relaxed and engage in conversation during the drive. AR TO TEST SAFETY FEATURES Augmented reality isn’t just found in the vehicles; manufacturers also are using this technology to test safety features, too. Volvo and Varjo (a company that makes VR headsets) partnered to create the first “mixed reality headset” used to drive a car—the Varjo XR-1 headset. This headset will be used to help engineers “to develop and evaluate active safety solutions more easily.” Safety experts then wear the headsets “…testing virtual active safety systems imposed via augmented reality on the real-life environment.” AR TO HELP TECHNICIANS MAKE REPAIRS Porsche has utilized augmented reality to help technicians make repairs. The technology called “Tech Live Look” partners smart glasses with a software platform that aids service technicians in repairs. The glasses include an LED light to shine a light on tough to see spaces and magnify areas that require finer details (like small screws). Porsche rolled out the technology in 2018. APPLE’S AUGMENTED REALITY WINDSHIELD Automotive manufacturers aren’t the only players embracing AR. Apple is getting in on the AR action, too, and filed a patent for an augmented reality windshield. The windshield may integrate Apple’s own technology like FaceTime and iPhone capabilities. With the prevalence of video calls during Covid, the patent paves the way for in-car video conferencing. In an article for Future Car, it was noted that the author of the patent indicated (within the patent explanation) that the windshield “…could facilitate video calls and other forms of communication while waiting to reach one’s destination.” If the patent allows for an iPhone to connect to the windshield, this also could provide drivers with a larger map view when using the phone’s GPS features. BMW’S AUGMENTED REALITY APP In 2017, BMW introduced its augmented reality app that lets consumers explore its cars via a phone or other device. The app let potential buyers explore all points of the car. Change the color, swap out the wheel rims, or pop open the trunk. The app was a fully immersive experience and helped car buyers check out different models from the manufacturer. While the app itself wasn’t related to safety features, there is the potential for manufacturers to create an app that allows consumers to explore the vehicle’s safety components. As car buying becomes a more virtual experience, these apps will need to evolve to include technological components that allow consumers to explore all features—including those that ensure safety. [https://relaycars.gryffin.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/image-15.jpeg] SELF-DRIVING CARS The VR-operated self-driving car is perhaps the future of the industry and the future of automotive safety. These cars will require no one to sit in the driver’s seat, will navigate autonomously and may provide the most comprehensive safety features. When the computer is in the driver’s seat, this means that cameras and sensors will be required throughout the car to minimize the risk of an accident. The very idea, though, of not sitting in the driver’s seat and letting a computer take over the vehicle might make some feel uneasy. There is, after all, so much room for technological error. However, for these vehicles to truly take over the industry, safety must be the highest priority. For this reason, these cars of the future will likely feature safety features and driving capabilities beyond our imagination. When we think about the driving experience, every decision is vital to safety. The driver must know how soon to signal a turn, when to safely pass, how fast to accelerate, when to slow down for traffic, etc. Then there are the intricacies of parking; understanding the turning radius and the proximity of other vehicles is vital. A self-driving car must encompass complete technological intellect and bypass any instance of perceived human error. The reaction of the car must be immediate in every single driving situation. One wrong blip of a program could cause an accident. Perfection, it seems, will be the only way self-driving cars will take control on the road. Eventually, the intricacies of their programming will be perfect, and the future of driving may be that only the cars navigate the roads…and humans remain in the passenger seat. The implication for our daily lives would be huge; commuting could allow us to work from the car (instead of navigating it). The driving experience could be more relaxed and leave us less stressed. Parents will no longer have to threaten to turn the car around, because screaming kids won’t be affecting attention to the road. The future of augmented reality in the automotive industry is far-reaching. Many manufacturers have already introduced augmented reality into their practices and integrated the technology into the vehicles. AR is used to help mechanics make repairs (in the case of Porsche), and has helped Volvo test out safety features. Apple may soon integrate smart windshields that allow video conferencing while commuting. However, the real future—the impending future—of AR is the self-driving car. When this car is perfected, it will offer maximum safety for passengers…but it will also force humans to relinquish the driver’s seat. Are we ready for a road of computer-operated cars? The future may decide this for us! Augmented Reality in Automotive [https://contentgm.s3.us-west-2.amazonaws.com/content_uploads/App%5CDynamicModules%5CItem/48583/Ar-Safety.png]
Elon Musk: August 28th Update to Further Detail Neuralink’s Brain Computer Interface
August 21, 2020
Many of us already use some sort kind of suite of synced devices, but would you connect a computer with your brain? Brain-Computer Interfaces (BCIs) could potentially revolutionize the tech and healthcare fields if scientists are able to successfully merge “man with machine.” This innovative new field is being pioneered by Elon Musk’s company Neuralink, which is planning to launch a groundbreaking event that will change the way we view brain activity. Although more details will be released as the date approaches, Musk is preparing to show actively firing neurons on display in real time. Read on to learn more about how Neuralink and BCI technology is gearing up to transform the medical and biotech industries. [https://relaycars.gryffin.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/image.jpeg] WHAT IS BRAIN-COMPUTER INTERFACE? Brain-Computer Interface devices use one of two measurement systems to collect and analyze data generated by the human brain. BCI interprets the brain’s information by analyzing each data point as a spike or field potential. This emerging industry is expected to reach a value of more than $1.7 billion in the next two years. Although it’s primarily focused on the healthcare sphere, BCI as a market has expanded into the education, military, and gaming industries. Brain-Computer Interface was initially developed in the 1970s at the University of California, and this discovery led to the expression BCI systems we currently use in medicine. This technology was created to learn more about how to restore hearing, sight, and movement in afflicted patients. Since the 1990s, BCI has been used in the development of neuroprosthetic devices. This was made possible by detecting incredibly small waves of energy in the brain, which are caused by the user essentially thinking certain thoughts. BCI integration, in its current state, is divided into three categories: Invasive Semi-Invasive Non-Invasive In an invasive BCI scenario, the device is implanted surgically directly into the brain. This provides the highest level of data reception – but it requires a heavy commitment as the surgery is critical and could result in lasting complications. A semi-invasive BCI device is implanted into the skull on top of the brain, rather than inside the brain. In the non-invasive procedures, the BCI device is connected to a person’s body using a specialized biometric implant and surface-spanning wires that are attached to the head. This technology collects electric brain activity via electrodes that are connected just under the user’s scalp. This part is connected to a separate pod-like device, which holds the “computer” aspect of the BCI system. Although this method produces notably weaker signals, it’s arguably the safest and most accessible option for most consumers. It’s also the most cost-effective choice, by far. A Brain-Computer Interface will generally measure neuronic data with Electroencephalography (EEG). BCI can also generate data by detecting changes associated with blood flow via Functional Near-Infrared Spectroscopy (fNIRS). With this method of functional imagery, it’s possible to measure brain activity by hemodynamic responses that correlate with neuron activity. With the Brain-Computer Interface, scientists and researchers have developed a way to tap into a person’s visual cortex simply by measuring electric brainwaves. This revolutionary technology is also creating a new relationship between humans and artificial intelligence. By quantifying human brain activity using measurable data metrics and accurate sensory tech, we can communicate with machines more effectively. WHAT IS BCI USED FOR? Brain-Computer Interface technology has the potential to completely transform lives across a wide range of spheres, but it’s making a steep impact in the medical industry. Scientists and medical professionals can use BCI devices like Neuralink to read patient brain data, which is helping them determine new solutions for a variety of disorders and ailments. By quantifying brain signals, BCIs can accumulate this data and translate it into actionable commands. This information can then by used to carry out certain actions, which can assist people with neuromuscular disorders including: Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis Cerebral palsy Stroke Spinal cord injury Currently, BCI is being actively used to help medical professionals better understand the cause of these disorders while ideating solutions and treatments for active patients. By utilizing hypersensitive implanted wiring, BCI essentially translates neuron activity into interpretable data. This paints a clearer picture of the patient’s neurological activity for doctors and scientists. Additionally, this technology is being adapted to control external assistance devices for disabled users. Using electroencephalographic, intracortical, and electrocorticographic brain signals, researchers are creating more complex control mechanisms for tools like: Cursors Robotic arms Prosthetics Wheelchairs These developments have the potential to drastically improve the lives of disabled individuals. BCI is also helping researchers to better understand many different disorders, putting them one step closer to discovering groundbreaking solutions. [https://relaycars.gryffin.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/image-1.jpeg] WHAT IS THE N1 SENSOR IMPLANT? Using individual wires that are thinner in diameter than a single hair, Neuralink is able to measure neuron activity in the brain. This allows an implanted device to read and translate this information into analyzable data. This real-time technology makes it possible to, in a sense, read someone’s thoughts through the measurement of tiny electric currents. Musk has stated that he expects the installment procedure to eventually become as commonplace as LASIK surgery. The micro-sized subdermal threads could eventually allow individuals who are paralyzed to use their phone or computer with the power of their brain with this quick procedure. This non-invasive BCI method will be accessible through an easy-to-use mobile app. This will allow users to view their neurological data, in real time, from the palm of their hand. In animal testing, this system produced positive results among mice and monkeys. With the favorable outcome of these trials, Musk expects to move on to human trials in the near future. During this testing stage, our N1 sensors will be placed into the subjects’ brains, which will include one in a somatosensory area and three in the motor area. If successful following human trials, this BCI implant system can make great strides toward effective treatment for paralyzed patients and individuals with debilitating neurological disorders. HOW WILL BCI AFFECT AI TECHNOLOGY? Artificial Intelligence is becoming a growing part of our day-to-day routines, from helping to control our cars to heating systems. But, it’s also being used by medical researchers and scientists to better understand the cortical processes that power our bodies essential functions like: Movement Speech Cognition Brain-Computer Interface is also making waves in the growth and discourse of reinforcement learning. This gives AI the ability to adapt based on the user’s thoughts, in real time. With the data generated by BCI, medical professionals can also learn more about neurological injuries. This discovery has assisted with the development of new neuroprosthetics devices and treatments for a variety of life-altering disorders and disabilities. [https://relaycars.gryffin.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/image-2.jpeg] AUGUST 28TH UPDATE TO FURTHER DETAIL NEURALINK’S BRAIN-COMPUTER INTERFACE Brain-Computer Interface technology has come a long way since its inception in the 1970s, but innovators in this field are pushing the envelope in 2020. Neuralink’s new features, which will be unveiled on August 28th, are projected to include: The functionality of a surgical robot that will carry out the non-invasive implantation An example of the ultra-thin wire that will be used to connect the primary BCI device Thought leadership on wireless connectivity, which Neuralink hopes to apply in the near future to improve user freedom and flexibility These targeted functionalities were developed to make the connection between thought and digital interpretation more seamless, primarily by removing the need for additional devices. Earlier versions of BCI technology relied on the use of a keyboard or mouse to interpret commands between the user and the machine elements. In addition to improving Neuralink’s ease of use, this system helps to guard against advanced, boundless AI technology. By integrating a human element directly into the functions of the connected device, Musk has fine-tuned the updated Neuralink system to provide even more protection against the threat of unregulated AI. Ultimately, this company hopes to utilize technology to help those who suffer from neurological disorders. Programs like Neuralink can achieve this by helping patients to regain: Mobility Quality of life Day-to-day functioning Speech performance Neuralink is still pending human trials, but the August update will be the most advanced yet – bringing the brand one step closer to improving the lives of impacted patients. While BCI has been used throughout the medical industry for decades, the market was transformed when Musk dived into the industry in 2016. Since then, developers at Neuralink have been working to bridge the gap between humans and artificial intelligence. Once Brain-Computer Interface tech is sharpened through human trials, this revolutionary invention can allow humans to effectively communicate with – and potentially control – devices at the speed of thought. By truly translating the human element of organic brain activity, we can use machines to expand our knowledge exponentially in the healthcare realm and beyond.
A Shopper’s Guide to Augmented Reality
August 21, 2020
Augmented reality and virtual reality can transform our lives and simplify our daily habits. Through AR, customers increase their confidence in their product selection through: * Richer product information or interaction * The ability to personalize or configure unique product designs * The deeper emotional connection from immersive brand storytelling. Here are some industries that are leading the charge in using AR to transform the shopping experience: [https://relaycars.gryffin.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/image-3.jpeg] * Home Goods & Furniture: Customers can reliably visualize furniture in their room and change color, size and fit within a given space. [https://relaycars.gryffin.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/image-4.jpeg] * Beauty and Makeup: Virtual makeup try-on is getting customers to imagine a new look or color on themselves [https://relaycars.gryffin.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/image.png] * Automotive: Automotive retailers have a standard set of models, but the opportunity to customize and configure the models for each customer is vast. AR helps automotive customers configure and better understand each vehicle’s parts and features. [https://relaycars.gryffin.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/image-1.png] * Shoes: Shoe companies are primarily using augmented shopping for personalization and virtual try-on. [https://relaycars.gryffin.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/image-5.jpeg] * Clothing: Different retailers have used AR for “virtual try-on”. Zara has an in-store augmented experience. Gap allows customers to select a body type to “try on” clothing. [https://relaycars.gryffin.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/image-2.png] Tilly’s created an augmented experience in their store window. [https://relaycars.gryffin.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/image-4.png] The future of shopping begins now!
How Augmented Reality Changes Today’s Automotive Industry
August 17, 2020
The automotive industry has a history of embracing new technologies in order to enhance the driving experience for consumers. Over the years, automotive manufacturers have incorporated technology into their designs to provide consumers with emergency braking, collision detection, fuel efficiency, and in-car entertainment. But now there is another technology—augmented reality—that is preparing to completely disrupt the automotive industry. Augmented reality is technology that is used to overlay text, graphics, audio, and other digital elements on the user’s real world environment. In other words, it allows users to superimpose various digital elements onto the world around them to blend the real and virtual worlds together. A number of companies in the automotive industry are already starting to use augmented reality to give themselves a competitive edge. Here are some of the many ways that augmented reality technology is changing every aspect of today’s automotive industry. ENHANCING THE BUYING EXPERIENCE The use of augmented reality has the potential to completely transform the experience of buying a vehicle. To purchase a new vehicle, consumers typically have to visit a dealership to look at cars they are interested in. If the dealership does not have the exact car the consumer wants, they may visit other dealers to find what they are looking for. After all, vehicles are expensive, so consumers are hesitant to purchase one without seeing it in person. But with augmented reality, consumers may not need to visit a dealership to inspect a vehicle in person. Instead, they can project an image of the vehicle onto their real environment. Consumers can inspect the projection of a vehicle just like they would inspect a vehicle at a dealership. The only difference is they can conduct this inspection from the comfort of their own home. This means consumers could get the information they need about a vehicle on their own, so the entire purchase making decision could take place outside of the dealership. Augmented reality technology can also be used to enhance the buying experience at the dealership. For example, say a consumer visits a dealership looking for a specific vehicle. The dealership has the vehicle on their lot, but they don’t have the right color. Without augmented reality, this consumer might visit other dealerships to find the vehicle in the right color. But now, the dealership can use augmented reality to project an image of the vehicle in the right color so the consumer can see it in person. This could help dealerships convert more customers and make more sales even if their inventory is limited. [https://relaycars.gryffin.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/HowAugmentedRealityChangesTodaysAutomotiveIndustry.jpg] CREATING A SAFER DRIVING EXPERIENCE Many automotive manufacturers are using augmented reality technology to keep drivers safe behind the wheel. Taking your eyes off of the road—even if it’s just for a few seconds—is incredibly dangerous. In fact, thousands of people are killed in distracted driving accidents in the U.S. every year. To address this problem, automotive manufacturers have started to use augmented reality to keep drivers focused on the road in front of them. Drivers will no longer need to take their eyes off of the road to read driving directions, check their speed, or see if it’s time to get gas. This information will be projected directly onto their windshield so they can see it at all times. For example, images of arrows, speed limit signs, and other graphics might be projected onto the driver’s windshield to guide them to their final destination. Drivers can receive step-by-step directions on how to get to where they are going without ever taking their eyes off of the road. This isn’t the only way that augmented reality is used to make the driving experience safer for consumers. Some manufacturers have designed vehicles that use augmented reality technology to project safety warnings onto the driver’s windshield. For example, say a driver is approaching a pedestrian. In this case, a brightly colored arrow might be projected onto the windshield to draw the driver’s attention to the pedestrian. Digital graphics can also be used to notify drivers of potholes, construction zones, and other safety hazards. Augmented reality technology is also used to help drivers safely park their vehicles. Drivers won’t need to use their best judgment to determine whether or not they can safely park their vehicle in a small or tight space. In some vehicles, drivers can now project an image of their vehicle onto the parking space to see whether or not it will fit. Other graphics, such as arrows and curved lines, are also used to help drivers safely pull in and out of parking spots. PROVIDING DRIVERS WITH A VIRTUAL ASSISTANT These days, every smartphone is designed with a virtual assistant that responds to simple voice commands. But the automotive industry might enhance the virtual assistant experience with the use of augmented reality technology. Last year, Nissan introduced its Invisible-to-Visible technology that combines a wealth of data from maps, sensors, and other sources and presents it to the driver using augmented reality. This augmented reality technology also gives drivers the option of interacting with a virtual co-driver who will sit in the passenger seat and communicate with the driver throughout their journey. The virtual co-driver will be able to provide drivers with all of the information gathered by the Invisible-to-Visible technology. For example, a driver can ask the virtual assistant what exit they should take to get to their final destination or if there are any accidents reported on the road ahead. Drivers can customize the appearance of their virtual co-driver. According to Nissan, consumers can create a co-driver that resembles their favorite cartoon character, a friend or family member, or someone else. By using augmented reality in this way, Nissan is making driving more convenient and enjoyable for drivers. SIMPLIFYING THE PRODUCTION PROCESS Automotive consumers aren’t the only ones who will benefit from the use of augmented reality technology. This technology is also being used to simplify the process of manufacturing new vehicles, which will benefit countless workers in the industry. There’s no question that manufacturing a vehicle is not easy. Each vehicle consists of thousands of components, which must be brought together and assembled by skilled workers in factories around the world. Building a vehicle is essentially like putting together the pieces of an incredibly complex puzzle—except there is no room for errors on the assembly line. Fortunately, some automotive manufacturers are beginning to incorporate augmented reality technology into the production process to make it easier than ever before to manufacture new vehicles. One manufacturer that is using augmented reality to simplify the production process is Volvo. Assembly line workers at Volvo can use Microsoft’s HoloLens, which are augmented reality smartglasses, to look up specific instructions or view technical drawings while putting together the different parts of a vehicle. Workers who take advantage of this technology won’t have to leave the assembly line in order to get the information they need. Instead, they can view the information right in front of them thanks to augmented reality technology. The smart glasses will project the step-by-step instructions, how-to videos, or technical drawings onto the user’s surroundings. Using augmented reality in this manner ensures that workers get the virtual guidance they need to perform their job duties. Furthermore, it also speeds up the production process since workers will no longer have to leave the assembly line for help or waste time on figuring out how to put something together. [https://relaycars.gryffin.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/HowAugmentedRealityChangesTodaysAutomotiveIndustry-1.jpg] MAKING MAINTENANCE WORK MORE EFFICIENT Augmented reality is being used in a similar way to improve the efficiency of maintenance work in the automotive industry. At Mitsubishi, maintenance workers no longer need to dig through piles of user manuals to find the information they need to make a repair or address an issue with a vehicle. Instead, workers can use a pair of specially designed augmented reality glasses to project the user manual for a specific vehicle directly onto their surroundings. These glasses even allow maintenance workers to enter notes on the repairs that were made using just their voice. Together, these features drastically improve the efficiency of maintenance work at Mitsubishi. VISUALIZING NEW DESIGNS Hundreds—maybe even thousands—of changes are made to the design of a new vehicle before it is finalized. In the past, automotive companies were forced to create clay prototypes of new designs. If a change to the design was made, a new clay prototype was created. But now, augmented reality has made this design process far more efficient. Ford uses Microsoft’s HoloLens to create prototypes of new vehicles. The HoloLens allows designers to see how their change will look or fit on an existing vehicle. For example, if a designer wants to increase the size of a vehicle’s infotainment system, they can use the HoloLens to project an image of a larger infotainment system onto the existing vehicle’s interior. Using augmented reality to project design changes onto an existing vehicle gives designers the opportunity to identify issues that could arise with the change. For instance, the larger infotainment system may partially obstruct the driver’s vision. By projecting the image onto the existing vehicle, the designer can recognize and address this issue before moving further in the process. Thanks to this technology, designers at Ford can wait until they are sure that a change will work before ordering a more sophisticated prototype. From the design and production of a vehicle to the consumer driving experience, augmented reality is impacting nearly every aspect of the automotive industry. But this technology is still fairly new, which means it’s very likely that there will be more changes to come. It’s safe to assume that automotive companies will continue to find new and exciting ways to incorporate this technology into vehicles in order to stay competitive in the crowded automotive industry.
How Augmented Reality is Changing the Driving Experience in 2020
August 10, 2020
What if you could view your car’s entire spec profile without looking down at the dash? Augmented reality is sweeping across the tech sphere in 2020, specifically within the auto industry. The growth of this innovative technology has made it possible for manufacturers to ensure a safer and smoother ride, every time you get behind the wheel. A quick glance to the dash or side mirror can put any driver (and anyone else on the road) at risk. Augmented reality technology has the potential to improve safety, efficiency, and overall ease-of-use in vehicles from a variety of car brands. Take a look at some of the ways AR is transforming the auto industry in 2020. WHAT IS AUGMENTED REALITY? To really understand how AR is changing the automotive scene, it’s important to understand what falls under the Augmented Reality umbrella. AR is more than a way to immerse yourself into a video game or piece of media. Augmented Reality is a technological development that is completely changing the way we interact with the world around us. Essentially, AR superimposes digital information in the form of graphics, images or text over our standard first-person view. This is made possible through wearable tech, such as glasses or goggles, or via projection. While some wearable tech gives us more access to our digital lives, AR provides the user with full immersion that isn’t accessible from a phone or smartwatch. This way, you’re accessing your digital and organic information simultaneously in real time. However, unlike Virtual Reality, the purpose of Augmented Reality isn’t to replace the information that’s being processed by the user. Instead of creating a completely separate digital world, AR allows people to merge both worlds. AUGMENTED REALITY BENEFITS FOR DRIVERS Instead of glancing at their phone or around the car for important information, the driver can have a full view of everything they need without even turning their head. This has the potential to improve safety and innovation across an entire industry. For example, augmented reality can allow drivers to get better blind-spot visibility by actively showing a video feed of any obstructions in the rearview mirror In addition, AR and VR are helping buyers make more informed decisions about their auto purchase. Some benefits include: Improved showroom shopping experience Increased safety systems Stronger performance Simplified maintenance updates and Not only is AR helping car brands create better products for a lower cost, but it’s making every ride safer for those behind the wheel. Some basic features that are making cars safer include: Projected dashboard stats within the driver’s natural line of sight Immersive, safe navigation and clearly visible driving directions Improved focus and visibility Real-time localization Peripheral text and updates out of main view Defensive driving is even more effective when the driver is able to see warnings for road hazards and collisions ahead of time. By viewing driving updates and directions in their unobstructed line of sight, drivers are able to multitask without even realizing it. While most states prohibit the use of handsets while driving, even popular hands-free devices can be cumbersome and distracting. This makes the most basic tasks, like using a GPS app, dangerous. Anything that takes a driver’s attention off the road can be the cause of a life-changing (or life-ending) crash. With standard technology, the driver is required to take their attention off the road to effectively use the device. A handheld GPS or mobile phone can only provide so much information with audio, but heads up displays (HUD) allow drivers to look at directions, maps, or even traffic updates without taking their eyes off the road. Eliminating extra distractions by giving drivers a full view of everything they need for the drive can save countless lives on the road. AR is becoming an industry standard, and safety is one the primary benefits. [https://relaycars.gryffin.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/AugmentedRealityisChangingtheDrivingExperiencein2020.jpg] HOW IS AR AFFECTING THE AUTO MARKET? Augmented Reality has been utilized by a few well-known auto brands for years, but it’s a growing staple in the industry. Think about how much smoother your next road trip would be if you had as much control as your co-pilot? AR improves the entire experience for both drivers and passengers by allowing everyone to see vital information such as MPH, directions, nearby services, audio settings, and auto performance stats via an integrated HUD visual display. This trend began in the luxury market, but AR is becoming a standard feature for popular mainstream manufacturers like Mazda, Toyota and MINI. Not only is it being incorporated in the vehicles themselves, but car companies are using AR to improve the entire manufacturing process. Buyers no longer need to magically envision themselves in the car of their dreams. Now, they can literally “try on” a potential purchase without even leaving the showroom. [https://relaycars.gryffin.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/AugmentedRealityisChangingtheDrivingExperiencein2020-1.jpg] HOW WILL AUGMENTED REALITY AFFECT THE SELF-DRIVING INDUSTRY? Self-driving cars are another product that technology has brought to the mainstream market, but AR is adding another layer of safety and functionality to this already innovative industry. Autonomous vehicles use AI, sensors, and other technological developments to safely drive without human intervention. By responding to visual and tactile stimulus, these cars are able to navigate through lanes of traffic in real time. AR creates the perfect testing environment for these vehicles before they hit the market. Using visual media, testing specialists can create a completely digital virtual environment that mimics actual roads and city infrastructure. Augmented Reality also creates the perfect environment to test how these vehicles could interact with other cars and traffic elements in real time. Using digitally superimposed objects, AR testing specialists can test vehicles without always relying on practical props and collision units. They can also create more realistic scenarios without operating on public roads, adding another layer of protection before each model hits the mass market. As more and more models are popping up on the road, this increases each “driver’s” ability to accurately respond to anything that’s thrown their way. By building a virtual world to test out real-world scenarios, AR is making self-driving cars safer before they’re even released to the public. AUGMENTED REALITY IN THE MAINSTREAM AUTO MARKET How is AR transforming cars on nearly every car lot across the country? No matter your budget or lifestyle, Augmented Reality is becoming a standard feature for more manufacturers than ever in 2020. AR is quickly replacing standard GPS and audio systems in even standard base models, improving in-vehicle navigation AND entertainment for everyone in the car. Projecting the navigation details in clear, unobstructed view takes the stress out of getting from Point A to Point B. Drivers no longer need to rely on their co-pilot to signal every turn in time, and they don’t have to deal with the safety risk of using a handheld system. It doesn’t matter if you’re driving a compact coup or a luxury full-size vehicle, AR can create a fully immersive experience that will improve every trip – no matter how many miles. Additionally, AR is making road trips a breeze for families and large groups. Any length of time in the car is much more enjoyable when everyone can enjoy some extra comfort and peace of mind. In addition to reduced road rage, passengers and drivers can enjoy a wide range of benefits in AR-equipped vehicles that include: Smarter, more responsive navigation systems Accessible driver support Truly hands-free calling, digital controls, and roadside assistance support Improved driving tactics as a result of improve metric visibility Reduced in-vehicle and external distractions Increased peripheral visibility and depth of range 360-degree view of all driving data and road information Never worry about missing a speed limit posting or local traffic sign when you can access real-time, location-specific info on your windshield. Or, forget about relying on your passengers to choose your driving music when you can change stations without taking your hands off the wheel. DEVELOPMENT OF AUGMENTED REALITY AUTOMOTIVE TECHNOLOGY Innovative companies are continuously developing new ways to enhance the driving experience for all corners of the automotive consumer market. WayRay is one of the most notable companies that are developing AR tech for consumer drivers. Using an AR Rendering Engine, these products are able to siphon useful data from: Computer vision and mapping Relative vehicle positioning Virtual object rendering Sensor data acquisition Other popular AR manufacturers include Gotham and Samsung, but brands are continuously jumping onto this fast-moving train. However, many auto brands are coming up with their own proprietary software to give their inventory an added edge. Jaguar, Prosche, and Audi are all developing their own AR systems, each boasting uniquely clever ways to entice potential buyers. However you’re using it, Augmented Reality in mass market vehicles has the potential to improve your ride every time you get behind the wheel. It’s undeniable that we can expect to see this feature on all of our dashboards soon enough. Augmented Reality is taking over a variety of industries and sectors, from education to entertrainment. The automotive sphere is using this adaptive technology to improve the overall experience for everyone involved, while increasing the safety and profitability of the cars they’re produciting. If you want to dive into a (mostly) immersive environment whenever you need to get from Point A to Point B, AR is the transformative technology you need to incorporate in your vehicle. Click here to learn more about how Augmented Reality is transforming the driving experience in 2020.
The Future of Augmented Reality in Your Day-to-Day Life
August 7, 2020
Once limited to elite tech purposes, now more and more industries are looking to use Augmented Reality technology — and for good reason, too! The chances are high that you have already interacted with augmented reality in one way or another, especially if you’re a fan of video games. One popular game that launched AR into the public eye was none other than Pokemon Go. [https://relaycars.gryffin.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/FutureofAugmentedReality.jpg] Augmented reality works by combining your real world environment with simulated overlays. You will typically see your immediately-surrounding environment with images projected around on your phone, or through a headset. From there, you’ll interact or receive input information from the projected images. For the sake of examples, in Pokemon Go, the characters would appear in your backyard or around the street, making it seem like the characters were actually there with you. The projected images, sounds, and interactions overlaid over our world have many functions, and are becoming increasingly popular. WHAT IS AUGMENTED REALITY USED FOR? Augmented reality isn’t limited to just video games. There are far more applications that may surprise you, as the use of AR technology is virtually unlimited. There are seven major applications of augmented reality that will soon influence your everyday life as augmented reality continues to rise. The seven primary applications include: * Education * Healthcare * Retail * Entertainment * Communication * Security * Navigation HOW AR IS USED IN EDUCATION The rise of augmented reality in your everyday life will include applications in education. This is sure to increase both the way we teach and how we learn. For primary school students, any subject — even physical education! — can be aided by the rising improvements in augmented reality. According to education researcher Fleming, there are three recognized methods of learning — by sound, by sight, and by touch. Especially for early learners, combining all three methods is the best way to guarantee positive results. AR can serve as the bridge that links them together. For example: a child can hold an educational material, and have their augmenting device recite the name and explanation, while also displaying facts and associations related to it. As they handle and manipulate the material in the real world, their virtual world updates with more interesting trivia and knowledge, enabling them to absorb more information. Introducing AR technology at a young age also helps it to become familiar to these students, allowing them early mastery of this technology. Children’s minds are incredibly flexible and adaptable — at one point it was believed that they’d never be able to understand the intricacies of smartphones, and yet here we are today! And just as smart devices have been proven to help in the classroom, the benefits of augmented reality may be truly significant. By interacting with their virtual and real environments simultaneously, kids retain the information more meaningfully compared to just a conventional textbook or lecture. For higher learning, augmented reality could potentially have a huge impact on how students retain information. For example, augmented reality can help theater students visualize potential organizations of theater-sets or lightings. For engineering students, running simulations of real-world infrastructure problems can make their studies more affordable and less labor-intensive. There may even be cross-discipline benefits. Part of the so-called “boring” nature of programming is the disconnect between bland lines of machine script and the final product. Perhaps being able to see and hear their code run in real time even as they made design changes would lead to more visually pleasing computer programs? AR is vastly better than simply following simple, non-interactive computer models. Take students undertaking extreme, high risk training for future careers: future doctors, pilots, and police officers, for example. For them, simulated emergency scenarios with immediate feedback can help them develop “virtual real-world” experience dealing with both the common and rare events that’ll crop up in their chosen path. [https://relaycars.gryffin.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/FutureofAugmentedReality-1.jpg] HOW IS AUGMENTED REALITY USED IN HEALTHCARE? Augmented reality applications in healthcare will become more popular and helpful as AR technology grows in useage. Some examples might include procedures like surgeries, where visual assistance can help with the delicate and precise mechanics involved. Nurses finding veins can be made easier with real-time vein mapping to ensure no misses the first time. Patients will be sure to appreciate this aspect of AR! Augmented reality can even be used in dental healthcare. Orthodontic augmented reality can help model where braces brackets should go, or what the final result will look like mapped out inside the mouth. AR technology isn’t just limited to doctors and healthcare providers, either. Patients can also benefit from its use. Through AR, they can communicate more clearly with their doctors. For instance, instead of trying to point with their fingers at the painful spot, AR technology can help facilitate their treatment. This can allow them to describe what they’re feeling, while also providing a visual example to their provider through an AR rendering. Providers can also use AR to teach patients about how medications work inside their body, or how to properly use medical equipment at home. This can be extremely helpful for nervous patients who may wonder what sort of side effects might follow their treatment. Or, conversely, it can help motivate them to follow their course of treatment, knowing what positive outcome awaits them. It can be challenging for doctors to properly explain how to use medical equipment, especially for visual learners. Having the opportunity to see the medical equipment that they’ve been prescribed (and seeing it used on their own bodies!) can take the guesswork out of its use, reducing both user error and potential discomfort. [https://relaycars.gryffin.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/FutureofAugmentedReality-2.jpg] HOW IS AUGMENTED REALITY USED IN RETAIL? As AR grows in popularity, you can expect to see it used in retail more often. Using augmented reality in retail isn’t just for sellers, either; it can also help buyers secure better deals and feel more confident about their purchases. The uses of AR in retail include making life easier by assisting with pricing visualized throughout the store (without having to walk up to the product!), or showing homeowners how furniture would look assembled in their homes. Another practical use for retail is visually overlaying yourself with an article of clothing you like. Augmented reality would allow you to save time in the dressing room by allowing you to virtually try them on, making it easier to know if the item is right for your style. Likewise, makeup and beauty products can also be simulated, saving you from having to try it on, or wondering how something looks with your skin tone if there are no samples available. [https://relaycars.gryffin.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/FutureofAugmentedReality-3.jpg] AUGMENTED REALITY AND IMMERSIVE ENTERTAINMENT AR isn’t just useful in more serious applications, either. The rise of augmented reality will also mean more entertainment options for your everyday life, too! If you’ve ever watched television, a sporting event, or played a video game, and wondered what it would be like up close and personal, then you’ll be excited to know that augmented reality can make that a reality. Sports augmented reality can make a sporting event feel so much more personal and immersive. At a stadium, you can see virtual projections of the star quarterback or goalie. Or you can use it to find concessions and link up with other fans of the same team. At home, you can use AR to project live replays in 3-D to see if that really was a foul ball, or to really feel what it was like to play through a run. You can even use augmented reality to snap a photo with your favorite athlete. General entertainment is also going to be quite the adventure for kids and adults alike through AR. Even watching movies will become more enjoyable. With augmented reality, you may be able to interact with fictional characters, or step directly into your favorite film. WHAT DOES AR MEAN IN GAMING? Gaming with augmented reality is also a lot more fun when you get to let your creativity run wild. As a kid, you could mentally conjure up new worlds in your home, but with AR? Now you can visually interact with those same creative ventures. Through augmented reality, you can let your imagination run amok without actually having to build pillow forts or buy expensive tools and equipment. For the kiddos, toys can be scanned to create an immersive experience through interactive animation. This can allow children to really explore their creativity with a toy and the stories they invent. WHAT IS AUGMENTED REALITY IN COMMUNICATION? The way people communicate can be made more accessible through the use of augmented reality, too. Communication and augmented reality really do go hand in hand by allowing us to connect from places far away. By using an AR service that creates a holographic projection of a person, two people can meet up — despite living in different countries. This allows for people who might not have the opportunity to travel to meet up for a business interview, or catch up with an old friend. For business, travel expenses can be saved. Even better, you may not need to go to the office for that important meeting. Bosses can deliver speeches or provide charts and figures without a tedious powerpoint slideshow. [https://relaycars.gryffin.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/FutureofAugmentedReality-4.jpg] USING AUGMENTED REALITY IN SECURITY While security may seem like an unlikely everyday use of augmented reality, it can prove very beneficial. One example of security and augmented reality in your everyday life right now is using facial recognition to unlock a phone. Augmented reality and security go beyond just those features, however. Indeed, it can even be lifesaving. Floor plans and locks around your house could become quickly accessible in the case that you or a loved one get locked out of your home. It can also help you quickly and safely find your way out in a fire or other emergency. While out shopping or at work, augmented reality can help keep you safe by providing trained professionals with necessary skills and training. It can also be used to access gates, locate electrical lines and pipes, and act as a sort of “x-ray vision” in a crisis. AUGMENTED REALITY IN CITY NAVIGATION Augmented reality can help those who don’t know every square inch of their city by heart, too. More often than not, you may find yourself in new areas, and GPS has come a long way to help. Augmented reality in navigation could help you get to where you are going, but oh-so-much quicker and more precisely (and without getting lost!). You can find stores nearby, or find any place you may be looking for, with real-time street view assistance. Tired of choosing a dud restaurant when hungry? AR can help you explore an area with real-time reviews, all but guaranteeing you never suffer through a mediocre meal again. WHAT COMPANIES USE AUGMENTED REALITY? Augmented reality is present in many of the companies you already use today. From established companies like Amazon using AR to make sure your packages arrive on time, to new companies like Snap which uses augmentation to cue taking perfect photos of your events. Unexpectedly, even sports companies are pushing to the next level: the Dallas Cowboys are an industry leader in developing the practices behind merging this technology with how fans enjoy sports. Someday soon, you may be able to watch and interact with “augmented professional football” from home! Augmented reality in day-to-day life is surging at an unprecedented rate, growing more popular every single day. There are so many ways in which you may find yourself being assisted or entertained through innovations in augmented reality. Whether you are learning something new, seeing an old friend, are lost in the city, or looking for somewhere to shop or eat, augmented reality is designed to make life easier. And that is definitely something to look forward to in the near future!