8 Best Augmented Reality Stocks
Augmented reality is technology that allows you to superimpose images, sounds, and other digital elements onto your real world environment. In other words, it gives you the power to blend elements from the digital world and real world together. Many people associate augmented reality technology with gaming, but it has countless other applications. In fact, augmented reality technology is used in automotive manufacturing, real estate, education, retail, and many other industries. There are so many ways to use augmented reality, which is why experts predict that this market will experience significant growth over the next few years. In 2020, the augmented reality market was valued at $14.7 billion, but experts believe it will grow to $88.4 billion by 2026. Because so much growth is expected in this market in the near future, now is the perfect time to invest in augmented reality stocks. Here are some of your best options: SNAP SNAP is the stock symbol for the social media app Snapchat. This social media app has a long history with augmented reality technology. In 2016, the company introduced Lenses, which is now one of its most popular features. It’s estimated that around 170 million people use this feature each day. You can use Snapchat’s augmented reality lenses to change the way you look, your surroundings, or even the sound of your voice. For example, one Snapchat lens uses augmented reality technology to project a pair of bunny ears onto the user’s head. Snapchat is also in the process of developing a pair of augmented reality glasses for consumers. The glasses, which are called Snapchat Spectacles, will allow consumers to enjoy unforgettable augmented reality experiences. Snapchat has given out hundreds of pairs of Spectacles to augmented reality creators and influencers. However, the company is still tweaking the design and making changes to the user experience before making them available to the public. If these glasses are a hit, it’s safe to say that Snapchat’s stock price could increase. Augmented Reality Stocks [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/ETSY.jpg] ETSY ETSY is the stock symbol for Etsy, a global online marketplace that allows people to buy and sell unique items. This may not be the first company that comes to mind when you think of augmented reality technology, but Etsy has invested heavily in this technology. In 2020, Etsy announced that shoppers could now preview what paintings, photographs, or art prints would look like in their home using a new feature powered by augmented reality technology. This makes it easier for consumers to decide which piece of wall art would look best before making a purchase. This feature is currently limited to wall art, but Etsy has plans to expand it in the future. Eventually, the company would like shoppers to be able to use augmented reality technology to virtually try on or preview any item for sale on Etsy. Using augmented reality in this manner could significantly improve the user experience for Etsy shoppers, which could give the company’s stock price a boost in the years ahead. GOOGL GOOGL is the stock symbol for Google, one of the major players in the augmented reality market. Google already uses augmented reality technology in a number of different ways. For example, the company now uses augmented reality technology to power its “Live View” on Google Maps. This feature makes it easier for users to understand where they need to go to get to their final destination. You can also use augmented reality technology to conduct visual searches on Google. This technology allows you to search for something simply by pointing your camera at it. Google even gives you the power to superimpose three-dimensional objects you see in your search results directly onto your real world environment. Experts believe that Google will introduce other augmented reality products in the future, including a pair of augmented reality smart glasses. There’s no telling when Google’s augmented reality glasses will be available, but their release could have a positive impact on the company’s stock price. Augmented Reality Stocks [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/MSFT.jpg] MSFT MSFT is the stock symbol for Microsoft, another leader in the augmented reality market. Microsoft has several different augmented reality products, including the HoloLens and HoloLens 2, which are mixed reality smart glasses. Right now, consumers cannot purchase a pair of HoloLens smart glasses. This product is only available for enterprise use and is widely used in education, health care, and manufacturing. For example, if a worker on an assembly line needs help putting a product together, they can put on a pair of HoloLens glasses to find the information they need. The glasses will project the information onto their surroundings so they can easily reference it while they work. They won’t need to ask someone for help or step off the assembly line to get the answers they need. Microsoft also secured an impressive $22 billion contract with the U.S. Army to deliver HoloLens smart glasses to soldiers in training. These glasses have helped Microsoft dominate the augmented reality market and will continue to do so in the years ahead. VUZI VUZI is the stock symbol for Vuzix, which is a company that designs, manufactures, sells, and markets wearable devices powered by augmented reality technology. Vuzi’s M-Series augmented reality headsets are used primarily by workers in health care, manufacturing, and the military. However, the company has also created augmented reality headsets for consumers. The Blade AR device looks like a normal pair of glasses, but is equipped with augmented reality technology for hands-free mobile computing and connectivity. Vuzi is much smaller and not nearly as well known as other companies on this list. However, its revenue has exploded over the last several years due to the popularity of its augmented reality headsets. Some experts predict that this company will continue to grow as the demand for its products increases. Augmented Reality Stocks [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/AAPL.jpg] AAPL AAPL is the stock symbol for Apple, a company that has already invested millions of dollars in augmented reality. Apple’s ARKit is a toolkit that allows developers of all skill levels to create augmented reality apps that can be sold in Apple’s App Store. The introduction of this toolkit made augmented reality far more accessible to consumers. Thanks to this ARKit, thousands of augmented reality experiences are now available at consumers’ fingertips. Experts believe that Apple is also hard at work developing two augmented reality devices. There are rumors that Apple will release an augmented reality headset followed closely by a pair of augmented reality smart glasses. The company has not commented on these rumors, so there’s no way of knowing if they are true and if so, when the products will be released. However, if Apple does release these products, the company could finally take this technology mainstream. FB FB, or Facebook, is going all in on augmented reality. According to a recent report, about 10,000 employees, or one-fifth of Facebook’s workforce, are currently working on projects related to virtual reality and augmented reality. Right now, the company uses augmented reality to enhance the user experience on Facebook and Instagram. For example, Spark AR gives users the chance to learn how to use augmented reality technology to create one-of-a-kind effects that can be applied to photos or videos. You don’t need any prior experience with augmented reality technology to take advantage of this tool. Facebook is also in the process of developing a number of augmented reality products, including a wearable wrist device and augmented reality smart glasses. Experts believe that Facebook will release its first pair of augmented reality smart glasses within the next several years, which could have a huge impact on its stock price. Augmented Reality Stocks [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/NTDOY.jpg] NTDOY NTDOY is the stock symbol for Nintendo, which was one of the early players in the augmented reality industry. In fact, Nintendo collaborated with Niantic on the production and release of Pokemon Go, an augmented reality app that took the world by storm in 2016. Pokemon Go introduced millions of consumers to the power of augmented reality technology for the first time. This isn’t the only time that Nintendo ventured into the world of augmented reality. Nintendo 3DS users can access a wide range of augmented reality games simply by pointing the device’s camera at one of the specially designed AR cards. Pointing the camera at one of these cards will immediately launch a game on the device and bring the game’s characters to life in the user’s real world environment. In 2021, Nintendo announced that it would partner with Niantic again to develop even more augmented reality apps for consumers. Based on the success of Pokemon Go, it’s safe to assume that this partnership will produce popular and exciting augmented reality games for consumers of all ages. Some experts believe that Nintendo will eventually release a pair of augmented reality smart glasses that will allow users to experience classic Nintendo games in an entirely new way. It’s too early to predict whether this is true or not, but if it is, this device will undoubtedly shake up the augmented reality market. These are some of the many companies that may see an increase in their stock price due to their investment in augmented reality technology.
Why Virtual Reality Goggles are Getting Cheugy
Pumpkin spiced lattes, skinny jeans, side parts, graphic tees. The commonality? Their cheugy status. While these once cool trends were often associated with the younger generation known as Millennials, Generation Z is up and coming. They don’t wear skinnies. They prefer the middle part. And maybe they’re also not really donning virtual reality goggles. Yes, we might need to admit an uncomfortable tech truth. Virtual reality goggles might be getting cheugy! Except Millennials never really embraced virtual reality with zeal. The New York Times was a bit kinder in noting that the tech is “niche.” A few years back, Inc. wrote about how virtual reality could be used to reach Gen Z. And while this immersive tech is the type of experience Gen Z likes, the problem with virtual reality is the gateway into it: the virtual reality goggles. The headsets or goggles—call them what you will—have never really been sleek or stylish. They’re clunky. They often connect with cumbersome wiring. Some are insanely expensive. Even years after Inc. wrote about the allure of virtual reality and augmented reality, not much has changed for the design of virtual reality headsets. But augmented reality? That’s another story. Tech writers aren’t necessarily buzzing consistently about virtual reality headsets. They are, however, waiting for the drop of consumer-driven augmented reality glasses. These may be the promise of the future. The sleek visual link to a fully immersive world. And one that isn’t tethered to wires or other equipment. Virtual reality goggles might need to be cancelled. At least in their common iterations. They’re evolving but not really evolving. Their clunkiness has not really improved over time, and, while this is fine for enterprise uses like employee training and simulations, is it really what the younger audience is desiring? Oculus is one of the most popular virtual reality consumer headsets on the market. It’s also the most affordable. In the last quarter of 2020, Statista reported that more than a million headsets were sold. In the first quarter of 2021, sales dropped to around 850,000. Fourth quarter, of course, correlates with the holidays. The sales drop isn’t horrific. Oculus isn’t hurting. But does the traditional headset need a facelift? A redesign? And could that be in the future? Oculus is owned by Facebook, now known as Meta. The company has been very outspoken—as has its founder—about the future of immersive technology. Meta is interested in creating an entire metaverse, but the question is will virtual reality be a part of it? Or will augmented reality augment this universe? Meta’s home page includes both augmented and virtual reality possibilities. Oculus also is included. But will the standard Oculus headset be the gateway into Meta’s metaverse? Or will consumers see something much more astounding and cutting edge from Meta? Virtual Reality Goggles [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/12/The-Problem-with-Virtual.jpg] THE PROBLEM WITH VIRTUAL Virtual reality comes with a few problematic features for some consumers. Virtual reality isn’t—right now—necessarily financially accessible. Oculus tends to be one of the more budget-friendly headsets at around $300, but for many individuals and families this isn’t affordable especially since virtual reality is largely seen as entertainment. Consumers don’t need virtual reality. It isn’t essential to everyday life. Thus, the investment really isn’t alluring for those who can’t afford it. In order for technology to really become mainstream, it needs to be equitable and affordable but it also needs to be necessary. Right now, virtual reality isn’t a necessary technology. It isn’t a smartphone. It isn’t a computer. Virtual reality isn’t yet a means of connection. Virtual reality also isn’t embraceable for every consumer. The technology requires a headset to immerse into the experience, and this experience tricks the brain into thinking that movement or other actions are occurring when the body remains at rest. The issue with this is that some individuals suffer from nausea or other sickness because of sensory miscommunication. Their brain and body aren’t in sync. They feel nauseated, they may suffer from headaches or feel dizzy. Similar reactions can happen with modern 3D movies. The headsets are the only way to access the virtual realm. And, for some consumers, the discomfort and price of the headset just isn’t worth the admission into a virtual realm. While virtual reality headsets have improved over the years, they’re still bulky and clunky. And many are still tethered by wires, which can make those models cumbersome. THE METAVERSE AND VIRTUAL AND AUGMENTED REALITY So is virtual reality done? No! Virtual reality as a technology isn’t cheugy. Virtual reality isn’t the problem; the headsets are the problem. The issues of access are the problem. And this is where the metaverse and the buzz about glasses enter the picture. Creating an entire metaverse isn’t going to happen overnight. And how that world will look is only really understood by Meta and the imagination of those who will be creating it. Yet, if consumers and younger generations are going to want to jump into this realm, the access might need to be a bit more visually appealing…and financially feasible. If the metaverse is going to be the future of connection, the access into it will need to be comfortable for the consumer. And, obviously, not cost prohibitive. The beginning of this technology will probably be experienced by those who can afford the technology to access it. However, if the metaverse or this type of technology becomes mainstream, tech companies might develop more affordable glasses to see into this world. As Meta is developing its metaverse, though, what of Apple, Google, Microsoft and others? Could there be multiple different realms branded by each company? And would or could each company offer its own pair of either augmented or virtual reality glasses that can be used to immerse into these experiences? Virtual Reality Goggles [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/12/Augmented-Reality-Glasses.jpg] AUGMENTED REALITY GLASSES The development of augmented reality glasses may change the immersive consumer experience. Microsoft has stated its intent to create a consumer version of HoloLens, which features augmented reality. Most everyone knows Meta’s commitment to immersive technology. And the buzz around augmented reality glasses from Apple has been around for quite some time. Glasses—sleek and probably unique to each company—might be what usurps the virtual reality goggles or headset. And, again, this isn’t assuming that virtual reality will go away or disappear. However, accessing the technology could change. Perhaps augmented reality glasses give way to glasses that also allow entrance into virtual reality. Or maybe these glasses become the access point to mixed reality experiences. The race is on between the tech giants regarding who will debut the first consumer-driven augmented reality glasses. However, this debut could mark the turning point for augmented reality to solidify the virtual reality goggle’s cheugy status. The debut of augmented reality glasses also could be a call to tech companies for redesigning virtual reality headsets to make them sleeker, less cumbersome and, hopefully, more affordable, too…and save them from cheugy. VIRTUAL REALITY WITHOUT THE HEADSET For consumers who want to experience virtual reality without donning those cumbersome and not-so-cool headsets or goggles, there are a few options. Unfortunately, those options aren’t true virtual reality. The definition of virtual is sometimes very loose. Some consumers consider anything that doesn’t take place in-person to be ‘virtual.’ Like virtual learning or virtual meetings. True virtual reality takes place in a virtual realm; everything in this realm is graphically generated. There isn’t any real world overlap. Without a headset or goggles, entering the virtual realm isn’t really feasible. However, those who want an immersive experience that isn’t virtual reality can opt for augmented reality experiences. Augmented reality is very much accessible for most consumers; all that’s needed is a smartphone or tablet. Explore augmented reality games or use augmented reality tools to preview products. Consumers experience augmented reality by using their phone or tablet camera to view the real world; the app will display the augmented reality data into the real environment. Augmented reality overlays digital graphics on top of the real world; it can sometimes mix fantasy with reality. Pokemon might not really exist, but thanks to augmented reality they appear in the real world. While virtual reality isn’t accessible without a headset or goggles, the immersive experience of augmented reality can be enjoyed by most consumers. Augmented reality also can be embedded into Snapchat and other social media posts. THE EVOLUTION OF REALITY Reality is evolving into augmented and virtual realms. While the evolution of virtual reality headsets seems slightly stagnated, the pursuit of augmented reality technology including glasses may propel interest in redesigning those old clunky headsets. If and when augmented reality glasses become a reality, this technology could be the new ‘must have’ item. The new tech darling. Virtual reality isn’t cancelled, though. And the tech itself isn’t cheugy. However, the old clunky styling of the access into the virtual realm has, perhaps, entering its tech expiration. Virtual reality needs a redesign. For virtual reality to fully hit mainstream popularity, for it to really be a ‘must have,’ it also needs to be necessary. It isn’t. Not yet. Could the metaverse change this? That remains to be seen. But consumers also could be faced with many virtual and augmented realities branded by different tech players. And they all could have their own glasses. Hopefully, those glasses will be worth the wait…and worth the wear. And, ideally, engineers will have declunked the cheugy virtual reality goggles and allowed them to evolve into something that is both accessible and stylish.
Virtual Reality Escape Room Transport Players into New Realms of Challenges
Escape rooms began popping up across the United States as a new form of entertainment for families and friends and even for corporate team building exercises. Escape rooms require players to solve multiple puzzles to ultimately escape the room. Some experiences are timed, and each room is themed for a unique experience. Now these game challenges are going virtual and immersing players into incredible new environments. Virtual reality escape rooms are taking players into underwater realms, the pyramids and even into ancient mythology to solve puzzles and, ultimately, complete the mission and escape. Some virtual reality escape rooms follow video games like Cyberpunk, A Prince of Persia, and Assassin’s Creed. While many are appropriate for most ages, some are now darker in design and are for ages 17 and up. Virtual Reality Escape Room [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/02/What-is-a-Virtual-Reality-Escape-Room.jpg] WHAT IS A VIRTUAL REALITY ESCAPE ROOM? In a traditional escape room, players entered and were locked in a room. Each room had a unique theme, and the rooms included multiple different puzzles that needed to be solved. When players completed all the puzzles accurately—and within a time limit—the room was unlocked and the game was complete. Throughout the game, a story might have unfolded to explain the adventure or theme of the room. As puzzles were solved, more details about the story might have been revealed. Each room had an end challenge that the players had to complete, but this challenge couldn’t be realized until all the other puzzles or challenges were solved. Players who were unable to complete all the puzzles or solve them within the time limit lost, and the room was unlocked without completing the game. Virtual escape rooms work the same way, but the experience is completely virtual. All players wear a virtual reality headset in the room to experience the story and help solve the puzzles. All escape room centers each have their own unique rooms, although some may offer similar puzzles. TRAP’T (CONNECTICUT) Trap’t, an escape room venue in Connecticut, offers Escape the Lost Pyramid (dubbed as an Assassin’s Creed experience), Beyond Medusa’s Gate (also an Assassin’s Creed adventure), Alice (as in “Alice in Wonderland”), and even Christmas. Each experience has its own mission or goal. In the experience “Christmas,” players need to light the Christmas tree, because Santa is caught in a snowstorm, lost all the presents he was carrying and can’t get home. Before players can light Santa’s way home via the tree, they have to figure out why the elves have decided to stop working. BANE ESCAPE (NEW YORK) Bane Escape in New York uses HTC Vive headsets to power the experience. Players wear a headset and a backpack that includes equipment to link team members together in the virtual realm The Bane virtual escape experience begins with a séance—team members must find the candles and book for the séance. This ceremony summons a demon and players are trapped in another realm. They must find their way out of three rooms in the new dimension and get back to their dimension within 30 minutes. To escape, they need to solve puzzles in each room. Players must be 10 years and older to play the virtual game. ATOMIC ESCAPE ROOMS (WASHINGTON) Atomic Escape Rooms offers multiple virtual reality experiences including: * Manor of Escape, which requires players to stop the evil Count Malum * Dragon Tower, which finds players in a small town ruled by an alchemist who sacrifices criminals to the dragon. Players must escape the dragon tower. * Time Travel Paradox, in which a team has created the first time machine but another member—Dr. Marek—stole it. The goal of the game is to stop Marek. Atomic Escape Rooms offers several more experiences including a virtual reality haunted house experience. Virtual Reality Escape Room [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/02/Are-Virtual-Escape-Rooms-Available-to-Download-for-Personal-Headsets.jpg] ARE VIRTUAL ESCAPE ROOMS AVAILABLE TO DOWNLOAD FOR PERSONAL HEADSETS? Some avid gamers have their own virtual reality headset. While those who want to experience virtual reality could pay for a virtual reality game room experience, can this unique game play challenge be experienced at home? Are there virtual reality escape room games that can be downloaded via personal headsets like the HTC Vive, HP Reverb, and Oculus Quest 2? Steam offers many escape room games that players can download via headsets. A few are free, but most are reasonably priced. The game “Escape Room” is priced at 99 cents! The game “Tested on Humans: Escape Room” is $14.99, and many others are less than $10. Players who enjoy traditional escape rooms and want to experience these challenging games via virtual reality can check out all the options to find the best adventure. AUGMENTED REALITY ESCAPE ROOMS Virtual reality isn’t the only immersive high-tech escape room experience. Some venues offer augmented reality adventures, too. Augmented reality includes graphic elements depicted on top of the real environment. Aim Escape hosts its augmented reality escape experience outdoors. The game is two hours in duration and takes players throughout London to find clues. There are multiple adventures for players to choose; some are suitable for only older teens and adults. Unfortunately, this epic adventure is in London, but visitors might want to book an experience to escape via augmented reality. Virtual Reality Escape Room [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/02/Augmented-Reality-Escape-Rooms-at-Home.jpg] AUGMENTED REALITY ESCAPE ROOMS AT HOME For those bored and stuck at home, grab a phone or tablet and start experiencing an augmented reality escape room at home. Yes, both Google Play and the App Store offer several augmented reality escape room options. No headsets or augmented reality glasses are required to enjoy these experiences. The games use the camera’s lens to project the game graphics in the real environment. However, players will need to grant the app access to their camera. Those interested in finding augmented reality escape room experiences can search for “escape room AR” via the App Store or Google Play. Many of these games only have a handful of reviews, but they are often free to download. For gamers who haven’t explored an escape room before, using augmented reality could be a fun way to become introduced to these adventures. Again, players will need to solve puzzles to beat the game or realize the final mission. Some escape rooms include a time limit. Here are a few titles to explore via Google Play (for Android) and the App Store (for Apple): EMERGE AR ROOM: THE PANDEMIC If the title is a little too close to reality, rest assured that players can play at home. Yes, Emerge lets players download the escape room game to their Android device. Unfortunately, it isn’t offered via Apple yet. Those with Android devices, though, can play this game anywhere. The game transforms the real world into a locked escape room. ARIA’S LEGACY – AR MYSTERY ESCAPE ROOM PUZZLE GAME Explore the truth behind Aria’s disappearance and understand her story. The real environment is transformed via augmented reality. The app is free, but there is an option for in-app purchases. SCRIPTUM AR ESCAPE Apple device owners can rejoice! Scriptum AR Escape can be downloaded via Apple devices. This game is horror themed and gives players 30 minutes to escape three rooms! THE LOCKDOWN In the Lockdown, players are Interpol agents who need to solve a case. The app is free to download via the App Store ESCAPE VIA VIRTUAL AND AUGMENTED REALITY Traditional escape rooms are now transforming into digitized games that utilize either virtual reality or augmented reality to power the adventure. These game rooms might require the player to wear a virtual reality headset to enter the experience. Virtual reality and augmented reality game rooms might be the transformative future of this unique entertainment—and team bonding—experience. While traditional rooms had to include physical props and other details, immersive virtual reality game rooms can transport players into another realm that is illustrated before them. Props are virtual, clues are virtual, and these experiences could be much more detailed and imaginative, too. Traditional escape rooms couldn’t really be transported under the sea or in an entirely new dimension, but virtual reality makes these realms and spaces a very real destination. Those who want to explore these escape room experiences from home can utilize augmented reality to power their puzzles and adventures. Both Android and Apple devices offer several different game titles that allow users to explore unique augmented reality escape room experiences and challenges. Gamers who have their own virtual reality headsets, though, might have even more adventures available to them. Steam offers a list of virtual reality escape room games at reasonable prices. In virtual reality, gamers can choose their own escape adventure via Steam’s offerings. Are these immersive puzzle games the future of gaming? Augmented reality puzzle games could become more common when augmented reality glasses are finally offered to consumers. However, as more tech companies pursue the metaverse and start creating experiences designed for this virtual realm, gamers may find that these mixed reality gaming experiences might become more virtual than reality.
How Businesses Immerse In Microsoft Augmented Reality Technology
Augmented reality has become the buzz among tech giants. Facebook is focusing on more immersive experiences and developing its metaverse. Tech writers have been waiting patiently—or not so patiently—for new Apple consumer-driven augmented reality glasses. Google offers many augmented reality experiences including Floom and other augmented reality ‘experiments.’ But what about Microsoft? Has Microsoft gone quiet in the immersive world? The reality is that Microsoft has never stopped augmenting. In fact, Microsoft’s HoloLens has been wired into enterprise usage for years. Interested in immersing into the augmented world? Here’s how Microsoft augmented reality has changed business thanks to HoloLens. WHAT IS HOLOLENS? Microsoft’s HoloLens is a ‘mixed reality headset.’ Businesses can use HoloLens to support development and design of products or even to train employees. HoloLens can launch virtual reality experiences or augmented reality experiences. The usage may depend on the needs and requirements of the business. But the seemingly hybrid technology of the glasses (or headset) is why Microsoft refers to it as ‘mixed reality. Many bill HoloLens as augmented reality, but its uses for business are a bit virtual in design. That is, meetings can be held via HoloLens, with individuals appearing at tables or elsewhere during the virtual sessions. The holographic or digital images appear in the real environment, which is the definition of augmented reality. For many users, this experience can appear as though it is virtual in design. The term ‘virtual,’ though, is often interpreted differently by tech professionals and consumers. As for consumers, they cannot purchase a HoloLens just for their own use, for gaming or even just for fun. For now HoloLens is only used by businesses. However, a Wall Street Journal interview revealed that a consumer HoloLens will be a reality in the future…although perhaps not in the near future. Microsoft’s competitors, though, also are eyeing a consumer-driven pair of augmented reality glasses; while Facebook launched the Facebook x Ray Ban Stories glasses, they don’t include any augmented reality tech. HOLOLENS MESHES AUGMENTED AND VIRTUAL REALITY While the HoloLens experiences might seem to mesh augmented and virtual reality for those who jump into the experience, Microsoft also has launched its Mesh platform that is a unique hybrid of these two technologies. Tom Warren with The Verge interviewed Microsoft’s Alex Kipman while wearing a HoloLens 2 and utilizing the Mesh platform. Warren wrote that the experience “…felt like a Microsoft Teams meeting set in the future.” Warren joined Kipman in a virtual conference where Kipman appeared—albeit virtually as an avatar—at Warren’s coffee table. The experience included Kipman sharing different virtual objects with the writer, who could then make changes to the objects. Mesh allows unique collaboration and conferences or meetings that are virtual, yet face-to-face, too. Coworkers or colleagues appear in space, even when they might be across the globe. MERCEDES BENZ AND EMPLOYEE TRAINING Mercedes Benz has utilized HoloLens for aiding technicians in making repairs via its Virtual Remote Support. The tech wears HoloLens glasses, which shows a remote team or expert what the technician sees. Repair guidance–like images and other instructions–can be digitally overlaid on top of the real mechanics of the vehicle. In this way, the technician has virtual—or augmented—assistance to guide the repair process. And as the technician is linked to a remote expert, they also can communicate. CNET reported that Mercedes Benz was equipping all dealerships with the technology. FORD AND CAR DESIGN While clay models in car design might never disappear completely, augmented reality might be a new high-tech aid for designers to simplify the design process. Ford embraced the use of HoloLens during the pandemic to allow designers to make some changes to car designs virtually. During the pandemic, Ford executives also used virtual reality to collaborate when many team members worked from home. Microsoft Augmented Reality [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/12/HoloLens-in-Manufacturing.jpg] HOLOLENS IN MANUFACTURING HoloLens also is utilized in the manufacturing sector. Delta ModTech discussed the three main ways it used HoloLens: Factory Acceptance Tests (FATs), employee training and equipment servicing. HoloLens provided a remote entryway for clients to participate in FATs even when they weren’t at the factory. The glasses also aided employee training in that HoloLens provided a unique way for the factory to host live step-by-step instructions. And HoloLens also aided service issues by superimposing data and instructions on machines. Microsoft Augmented Reality [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/12/HoloLens-and-NASA.jpg] HOLOLENS AND NASA Augmented reality can be out of this world! NASA scientists used HoloLens to explore Mars…virtually. Data from Insight was used to project Mars terrain digitally atop a lab. In addition Lockheed Martin engineers also used HoloLens to design spacecraft. The glasses showed instructions and included voice guidance, too. AUGMENTED REALITY FOR CONSUMERS? While consumers cannot purchase a HoloLens for entertainment or other use, could a consumer-driven HoloLens be in the future for Microsoft? The tech industry has a huge interest in developing augmented reality glasses for the consumer market. The augmented reality ball might be in anybody’s court right now. Tech writers have been awaiting Apple augmented reality glasses for quite some time. With Facebook morphing into Meta, though, the focus on a metaverse and augmented reality could see the ball bounce in favor of team Meta. While consumers are still waiting for glasses that will let them peer into an augmented reality universe, there are many experiences available for consumers that are free…and augmented! GOOGLE Those with Android devices can experience a range of offerings from Google, including Floom. This cool augmented reality experience lets users create a tunnel (or portal) anywhere in their environment and see on the other side of Earth. Floom can be adjusted to dig at different angles, and this allows users to see all different places around the world…from the same original location. Who knows what will show up on the other side! But users can have fun exploring different augmented reality adventures. Google also lets users post experiments. The latest drop is from Oio and is called Bouncing Bands. This augmented reality experience transforms spaces into music. The experiment experiences are accessible via Android devices. APPLE Apple might be working on augmented reality tech for the future, but until an announcement is made, tech experts can only theorize what that product would or could be. In the meantime, though, owners of Apple devices can enjoy free augmented reality experiences via the App Store. Those new to augmented reality can enjoy playing around with the graphic immersive technology with games like Pokemon GO; using the camera on a phone or tablet, users can hunt and catch Pokemon anywhere. They could even be hiding in the home! There are many different augmented reality apps to explore via the App Store. Download enrichment apps that allow users to immerse in science and explore their environment. For example, the app Seek (which is available via Google Play, too) can capture the image of flora and fauna in the user’s environment and instantly identify it. Is that Poison Ivy? View the plant in the camera and find out! The game Stack AR lets users play a tower building game on any surface in their environment. Interested in getting a tattoo but afraid of committing? INKHUNTER is an augmented reality app that lets users preview ink anywhere on their body! Is that dragon a good idea? Test it out before letting the needle make it permanent. AUGMENTED REALITY TRY-ON EXPERIENCES AROUND THE WEB Businesses and stores offer augmented reality experiences via apps or just online. Stores can offer try-on experiences that let customers preview products before purchasing them. For example, IKEA and other stores let users drop furniture into a room to see how it fits and how it looks. Before the launch of augmented reality technology, buying cosmetics was really a best guess and cross your fingers scenario. Would the shade look the same on the lips as it did on the screen? Buyers would have to wait to find out…and sometimes it would lead to frustration and returns. Augmented reality experiences are featured on different product sites and stores that let consumers swipe on products virtually. The camera acts as a mirror, and users can select a certain product and color to swipe on eyes, lips, and cheeks. Some experiences even let consumers preview hair colors! Even shopping for a new car can now be simplified with augmented reality tools. RelayCars offers consumers different options for researching and previewing different vehicle models. Vehicles can be previewed on screen via 3D imagery; these images can be rotated so that shoppers can see the vehicle from all angles. RelayCars also gives consumers the option to utilize augmented reality for a more immersive experience. With the power of augmented reality, RelayCars lets users drop any vehicle model into their environment. They can walk around the car and see it up close. Users can even see how that car might look parked in their garage or in the driveway. If Apple, Facebook or Microsoft launches consumer-driven augmented reality glasses, these immersive experiences might become the normal way of shopping and exploring new products. While new augmented reality glasses could be expensive when they debut, they also could eventually become mainstream…like the smartphone.But before consumers can view the world in rose-tinted augmented reality glasses, they need to debut. And the race is still on to see which tech giant will unveil them first!
10 Best Virtual Reality Games
Nothing enhances a game quite like virtual reality. This technology blocks out the user’s real world and transports them to a computer-generated, simulated environment. Virtual reality technology creates a fully immersive experience, so the user can even interact with their surroundings in the simulated environment. In the past, virtual reality games weren’t widely available to consumers, but that’s no longer the case. Today, consumers can easily access a wide range of virtual reality games using their smartphones, tablets, computers, or virtual reality headsets. But with so many to choose from, it can be hard to determine where to start. Which games should you try? Here are the 10 best virtual reality games: BEAT SABER Beat Saber is a virtual reality music/rhythm game playable on Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, Oculus Quest, and Playstation VR. Some people describe Beat Saber as a mix between Dance Dance Revolution and Guitar Hero. Once the game starts, use your handheld controllers to move your virtual lightsabers to the beat of the music playing in the background. Your goal is to use your lightsabers to destroy the colored blocks that come at you from all different directions. The speed at which the blocks come toward you varies depending on the tempo of the music. You will also need to move your body to steer clear of bombs and overcome obstacles that come your way. Beat Saber is an entertaining game, but it’s also a great way to workout. There’s no doubt that you will work up a sweat and get your heart pumping by the end of the first song. Best Virtual Reality Games [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/01/Astro-Bot-Rescue-Mission.jpg] ASTRO BOT: RESCUE MISSION If you own a Playstation VR gaming system, you may want to check out Astro Bot: Rescue Mission, which is one of the most popular games available on this platform. The game asks you to team up with Captain Astro, a robot, on a mission to rescue his crew. The challenge? His lost crew is scattered across different worlds inside this virtual environment, so you will need to travel far and wide to find everyone. Your goal is to rescue all 213 robots as quickly as possible. To meet this goal, you will need to solve puzzles, defeat enemies, collect coins, and make it through all 20 levels in this virtual fantasy world. Captain Astro will lead the way, but you will need to stay by his side in order to complete this mission and beat the game. RICK AND MORTY: VIRTUAL RICK-ALITY You don’t have to be a fan of the animated series Rick and Morty to enjoy this virtual reality game, which is compatible with Playstation VR, Oculus Rift, and HTC Vive. You are in control of a character named Morty, who is a clone of Morty Smith that was created to help Rick and Morty with everyday tasks. You will be given a list of chores that you need to complete in this simulated environment. For example, you may be asked to do the laundry or order a new computer for Rick. Whatever the task, it’s your job to complete it in order to stay alive in the game. The tasks are mundane, but the game is anything but. Some reviewers have even said that playing the game is like living in an entertaining episode of Rick and Morty. Best Virtual Reality Games [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/01/Cloudlands-VR-Mini-Golf.jpg] CLOUDLANDS VR MINI GOLF You can play a round of mini golf without ever leaving home thanks to Cloudlands VR Mini Golf, a game which is playable on Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and Google Daydream. This is a great game for people who are new to virtual reality since it’s so easy to play. All you need to do is use your handheld controllers to aim, swing your golf club, and hit the ball. It’s just like playing mini golf in real life, except you don’t need to walk to get to the next hole. You can choose to play on your own or compete against online or local players. There’s even a course editor feature that allows you to build your own challenging golf course. Once it’s complete, invite other players to try it out to see who can get the highest score on your custom course. JOB SIMULATOR Job Simulator transports you to a simulated world in which robots, not humans, perform the vast majority of jobs. Once you enter this world, the game gives you a chance to see how you would perform in many of the roles now occupied by robots. For example, step into the shoes of a short-order cook to see if you can successfully fulfill all incoming orders from customers. The more you complete, the more challenging the orders become. The more complicated orders may require you to use unique tools or new ingredients. You can switch jobs at any time in the game, so feel free to experience as many different jobs as you would like before calling it quits. Even though the game requires you to perform various jobs, it won’t feel like work. KEEP TALKING AND NOBODY EXPLODES Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes is the perfect party game for people with access to an Oculus Rift, Oculus Go, HTC Vive, or Playstation VR system. It’s a multiplayer game, but only one person needs to wear the virtual reality headset. This person will be responsible for carefully defusing the bomb in the simulated environment. The remaining players must help the first player figure out how to safely defuse the bomb by reading from the game’s instruction manual. These instructions can be pulled up on a phone or tablet or even printed out so they can be passed around. The challenge is clearly communicating to one another to ensure the first player doesn’t cut the wrong wire or push the wrong button. If they do, the bomb could explode, which ends the game. Best Virtual Reality Games [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/01/Star-Trek-Bridge-Crew.jpg] STAR TREK: BRIDGE CREW Star Trek: Bridge Crew, which is playable on Oculus Quest, Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and Playstation VR, requires four players. Players will be assigned the role of Captain, Helm Officer, Tactical, or Engineer. Each role has unique responsibilities. For example, the Engineer is responsible for making repairs, whereas the Helm Officer is responsible for controlling the speed of the ship. Once the roles have been assigned, you and your three friends must work together to safely pilot a spaceship from the popular Star Trek series. You will need to communicate with the other players at all times to coordinate your actions and respond to threats. Don’t have three friends who want to play? You can play Star Trek: Bridge Crew in single player mode. However, it is more fun in a group. TETRIS EFFECT If you’re a fan of the classic game Tetris, you may want to try the virtual reality version, Tetris Effect, which is playable on Oculus Quest, Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and Playstation VR. Tetris Effect allows you to play tetris in a virtual environment. There are unique visuals and soundtracks for every level of the game, which makes it much more interesting than classic tetris. For example, one level takes place underwater. This level features a calm, soothing soundtrack that simulates what you would hear if you actually were underwater. Sparkly whales and other sea creatures also float around you, so you will feel as if you are actually underwater. The rules of tetris are simple and straightforward, so this is a great game to try if you are new to virtual reality. THE INVISIBLE HOURS If you love murder mysteries, you may want to play The Invisible Hours, a virtual reality game that is compatible with HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, and Playstation VR. The goal of this game is to determine who killed Nikola Tesla, a famous scientist and inventor, in his mansion. There are seven suspects who were present at the time of the murder. To determine who did it, the game lets you travel backward and forward in time to observe each of the suspects before and after the murder. You can choose what time you want to travel to and which events you want to observe. This gives you an opportunity to observe everything leading up to the murder and immediately after the murder. Use your observations to piece together what happened and figure out who is responsible for murdering the victim. Best Virtual Reality Games [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/01/RelayCars.jpg] RELAYCARS Are you thinking about buying a new car? If so, you may want to step into the RelayCars virtual reality showroom. Inside the showroom, you can explore thousands of cars from a wide range of automotive manufacturers. You can walk around the exterior of each car, sit in the driver’s seat, and see what the vehicle would look like in different colors. You can even pull up general information about each vehicle, which makes it easier to compare your options. In other words, you can explore and learn more about vehicles just like you would if you were actually in a dealer’s showroom. The best part? You don’t need an expensive virtual reality headset to experience RelayCars. All you need is a smartphone, tablet, or computer.
How Do Schools Use Augmented Reality in Education?
Generations of students once remember using chalk and a blackboard to write out math problems and learn their alphabet. Those dusty boards then led to dry erase boards…which eventually morphed into smartboards. Computers, too, were once a rare classroom feature. Today’s students often have their own laptop. Technology dominates the classroom, and lessons are becoming more immersive thanks to augmented reality and virtual reality platforms. How do schools use augmented reality in education? The real question should be how DON’T schools use this technology! Augmented reality and virtual reality are used to enhance science lessons, to help students discover the universe and even to teach doctors about human anatomy. Education is augmented, and technology is creating immersive experiences that enable students to explore and discover subjects like never before. AUTOMOTIVE EDUCATION Students learning to repair vehicles and other aspects of car mechanics are learning immersively thanks to the power of augmented reality. In an interview with ABC Action News, one student explained that augmented reality allowed a safer learning environment as students navigated repairs of hybrid and electric vehicles. With augmented reality, the student explained, the steps were detailed and allowed full understanding of how to do the repairs…safely. Augmented reality also is used by professional technicians. For example, Porsche technicians use “Tech Live Look,” which uses augmented reality glasses that feature lights to illuminate shaded areas and the glasses can even magnify tiny details. Glasses also are used by the techs to communicate to a tech team that can provide help during difficult repairs. The glasses show what the tech is seeing and show the image to the virtual team. Mercedes-Benz also has implemented augmented reality to help technicians during repairs. Mercedes-Benz uses Microsoft HoloLens 2 headsets to communicate with a remote team, too. The headset also shows holograms and other instructions to help ease the repair process. Augmented Reality in Education [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/12/Medical-Education.jpg] MEDICAL EDUCATION New York University’s Langone Health integrates augmented reality into the medical curriculum. The school offers a “Living Anatomy” course, which utilizes augmented reality to sub in for the dissection of cadavers. Instead, students learn with “photorealistic scanned cadavers and specimens.” In addition, augmented reality lets students receive immersive instruction related to more difficult anatomy. And the school explains that faculty will create their own augmented reality models as well as augmented reality (or virtual reality) exercises. Augmented reality also could theoretically be used to explore surgical education, too. As exercises and lessons are virtual and immersive, students could make mistakes without consequence. Augmented reality or virtual reality could let students safely explore procedures in a harmless environment via simulated experiences that are conducive to the medical school experience. ELEMENTARY EDUCATION AUGMENTED REALITY Younger generations—including Generation Z—have lived their entire lives with social media and, of course, the internet and computers. Navigating new technology is simply part of their lives and their social world. Today’s elementary students often have their own laptop or notebook computer that links them to lessons and assignments. Schools also may utilize different programs that complement subject material. For example, reading programs may be used to help early readers gain fluency and confidence. Augmented reality programs might be integrated into the curriculum, too. In fact, sites like Edutopia offer a list of programs that educators can use in their classrooms. Recommendations include: COSPACES EDU This program enables students to create their own augmented reality experience. QUIVER MASKS Students create masks via augmented reality. These masks let students immerse in a story as a character or even an animal. NARRATOR AR This augmented reality program focuses on handwriting development. Letters come alive! WONDERSCOPE Compatible with iOS, Wonderscope immerses children into stories by bringing the action and characters into the real environment. Parents can download this at home, too! Augmented Reality in Education [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/12/Virtual-Reality-in-Education.jpg] VIRTUAL REALITY IN EDUCATION Augmented reality might be the most accessible technology, as these experiences can be downloaded via phones. However, schools also are utilizing virtual reality to immerse students deeper into learning. While augmented reality overlays graphics on top of the real environment, virtual reality takes the learning into another realm. Accessing virtual reality requires a headset, and this allows the user to enter the experience or lesson. EdTech reports that virtual or augmented reality can allow students to improve their focus, and this is especially beneficial for children with ADHD who may become easily distracted. EdTech also interviewed a special education teacher who used virtual reality to deploy field trips for her students. With virtual reality headsets, her students were able to explore a greenhouse! For some school districts, the price of headsets for virtual reality could pose an issue. However, these headsets allow students to access so many different experiences. Teachers could get extremely creative in using complementary virtual reality experiences with the subject lessons. For example, studying ancient Egypt could include a virtual tour of the Pyramids of Giza through virtual reality! Augmented Reality in Education [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/12/augmented-or-virtual-reality-in-the-classroom.jpg] AUGMENTED REALITY IN EDUCATION…AT HOME! Parents whose children don’t utilize augmented or virtual reality in the classroom don’t have to be dismayed! Augmented reality experiences are plentiful for both Apple and Android devices. The App Store and Google Play offer a variety of ways to explore the world via augmented reality. However, parents might wish to use augmented reality to complement their child’s lessons or subjects at school. As EdTech noted, children who have trouble focusing could benefit from augmented reality experiences for learning. While there are too many apps to fully list, there are a few apps that are ideal for introducing children to augmented reality experiences. Parents don’t have to invest money for most of these apps; many are free, but a few may have a small price for download. Also, if children or teens have a virtual reality headset like Oculus, they can explore many different experiences via Steam. Parents can do a search for educational virtual reality experiences. And they may even find virtual tour experiences, too! Here are a list of 10 educational apps that are perfect for all ages; parents might have fun exploring, too! JIGSPACE This app is compatible with iOS. With JigSpace, students can create augmented reality experiences and presentations. This is a great way for students to learn how to create and explore with technology. Play around with different ideas, and encourage children to have fun! The app is recommended for children ages four and up…so even kindergarteners might have fun with it! CATCHY WORDS AR With this game, children actually spell words in augmented reality! This is a fun way for children to practice both their spelling skills and their reading skills, too! Players have to catch the letters in their environment! AUGMENTED HISTORY Don’t just learn about history…see it in the room. Or outside. Or anywhere. Augmented History shows castles and fortresses…and more! History appears before the user’s eyes! ANIMAL SAFARI AR For younger children, augmented reality can be used to teach about animals from around the world. Drop different animals into the environment and read all about them. LESSONS IN HERSTORY This app focuses on famous women in history and uses augmented reality to help children learn all about them. But there’s a fun catch, too. To access the stories, students use their phone or device camera to capture a famous man’s photo in their school’s history book to learn about a woman with similar accomplishments! GEOGEBRA AUGMENTED REALITY Drop 3D images in the environment. These math images can be explored from any and every angle to help students understand concepts beyond the book. AUGMENTEDCLASS This app is available for Android devices and enables students to create their own augmented reality experiences. No programming or coding experience is necessary, which makes this app perfect for students who want to learn more about designing their own augmented reality. CIVILISATIONS AR This app from the BBC brings ancient objects and art into an immersive augmented reality experience. Explore Renaissance artwork and a mummy from ancient Egypt. SEEK Encourage children and teens to explore the world around them with Seek. Developed by iNaturalist, this app lets users scan an image of a plant, animal or an insect from their environment to learn more about their own backyard…or any surroundings. In a few seconds, the app will identify the exact species and provide more details. This is a great app to use on vacation to explore the native flora and fauna of any region. SKYVIEW LITE Students can view the night sky anywhere in their home. Or just point the camera at the sky using the app to learn more about the constellations and heavenly bodies in the sky. The app will even identify planets! When using SkyView at night, users can select night mode for better viewing. As augmented reality progresses in its development, more schools and classrooms may utilize this technology as a complementary learning tool for specific lessons and subject matters. For example, medical schools might opt to use augmented reality in place of cadaver dissection or as a means to help early medical students gain experience with specific anatomical features in the body. Elementary schools can use augmented reality to enhance the learning experience and to help students zero in on a lesson to minimize distractions. While virtual reality requires a headset to experience lessons, games and simulations, augmented reality is much more accessible. Parents can download augmented reality apps for their children to encourage them to immerse in science, math and history topics. These apps are often free and many are recommended for all ages. In the future, augmented reality could become yet another tool that educators use to encourage exploration and help immerse children in the lesson and curricula. With augmented reality and even virtual reality, students can visit faraway countries, see dinosaurs appear before their eyes and even view constellations from the sky…all without even leaving the classroom!
Does Google Make Augmented Reality Glasses?
Most people think of Google as just a search engine, and it’s not hard to see why. Its search engine is undoubtedly its most popular and successful product. In fact, Google handles more than 90% of searches performed around the world. However, the search engine is just one of many products created by Google. Google offers a wide range of services, including advertising platforms, publishing tools, maps, analytics, market research, email, and messaging apps. The company also creates products, including laptops, tablets, and smartphones. But does Google make augmented reality glasses? Here’s everything you need to know: WHAT ARE AUGMENTED REALITY GLASSES? The term “augmented reality glasses” refers to eyewear supported by augmented reality technology. The functionality of augmented reality glasses can vary from model-to-model. But in general, this technology allows the wearer to superimpose elements from the digital world such as images or audio onto their real world environment. These digital elements are projected onto the lenses of the glasses so they are easily visible to the wearer. For example, a pair of augmented reality glasses may help you figure out where to go by projecting turn-by-turn directions onto your lenses. Digital elements such as arrows and street signs may appear on your lenses to guide you to your final destination. Even though the information is projected onto the lenses, it is only visible to the wearer. This means no one will know what you are looking at when wearing a pair of augmented reality glasses. Augmented Reality Glasses [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/12/History-of-Google-Glass.jpg] A BRIEF HISTORY OF GOOGLE GLASS Google Glass is a brand of smart glasses, or augmented reality glasses, produced by Google. Even though Google Glass was initially released less than a decade ago, the brand has a long and complicated history. PRE-LAUNCH PROMOTION In 2012, Google released a short video called “Project Glass: One Day,” which showed how the Google Glass could enhance a normal day in the life of a consumer in New York City. The video shows how the wearer is able to use his glasses to check the weather, look at his calendar, listen to music, and perform other tasks. Later that year, Google revealed the first prototype of the smart glasses at the Google I/O event. Sergey Brin, Google’s co-founder, got on stage and interrupted Vic Gundotra, Google’s senior vice president, in order to treat the audience to a live demo of the glasses. Google also partnered with Diane Von Furstenberg, a fashion designer, to generate more buzz around the upcoming release of the Google Glass. The company released video footage filmed with the Glass prototype that took viewers behind the scenes of a Diane Von Furstenberg fashion show. These are just several examples of the publicity stunts that were planned in an effort to get consumers excited about the launch of the Google Glass. THE LAUNCH OF GOOGLE GLASS In 2013, Google released its first pair of smart glasses, the Google Glass. The glasses looked like standard glasses, however the lenses were replaced with an augmented reality heads-up display. Google invited consumers to use a branded hashtag on Twitter to enter for a chance to purchase a pair of the first edition smart glasses. The company ended up choosing 8,000 Twitter users. All of the users who were chosen had to pay $1,500 to acquire a pair of the glasses. The users who were willing to pay this price could acquire the glasses before they were available to the public in May 2014. GOOGLE GLASS BACKLASH Some consumers loved the Google Glass when it was released, but the glasses received a great deal of backlash from the general public. Because the Google Glass was designed with a head-mounted video camera, many people worried that Google Glass wearers would be able to film them without their consent. These privacy concerns continued to grow as more people began wearing the Google Glass in public places. Eventually, some restaurants, bars, and other businesses began to ban their customers from wearing the smart glasses. The public even coined the term “glasshole” to describe consumers who wore the smart glasses in a way that was deemed socially unacceptable. Furthermore, prominent tech reporters complained that the Google Glass performed poorly and had a terrible battery life. In 2015, Google announced that they would no longer sell Google Glass as a result of the backlash, performance issues, and privacy concerns. THE REDESIGN OF GOOGLE GLASS Shortly after announcing the end of Google Glass, Google revealed that it was in the process of redesigning its smart glasses. Tony Fadell, a former Apple executive, was responsible for overseeing the redesign. In an interview, he revealed that his team would not release the redesigned Google Glass until they felt the product was absolutely perfect. Google Glass Enterprise Edition [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/12/Google-Glass-Enterprise-Edition.jpg] THE GOOGLE GLASS ENTERPRISE EDITION The Google Glass Enterprise Edition, which was the second edition of the product, was announced in 2017. Unlike the first edition, the Google Glass Enterprise Edition would not be available to consumers. Instead, the product was only sold to businesses such as Boeing, DHL, and GE. The Google Glass Enterprise Edition was primarily used by factory workers. For example, workers on the assembly line could use the glasses to quickly access instructions or other information without stepping away from their work. This way, they could find the information they needed to perform their job duties without stepping off the assembly line or asking someone for help. The Google Glass Enterprise Edition featured a number of upgrades, including a longer battery life, faster processor, and a light that turned on whenever the video camera was recording. Overall, this product was considered a success among its limited customer base. THE GOOGLE GLASS ENTERPRISE EDITION 2 In 2019, Google announced the Google Glass Enterprise Edition 2. Just like the first edition, the Google Glass Enterprise Edition 2 was designed for and sold solely to businesses. It featured minor design upgrades in addition to a better camera and faster processor. According to Google, these smart glasses have helped businesses reduce production times, improve quality, and lower operating costs. CAN CONSUMERS EXPECT GOOGLE AUGMENTED REALITY GLASSES IN THE FUTURE? Even though the latest editions of the Google Glass have been successful with businesses, Google has not announced plans to make them available to consumers. However, some industry insiders believe that Google is already in the process of developing a new pair of augmented reality glasses for consumers. Google recently announced that they are actively looking to hire someone to create an augmented reality operating system for an unspecified augmented reality device. This indicates that the company is planning on building a new augmented reality device from the ground up, which has led many people to conclude that this device will be sold to consumers. Furthermore, Google recently acquired North, a Canadian smart glasses manufacturer. North has already successfully launched a pair of augmented reality glasses, the North Focals. The company also planned on releasing Focals 2.0, but these plans were halted after the acquisition. Neither Google nor North has revealed what the companies will be working on together. This has led many industry insiders to predict that Google is secretly working on a new and improved pair of augmented reality glasses for consumers. But even if these predictions come true, there’s no telling when the augmented reality glasses will be available. Facebook’s Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality Glasses [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/12/Facebooks-Virtual-Reality-and-Augmented-Reality-Glasses.jpg] WHAT ABOUT FACEBOOK’S VIRTUAL REALITY AND AUGMENTED REALITY GLASSES? Google isn’t the only player in the mixed reality wearables market. Many other companies, including Facebook, have invested heavily in developing virtual reality and augmented reality wearables for consumers. After acquiring Oculus, Facebook successfully launched a line of virtual reality headsets for consumers. The Oculus Rift, Oculus Go, and Oculus Quest were met with mixed reviews from consumers and tech reporters. Facebook has never released sales numbers for the Oculus product line, but has said that all Oculus products have been successful. For years, it has also been rumored that Facebook is secretly working on a pair of augmented reality glasses. Facebook is also in the middle of developing a high-end virtual reality and augmented reality headset for consumers. Few details have been released to the public about this headset, which the company has nicknamed “Project Cambria.” However, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg did reveal that the product will be completely new and will feature face and eye tracking. The headset will also be designed with cameras that can capture and send high-resolution videos to the lenses. Many industry insiders believe that the headset will look and perform similar to the mixed reality headset that Apple is currently developing. Even though Facebook has confirmed that this headset is in development, the company has not announced when it will be available for sale or how much it will cost. But Zuckerberg did state that he expects the product to be priced at the “high end of the price spectrum.” One thing is certain: the competition in the augmented reality wearables market is heating up. Now that Facebook, Google, and Apple are all developing augmented reality devices, there’s no question that consumers will have the option of purchasing one of these innovative wearables in the near future.
Augmented Reality Marketing Immerses Consumers into the Buying Experience
Augmented reality is becoming a big move for businesses who want to reach younger consumers. An article in Advertising Week reported on the use of this technology to reach Generation Z. The youngest generation is quickly usurping the millennials to take the throne as the most coveted marketing demographics for businesses. And the portal through which businesses aim to reach Zoomers–as they are so affectionately known—is via the smartphone. Most specifically, through the camera on the smartphone. It’s that tiny lens on the back of a smartphone that powers augmented reality marketing experiences. And it’s these experiences that may be the key to reaching the heart—and the buying power–of this generation. McKinsey detailed the characteristics of the typical Zoomer. Those in Generation Z tend to be open-minded, but they are also committed to causes. They listen to other points of view. They want to instill change. And they are very individualistic. More importantly, though, this generation has always known technology and likely social media, too. The smartphone is part of their social world. And they are proficient in engaging via digital elements. While older generations were once reached via television commercials and radio, Generation Z’s media of choice might just be their handheld device. Baby Boomers had their hippies and, later, yuppies; they lived the Summer of Love. Generation X had their slackers and valley girls…and, yes, their MTV. Generation Z has influencers via TikTok, YouTube and Instagram. Augmented reality marketing experiences allow this generation to immerse in products and also better understand the brands they are researching. Businesses and brands can use augmented reality to allow users to preview products, to explore all the available options and to even better understand the story behind the company or brand. Augmented reality allows the real world to co-mingle with the digital universe. By overlaying graphic data on top of the real environment, businesses can create a way for customers to try on items or even see products in their home…or garage. Experiences also can include games that tie into a business. Or just seek to entertain. These immersive experiences also allow the user to explore and dig deeper into a story. Augmented reality marketing is multi-dimensional and can provide numerous possibilities to keep the consumer engaged. How do companies and brands use augmented reality? And what have been the most successful augmented reality campaigns? Check out these experiences and explore the world of augmented reality and the deeper stories brands can tell with this platform. Augmented Reality Marketing [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/12/Food-Drinks.jpg] FOOD & DRINKS Restaurants and beverage manufacturers have leveraged augmented reality to create games and other experiences for consumers. Pac-Man, polar bears and even The Walking Dead have come to life in the real environment thanks to this technology! PIZZA HUT What do pizza and a video game have in common? At one time, teens might have been able to buy a slice of pizza in the mall food court and then head over to the arcade to play some games—including the iconic Pac-Man. Pizza Hut took the old arcade experience into an augmented reality realm, though, with a marketing campaign that turned a standard cardboard pizza box into a game of pellet-munching Pac-Man. Users could play the classic arcade game with the help of their smartphone. Augmented reality lets players gobble down ghosts while they also munch on their pizza! COCA-COLA During the holiday season, many consumers know that the cute and cuddly Coca-Cola polar bears begin to make an appearance. These bears have been a part of the brand’s advertising for decades. But back in 2019, Coca-Cola’s cans brought the bears to life via augmented reality. Using a smartphone, consumers just scanned the can to enter the cool world of the Coca-Cola characters. And two scanned cans created a special musical experience featuring the bears! NESTLE While Nestle might be synonymous with the Quik chocolate drink, the brand has a host of other products. In conjunction with the animated film Rio, Nestle transformed cereal packaging including Cookie Crisp, Honey Stars and Nesquick into augmented reality video game experiences. This promotion was actually an early augmented reality foray; it launched in 2011 and was a bit more complicated than simply using the smartphone. REESE’S PUFFS More augmented reality fun with cereal boxes! Reese’s Puffs’ experience was fairly recent and launched this year; Marketing Dive ran a story about the experience in August. According to the story, the actual cereal puffs could be placed on the back of the box to create an immersive musical augmented reality experience. BURGER KING What’s hotter than flame-broiled Whoppers? Apparently a rival restaurant’s ad is burning via augmented reality! In a creative use of the AR technology, Burger King allowed users to destroy rival restaurant ads in flames…augmented reality flames, of course! The experience was available in Brazil and let users capture ads with their camera to…burn them! MOUNTAIN DEW The citrus soda brand from Pepsi let users bring the Walking Dead characters into their world via augmented reality. Packaging World noted that the experience was in correlation with the milestone 100th episode of the series and was accessed via an app called The Walking Dead Encounter. WINERIES AND WINE BRANDS Augmented reality wine labels have taken augmented reality to an intoxicating new level. Major brands like 19 Crimes, Embrazen, Mutua and others utilize the Living Wine Labels app to create unique experiences that allow their customers to immerse in the brand’s story. For example, those who enjoy wines by 19 Crimes can explore those who were persecuted for these crimes…and even experience the warden, too. The Embrazen label highlights bold women and their achievements. And Dr. Henry Lindeman gives tips for how to be a Gentleman (the brand’s Gentleman’s Collection). The app Winerytale is used by hundreds of brands to augment their label. And experiences may differ based on the brand. Other wineries and brands have launched their own augmented reality app. Consumers looking for these experiences may want to check their bottle! Augmented Reality Marketing [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/12/Augmenting-Retail.jpg] AUGMENTING RETAIL Retail stores also use augmented reality to heighten user engagement and experiences. These unique immersive features are popping up for automobiles, eyeglasses, cosmetics, paint, furniture and more. Many retail augmented reality experiences are designed for consumers to preview products in their home and environment…or even on their face. But some brands have created fully immersive products that also include augmented reality! GEM JOY For Gem Joy, augmented reality is part of the ownership experience. This jewelry brand doesn’t use augmented reality for try-on experiences. Instead, each piece of jewelry features its own augmented reality experience. The gems from Gem Joy are interactive in different ways; for example, the site notes that the gems can be a pong paddle, a beautiful remote control or even a landing strip for an augmented reality butterfly! WANNA KICKS Looking for new shoes? Wanna Kicks is an augmented reality try-on app that is just for shoes! The app showcases upcoming new releases, and the selection could revolve regularly. The new kicks appear right on the user’s feet! GUCCI The luxury design house teamed up with Snapchat to provide consumers with a try-on experience for its sneakers. Users could see how luxury looked on their feet. And there was a ‘shop now’ feature, too! LOUIS VUITTON The brand’s Objets Nomades furnishings and design objects line received an augmented reality preview experience. Using their smartphones, users could preview products in their home to envision how the luxury offerings could upgrade their interior features. POTTERY BARN Shopping for home furnishings can lead to guesswork for consumers. Will the chair look good in the den? Does that color clash with other hues in the room? Pottery Barn’s augmented reality experience lets users preview furniture and other products in their home. BENJAMIN MOORE The paint brand is one of several that offers an augmented reality experience to preview paint hues on any wall in the home. Virtually swipe on colors using a smartphone and stop wondering if that color will be a hit or miss! L’OREAL The beauty brand launched Style My Hair, which is an augmented reality app that lets users preview hair colors. Thinking of dying hair bright red? Try it first! WARBY PARKER Warby Parker’s augmented reality experience has been highlighted by many different media outlets. The experience lets users preview different eyeglass frame designs to find the best option that perfectly flatters their face shape! RELAYCARS Buying a new car is easy when shoppers can visualize that vehicle in their own space, including the garage or driveway. The RelayCars app lets shoppers view cars in 3D for up-close looks at the interior and exterior of the vehicle. Images can be rotated on the screen, and users also can opt for a more immersive augmented reality preview mode. This lets users drop any vehicle from RelayCars’ extensive image library into the real world environment! Augmented reality marketing experiences have been around for many years, but as Generation Z is becoming the target demographic for advertisers, this tech-centric immersive experience may become even more popular…and pervasive. When shopping online, do a quick search to see if a favorite brand or store offers an augmented reality experience for previewing products. Not only are these try-on options fun, but they also can take the guesswork out of a purchase and may save consumers the time and hassle of returning a purchase that just wasn’t quite right.
How Augmented Reality in Construction Helps Architects, Engineers and Builders
Augmented reality is being utilized by many industries for try-on experiences aimed at consumers, simulations in education and in manufacturing to aid technicians in their repairs and to learn processes. The benefit of augmented reality is that this technology can allow industries to preview ideas or updates to existing structures. The graphic depictions of augmented reality can bring ideas to life and even can help industries understand the feasibility of a concept. For this reason, augmented reality also has been adopted for use in the construction industry. Here’s how augmented reality in construction helps architects, engineers and builders bring an idea to life from the ground up. Augmented Reality in Construction [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/02/Augmenting-the-Building-Site.jpg] AUGMENTING THE BUILDING SITE Augmented reality has become an important tool for the construction industry. While virtual reality transports users into another realm to preview an idea or design, augmented reality might only require the use of glasses or even just a tablet or phone. Augmented reality is easy to use, and its convenience can make it an ideal choice for a number of industries including the construction industry. Augmented reality works by using a phone or tablet to capture the real environment; graphic depictions are then shown in this environment. For the construction industry, augmented reality can allow for new designs to be projected into a space. The technology also could project a full image of a project design onto a bare lot. These graphic depictions can help architects, engineers, builders and maybe even homebuyers see a project before its even completed or before it has even begun. In the past, computers were used to show models of architectural drawings and renderings, but now augmented reality can show a more accurate and realistic depiction right on the property. Augmented Reality in Construction [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/02/Augmented-Reality-in-Architecture.jpg] AUGMENTED REALITY IN ARCHITECTURE The architect is charged with drawing the design of a home, building, structure or renovation. Architects will not only create renderings of the final design, but they also will draw and design the building plans for the project. Architects have a number of augmented reality apps and programs that they might use to bring their ideas to life and to help a client better understand the final outcome. Morpholio Sketchwalk AR transforms sketches into an augmented reality depiction. The client and architect can actually tour the graphic augmented reality depiction of the design by using a tablet or phone. ArchDaily also includes augmented reality measuring apps among its list of augmented reality resources for architects. These apps mean that architects don’t have to carry around a measuring tape; instead an app will project digital markings that help to accurately measure any space. The app ARki lets architects transform 3D models into augmented reality. This allows architects to drop a project model onto any space—including the empty lot where it might be located. This can help clients and the architect better understand the design. AUGMENTED REALITY IN ENGINEERING Flatworld Solutions explains that engineers also can use augmented reality to view projects. However, they also might use this technology to include multi-step instructions in a manufacturing plant to aid technicians. Engineers also could superimpose augmented reality data over current structures to better understand changes. Augmented reality also could be used to better understand the progress of a particular project. Engineering is a vast field that extends beyond construction and building. However, in the building or construction industry, engineers could use augmented reality similarly to architects. Augmented Reality in Construction [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/02/Augmented-Reality-for-Builders.jpg] AUGMENTED REALITY FOR BUILDERS Digital Builder explains that augmented reality could be used in numerous capacities throughout the construction process. Augmented reality allows a digital preview in almost any environment. This means that models can be dropped on the lots or spaces where they will be built. However, the site also explains that the construction industry can use the technology to collaborate. Augmented reality can give others on the team—who may be remote—an opportunity to view the project and catch any issues. In addition, Digital Builder also notes that augmented reality can improve safety, too. Special augmented reality glasses could be used to better understand hazards. Many industries—including construction—also may use augmented reality tools for employee training. Like virtual reality training, augmented reality allows workers to safely explore problems and situations without actually being in harm’s way or making an error that could be disruptive. HOMEOWNERS AND AUGMENTED REALITY Can augmented reality help the consumer buying a home? This technology offers numerous benefits to the consumer. Again, architects can use augmented reality to show a 3D model in any space. Homeowners could be able to preview their home before the foundation is even poured. There are many different augmented reality experiences that can help homeowners better understand renovations, too. In different home shows on television, homeowners might be shown what their space will look like when renovated. These previews are typically shown via a computer. However, as augmented reality is becoming more of a mainstream technology across industries, architects and those in remodeling might be able to use augmented reality to show homeowners their real space with graphic depictions of the renovation. Many stores offer preview experiences to consumers to let them try out furniture and other products, too. Using augmented reality, the consumer can actually place a couch or other item in a room. Will the sofa complement the side chair? Consumers don’t have to guess, they can just grab their phone and use augmented reality. Even the walls can benefit from augmented reality tools. When remodeling a room, homeowners also might consider an entirely new color scheme—including the paint on the walls. In the past, buying paint meant viewing different swatches and hoping that those hues looked the same on the wall. Sometimes the gamble was a serious fail. Now paint companies offer try-on features for their seemingly endless array of colors. How does this work? Again, consumers just need to use their phone or tablet’s camera to show the walls of their room. Then they can choose any paint color, and with a simple selection, the paint will magically appear on the walls thanks to augmented reality. The worry about the paint color complementing or clashing with the furniture or carpet is no longer an issue. Floor coverings can be augmented in the space, too. Crate & Barrel, Catalina Rugs and even Target let consumers preview rugs in their space. For the consumer, augmented reality isn’t just a helpful and unique resource, it also can be a lot of fun to use. Consumers can keep trying out different paint colors or previewing different carpets, lamps or end tables to create all different design looks in a room. Augmented Reality in Construction [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/02/An-Augmented-Reality-Future.jpg] AN AUGMENTED REALITY FUTURE? Augmented reality might be the technology that dominates the future for the consumer and perhaps for many industries, too. This technology is easily accessible via phones and tablets, while virtual reality relies on cumbersome headsets that are usually tethered to wires. The accessibility makes it easy for architects and engineers to go anywhere to preview a design. With just a smartphone, construction professionals can even provide an augmented reality walk-through of a building concept. Augmented reality also aids the construction industry in providing safer training. Augmented reality lets any industry simulate a situation without putting an employee at risk for harm or injury. The consumer also benefits greatly from this technology. Not only does augmented reality give them the ability to possibly preview a home or maybe even a renovation before the project even begins, but consumers also can preview paint colors, furniture and even rugs to find their best options. There are limitations to augmented reality, though. For example, while the consumer can swipe on paint using augmented reality and even drop in a rug to see it in a room, they can’t currently do both with basic apps. An experience from Crate & Barrel to preview a carpet in the living room can’t yet sync up to another augmented reality experience that lets the consumer swipe on paint color. While industry professionals like interior designers might have the capability to show consumers every detail, a homeowner who simply wants to redecorate a room without the aid of a pro might have limitations. As augmented reality tools, programs and apps evolve, though, consumers might have more options. In addition, when (and if) augmented reality glasses are released for the consumer market, the augmented reality future could become expansive. With augmented reality glasses, consumers might have more opportunities to preview products together or to immerse in an augmented reality metaverse that includes unique augmented reality shopping experiences. The evolution of augmented reality could expand the technology’s use across different industries, too. Will architects, engineers and builders wear augmented reality glasses and see both augmented reality elements and real world elements as the project unfolds? While the future for augmented reality might be the launch of consumer-focused augmented reality glasses, the use of this technology could become more expansive in construction and other industries, too. How augmented reality will unfold, though, might be up to the technological imaginations of companies like Google, Meta, Apple and others. An augmented reality metaverse could unfold before us.
Goodbye Facebook Augmented Reality…Hello, Meta?