Content in the context of Augmented Reality (AR), is defined as the presentation of existing information in a format applicable to the current world-view. This takes the form of visual and/or audio but can also take on other sensory formats such as touch or even smell.
This distinction between content and information is important to understand when considering the functional applications of AR platforms. In simple terms, an AR platform will not create information but rather consume it from existing sources and create, package and deliver it as AR content.
AR platforms such as Appearition’s Experience Management System (EMS), rely on the availability of information to create and deliver contextually relevant content to connected clients. AR platforms should, therefore, be regarded as mediums for connecting to existing data stores and aggregating and formatting that information based upon the context of the intended audience.
There are several challenges facing AR platforms today. At the outset, any effective platform must provide an intuitive user interface that is accessible and available to non-technical users. More often, it will be business staff who will be interacting with the platform to manage and create information and content.
- Access to information
A key concern of AR platforms is access to information. This demands connection and integration to various types of data stores. It comes with adherence to security and authentication protocols, data privacy laws and compliance and the support of various types of data formats such as CSV, XML and JSON.
With this concern comes the fundamental need of having a scalable, robust and highly responsive infrastructure for reliable functional performance.
- Contextualising information
Once information is available to the AR platform, it is important to be able to classify and group it. This will become an integral step in content creation as it will be important to link the context of the audience with the context of the information.
Meta-data is a common concept used in IT systems to help with classification. You can apply meta-data to existing information and then filter and query that when creating content.
- Delivering a good user experience (UX)
A well delivered UX has these two common properties: relevance to what we are doing and is quick to load. The former is something we have already touched on above. The latter is about network latency and is best understood when we think about today’s websites. According to studies, more than 40% of users bounce from websites that take more than 3 seconds to load. This is directly related to internet connectivity speeds and the amount of content being delivered to the browser. The same principle applies to AR experiences, however, instead of the latency concerns of HTML, AR is concerned about the speed of recognition, the stability of tracking and the download and rendering of immersive content such as 3D models or 360-degree videos.
A critical factor for AR is a reliable and fast wireless network connection. Whilst the current 4G technology does enable us to watch videos and images seamlessly, when it comes to immersive AR experiences, content is much bigger and heavier than standard website content. As such, we eagerly look forward to 5G which aims to revolutionise our world again with quick access to immersive content.
Whilst the promise of 5G is very much a future aspiration, there are strategies today that can be considered when designing and building AR solutions with latency in mind. Can you anticipate and pre-download AR content before the user has asked for it? Can you place content closer to the user to minimise too many hops around the world? Can you break up the content into smaller chunks and stagger how and when it’s presented?
In many respects, we are exposed to information all the time and in different ways. Since the dawn of humanity, we have exchanged information by communicating and interacting with each other. We then became exposed to printed information in the form of books, newspapers and magazines. In more recent times information has emerged in the form of TV and radio. Finally, the invention of the internet and social media has exploded our access to information at our fingertips. We use information all the time to make important decisions at work, school, home and in social settings. Filtering and deciphering this information in a way that is relevant to what we are doing now, has always been and will continue to be a struggle.
AR content is the means to access and view contextually relevant information in our world.
Simon Galanakis is a passionate advocate of effective AR experiences and is currently Appearition’s Platform Architect and Senior Solution Designer.
Industry 4.0 is redefining the future of work. Technologies such as Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), Mixed Reality (MR), Artificial Intelligence (AI), Robotics are changing the future ways of working. For today’s students, it is vital to understand how these technologies work, for they are the future workforce, who are set to engage with these technologies.
We at Appearition believe that it is important to shape the thoughts of these future workers. As a part of our EdTech outreach series, Brendan and Arindam from our team conducted a workshop for school students in partnership with Real Time Learning (RTL). RTL is a social enterprise that provides students with the opportunity to learn from industrial partners.
Brendan and Arindam enabled the students to understand the basics of AR technology and its application in the industry. Using 8AR platform, the students got to create their own AR experience. Luke Kerr, Programme Director of RTL feels it is important for students at a young age to get an appreciation for how quickly things change. ‘Students in school are exploring AR content but very few have the opportunity to develop and create content. With an industry partner, it is so good for students to hear of the different use cases that the companies are partnering with their customers. This helps our students think more creatively on how they could use AR in the future,’ he adds.
Overheard at the workshop, a conversation between 14-year-old Gemma and 12-year old Ethan:
Gemma: ‘I thought AR technology would be like Tony Stark’s visor. This is actually very simple to use.’
Ethan: ‘Look, Gemma. I created my own AR experience using 8AR. Scan this image of my wallpaper and see what happens.’
‘Nice! I wish we can scan all our favourite images to trigger an experience.’
‘If we can augment 3D overlay onto physical things, we can look at an image of an engine and see all the different components of how it works and instructions on how to build all the components into an engine. Using an AR headset, we can see the instructions alongside our actual work in progress in real time.’
Ethan: ‘When Brendan and Arindam showed us some demos, I realised that AR will help train people to do risky things. If they fail, they won’t hurt themselves whilst training!’
Students pick-up the ropes of technology faster than we imagine. Within an hour, Gemma and Ethan understood the enterprise application of the technology and how AR can impact workflow.
Appearition along with EdTech champions like RTL are making students future ready, one step at a time! True to our motto, enabling these students to succeed at creating their own AR experience made our day. We are already looking forward to hosting the next set of students!
Augmented Reality (AR) in its current definition is the overlay of digital information on a real-world view. In practical terms, it is the process of recognising specific physical objects in a device’s camera and superimposing digital content such as video, audio or 3D models.
Visual recognition is one aspect of AR which encompasses image, object, scene and facial recognition. Computer vision technology is used to identify shapes and patterns through a complicated set of mathematical models. These models and processes are all facets of Machine Learning (ML) that drive Artificial Intelligence (AI).
ML is the science of “teaching” the system to look for commonalities and patterns and assessing the probability that a match is found. Effectively, with a set of mathematical models in place, the system is fed a collection of information that represents a positive match. For instance, if we want to teach the system to identify a cat, we provide thousands of images of cats and let the system process and find common visual patterns across all the images.
This is known as deep learning where the outcome is a system that can recognise and track almost any pattern. With this capability, we can inject a virtual projection into the area that is being recognised and tracked to deliver, what is called, an augmented reality experience.
The power of AI and ML is being able to make decisions based on the real-world scenario. Let’s consider its application in a security surveillance system. A machine that has been trained to detect weapons, such as knives and guns, can be used to observe CCTV security vision. In real-time, it can look for patterns in the scene that resemble its definition of a weapon. If identified, a notification alarm could be raised for someone to act.
Pattern recognition is not limited to visual only. Auditory, gesture and other data patterns can also be “taught” using ML. Continuing with our security surveillance example, a trained machine could be used to listen to sounds in the environment and detect patterns of shouting or offensive language being used.
One of the hurdles in training a machine to identify patterns is sourcing enough material that is deemed a “positive match”. In these cases, systems are designed with feedback loops to allow machines to “learn by experience”. If for some reason the machine fails to detect what it is supposed to, it can be taught what was missing in the initial dataset and be trained to act on it the next time it occurs. All this is supported by an aspect of ML called “convolutional neural networks”. Different nodes that perform specific mathematical functions on the dataset are interconnected to achieve the specified outcome.
In a time when vast amounts of information is available at our fingertips, being able to recognise the world around us and decipher what is relevant will become critical. Whether at work, at home or in a social setting, successful real-world augmentation will rely on AI and ML observing and recognising our environment and adapting information to match our situation.
As hardware technology improves and wearable, handsfree devices become a reality, ML and AR will become an integral, yet ambient part of our lives.
Simon Galanakis is a passionate advocate of effective AR experiences and is currently Appearition’s Platform Architect and Senior Solution Designer.
Appearition invites users to join closed beta testing group for Enterprise SDK – here’s how to sign up.
Appearition is looking to recruit about 50 people to a closed, private group of beta testers to help in early builds of software for the EMS Enterprise Unity SDK. Eligible users would need to, be active in the Unity developer community, be willing to give feedback, and also sign a non-disclosure agreement.
Closed Beta program is an opportunity for us to listen to your feedback and refine or revise our product strategy based on that. It also helps us to find major bugs at an early stage and release more stable Open Beta and official builds.
The Closed Beta Group is the closest group to Appearition staff. Given the privacy aspect, you are required to sign an NDA (Non-Disclosure Agreement) with Appearition to be part of this program.
Register your interest here. Simply fill out the information required.
Disruptive technologies like Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) are redefining the workplace. Several jobs’ skill sets are constantly evolving, and several others’ scope has been widening.
Appearition and its team of researchers are always working towards solving tomorrow’s problems, thereby enabling others’ success. One such area of our research includes a project on drawing on immersive games experiences to develop tools for workplace support in the digital economy.
It is a collaborative research project between Appearition Pty Ltd and the Swinburne University of Technology. The project combines AR and AI informed by decades of game design, to develop a support platform for future modes of collaboration, workplace learning, and decision making.
‘Appearition is very committed to this research partnership with Swinburne University. Research and Development is one of the three main arms of our company. All our platforms and services have been developed after years of rigorous research and testing. We are also constantly working towards upgrading them to fit evolving technology and people needs,’ shares Vivek Aiyer, Founder, CEO, Appearition.
A transdisciplinary research team from Games and Interactivity, Immersive Experiences, and Data Visualisation are working with us, and the Swinburne Smart Cities Research Institute, to develop a prototype platform for supporting future workplace models in urban environments rich in IoT technologies.
As technologies reshape our workplace, it will require a new understanding of work to support these changes. Ventures such as Airtasker, Uber, and Airbnb are challenging traditional workplace models. They are predicated on fast-paced real-time interactions between employees, often geographically remote from each other. Although relatively simple, the core concepts of these new business structures can be applied within enterprises and between enterprise and external clients. Network connectivity, rapid exchange of data, and mobile display technologies are some of the well-established characteristics of smart city environments in which this work takes place. New platforms are needed to support these new work models, because they require employees to share and respond to real-time data quickly and collaboratively, in an improvisational construct.
Online multiplayer and location-based AR games provide a readymade platform for investigating how to achieve new interactions between employees. Multiplayer games host complex ecosystems of thousands of players with distinctive attributes and experience levels. Location-based AR games embed information within urban environments ensuring data is ready-to-hand. ‘Our project aims to develop a prototype platform to support the needs of workers in the digital economy using proven methods from these game design platforms. Collaborative task attainment, group formation, decision support, environmental information overlays, role management, inventory and setting of goals are key features that the prototype system will benefit from in drawing on game design to enable smart citizens to respond to change in the workplace,’ explains John McCormick, Lecturer in Interactive Media, Swinburne University.
Games are familiar to a large percentage of next-generation work seekers and therefore do not pose a huge cultural shift. The innovation in this project is to integrate widely understood methods for player organisation and interaction with a new approach to integrating AR and AI. These technologies are changing the nature of smart cities to work beyond data collection and IoT networks to explore how these can be made tangible and relatable to those living and working in urban environments.
AR does this through the real-time integration of data with the user’s environment and context. AI filters and connects the rich data of the IoT environments of smart cities to manage interactions between players, non-player characters, and the urban environment. While integrating AI and AR is not in itself new, our project will address how the relationships between users within a company can be supported and facilitated within this type of platform. However, these technologies can be disruptive in the workplace. Drawing upon game design methodologies this project will generate a new approach to the management of dynamic, timely information displayed fluently in the workspace.
Watch this space to know more on Appearition’s research projects. Get in touch with us to know more on using AR for your business!
Sarmistha Banerjee, Head of Solutions, Appearition talks on AR in Retail & Advertising, brand building and the future of ads:
Retail is a very competitive industry. How can one survive the cut-throat competition? (Especially in today’s time when an idea/product can spread easily, how does one manage to retain the unique selling point?)
- There is a big difference between shopping and buying. Pause and consider it. Shopping is largely “EXPERIENTIAL” whereas buying relates to a “TRANSACTION” activity.
For example, an online e-commerce transaction i.e. buying function is the end outcome of the in-store, online or personal browsing / shopping experience which can be tactile, fun, interactive or whatever. If retailers and marketers can hone in on this one thing: Moments that Matter, they are likely to generate a competitive edge over their competition by engaging customers in a meaningful way.
- A cloud-based PoS and retail management platform for running retail business operations seems like a no- brainer. The system would allow tracking of sales and inventory, in real-time and enable that data to be used intelligently to make faster business decisions. For example: What product sells on a weekday / weekend or during seasonal /promotional events; there is no need to wait until end of day / month to determine what’s hot and what’s not. In a nutshell, the Sales Cycle becomes short and compressed; this leads to less wastage of resources.
Digital Transformation is the tech talk of the hour. How do you think retail sector is reacting to it? (Are they adopting, are they cautious etc)
- Actually, Amazon has aced it. The rest are playing catch-up everywhere else. Balancing web-rooming and show-roomingis a journey for most retailers. This is highly dependent on the digital maturity of the business – how they overhaul and adapt their operations. Doing nothing will lead to inevitable demise.
- For those who delve into luxe, integrating innovation, customer experience and brand value is synonymous. The “BRAND IS THE EXPERIENCE.”
Retail is largely a B2C industry. For those businesses supplying B2B2C, what are the challenges in supply-chain?
- In retail, consumers on one side and providers/suppliers on the other (typical B2C) can be limiting. However, to achieve scale in a B2B2C scenario, the wholesaler must adopt business practices that connects them with multiple vendors seamlessly. Technology can therefore, be an enabler to build a retail centric ecosystem that leverages channels and community needs. With data intelligence, time to market and stocking products on shelves could be drastically reduced. B2B2C needs to compete hard for the ON-DEMAND economy and even capitalize on the SHARING ECONOMY.
How will AR/VR/MR help in branding and digital marketing?
- The immersive / interactive mediums allow infinite possibilities to capture human attention and provide sensory experiences that are quite unique. We are only limited by our imagination as to how AR/VR/MR can exploit this technology medium to connect with customers in an intimate way with their psyche. First movers, and early adopters have obvious advantages if the marketing strategy is executed well.
In your opinion, how should one work towards audience engagement through advertisements?
- Advertisements have become annoying and their messaging do not resonate with respective audiences any longer. That’s why people deploy Adbloc online in their browsers; people flick channels on television during Ad breaks; Print media needs innovation to keep up with new media ads; People are switching to paid streaming to avoid pop-up ads.
Clearly, marketers need to engage people and brands differently which makes the products /services/information relevant for the consumer.
Thus, advertising will become increasingly personalised in 2018. We’ve been on this trajectory for several years, but the use of audience data is now pervasive in all modes of digital advertising. In tandem with ad personalization, new interactive ad formats will aim to break through the noise and increase user engagement.
Home delivery, telephone order and e-commerce. What do these things have in common? They changed the way we shopped. Introduction of these technology/ideas, enhanced our shopping process. Similarly, Augmented Reality (AR) is set to alter the face of retail industry.
AR is highly scalable and has multiple uses across this industry. A look at some interesting ways in which AR is expected to grow:
Trial/testing of a product:
AR helps to bridge the gap between a customer’s perception of the product and the reality. This is the quintessential need for physical shopping or trial for a product.
Furniture: In 2013, IKEA – the Swedish retailer tested the ropes of AR, by launching an AR-based app. It used AR-overlay of 3D models of IKEA’s products on the real-time feed of the camera. It helps visualise how a product would look at a given space.
Shoes: Sneaker-maker Converse created an AR app in 2010. When one points a camera at their feet, the app overlays a projection of the shoe on their feet.
Clothing: Ever stood in a never-ending queue ahead of the trial room only to find the dress doesn’t fit you? Well, AR is about to change the game in clothing trials using overlay.
Japanese retail store – Uniqlo tried to address this concern by enabling an augmented trial room. This room had a mirror with an LCD screen that let you choose the apparel you wish to try. The app then overlays different colors of the clothing to help you make the best choice possible.
Virtual makeup trial: Sephora, the makeup retailer launched an app – ‘Sephora Virtual Artist’ that enabled overlaying different makeup looks. Once the customer scans the face using a camera, the app detects the different organs like nose, lips, eyebrows, skin etc and allows you to try a shade.
When shopping at a busy super-market, we are often sceptical of a product’s ingredients. The aisles are long and nearest assistant is pre-occupied. What if one had a personal assistant to share further information on every product? AR does just that, acting as your personal shopping assistant. Several retail big-wigs like Walmart, Tesco, Carrefour have been testing and experimenting with AR in shopping.
Chinese e-commerce retailer – Yihaodian, opened virtual stores across the country. This enabled consumers to shop on the go. The app has virtual shopping aisles; customers can select and arrange for a home delivery.
AR is already booming in several such retail verticals. Add the magic of AR to your business. To know more, drop us a message.
This blog is a re-written excerpt from an article first published in the Augment.com
Ravichandran Lakshminarayanan, Member, Board of Advisors, Appearition India speaks on Augmented Reality, Digital Transformation trends and the Indian market and more:
Your take on the AR/VR market in India.
Though AR/VR arrived, so to speak, maybe about three years back, significant impact or adoption (usage) is yet to be seen, be it in the consumer space (though we have VR centres in some malls or VR headgear sold with smartphones) or in the enterprise space.
AR/VR is certainly going to be a game changer for industries like retail, real estate, entertainment, and tourism in India.
Education is another area where we will see significant AR/VR adoption. (I foresee not only schools & colleges taking advantage of the power of AR/VR, but many other formal and non- formal fora including corporate/industrial training will take advantage of these frontier technologies).
The mobile market in India – Smartphones undergo constant metamorphosis. What features do you think they need to adapt to stay abreast with the AR/VR tech?
India is a price sensitive market. Today there are more than 300 million mobile phone connections, in India. Mobile phone sales literally skyrocketed, only because device prices came down drastically.
Mobile phones are going to drive AR/VR usage and it is very important that the AR/VR capable phones are priced right for the Indian market.
Next is content in local languages like Tamil, Hindi, Telugu, Kannada. For AR/VR to drive mass usage/adoption, local language content will be a key.
Last but not least, the devices(phones) will have to be more user-friendly than they are now.
Your take on digital transformation for businesses these days.
Today there is no business that can shun or stay away from digital transformation. The degree of transformation or rather what percentage of the business is digital versus non-digital may vary from business to business but there’s not a single business that’s 100% non-digital.
In the Indian context, this is so particularly after the introduction of GST.
Though it has taken time, businesses have understood the benefits of digital transformation.
How has the Indian market reacted to digital transformation so far? What are some factors that seem to aid it/ factors that act as a barrier?
The Indian market was quite reluctant to accept/embrace digital transformation, initially.
The reasons were:
- the market did not understand what digital transformation is.
- the market could not see value in digital transformation immediately
- digital transformation was taking firms/players out of their comfort zone
- firms were unsure of the payback period if they opted for digital transformation.
Slowly but surely as a few early adopters took hesitant steps towards digital transformation and started ‘seeing’ the benefits, more and more firms followed. Today, I dare say, there are very few firms, if any, that have not been touched at all by digital transformation.
Today everybody understands that digital transformation is not only inevitable but benefits all. Firms are still evaluating their ROI and hence the pace of adoption is not ideal yet.
There are obstacles and challenges, the foremost being connectivity not only in terms of speed and price but in terms of reach. There are still many areas in the country where connectivity is very poor or non-existent.
Technologies like 5G and other indigenous technologies and solutions, will hopefully, address this issue.
What are some barriers that companies face while venturing to a new geography?
In my opinion, the most important barrier is the culture. The culture in each geography is unique and the sooner companies understand the local culture the better for them. The next important challenge is to understand the local laws, business environment. There could be challenges in effective communication besides language differences. The pace at which things move, including the pace of business negotiations, can vastly vary. Distance and time could be a challenge, too. Finding and hiring people who are trustworthy and competent can be a challenge. Establishing franchises, signing up agents and other business associates may take longer than what companies ‘back home’ is used to.
What sort of obstacles did you face while setting up your e-commerce venture and how did you overcome them?
The very first challenge was not being able to register a domain name, from India.
(Internic was the only share registry and for registering any domain one had to pay $100; the only way to pay was online; this was not possible from India. I had to take the help of my sister in the US, who paid this $100 and we registered chennaionline.com on Aug 15, 1997.)
One of the foremost challenges for a startup in a sunrise industry, which the online space was, way back in 1997, was getting the right people to come on board. We leaned on friends and other contacts to get the initial few hires.
The next challenge was funding –VC/Angel funding culture, back then, was literally nonexistent. Raising capital as equity was very difficult if not impossible. Debt funding or in Indian parlance, a bank loan was the only option.
Banks lend against tangible assets – land, building, plant & machinery – and also insist on security for the loan. Here was a business that had no tangible assets (except some PCs and servers and switches and modems – assets that depreciated faster than the mercury rising in Chennai summer) and a business model that was at best vague (actually from the bank perspective, it was all Latin and Greek).
The Bank Manager professed he understood nothing but said he was impressed with my sincerity of purpose and sanctioned the loan. (“As a breed, we are risk averse, but if we do not take some risk to support highly qualified technocrats, when we get an opportunity, then we do not deserve to be sitting here”, he said!)
Though the potential of the web/online was fairly well established globally, India was slow to adopt or embrace this ‘new economy’ and hence every ‘pitch’ had to be from ‘ground zero’. One of our (founding team) important roles was to evangelise Internet & e-commerce; evangelise we did with passion and enthusiasm. This not only got us noticed but became a competitive advantage, too.
There were many more challenges including getting the right office space, etc.
There were so many Foreign Exchange rules & regulations that receiving or sending money out of India was a huge task. We did $ transactions wrestling with a plethora of forms and multiple agencies.
Do you see similar obstacles for firms these days, despite a bridge that filled the knowledge gap?
Certainly not. Thanks to information/knowledge available in one click, for anyone, and the more business-friendly environment, many of the earlier day business challenges do not exist. However, each new firm (or old firm) has a unique challenge. It is much like a baby’s growth – from conception to infancy to childhood to adolescence to adulthood – at every stage in the life of a firm, there are unique challenges. A successful firm is one which understands this and also understands every challenge is a possible opportunity.
Digital transformation will impact job roles in future. Hence, it is important to shape the role of an educator. Market leaders predict that Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality (AR/VR) will change the basics of how teachers teach.
Immersive technology will enter e-learning and classroom learning in near future, making teachers mentors first, says Michio Kaku, Physicist and Author. A recent Technavio study predicts that online higher education market in the US is set to grow at a compound annual growth (CAGR) rate of 20% until 2021.
If teachers start using technology as a medium of instruction whilst teaching, it will enable students to learn the ropes of this at an early stage.
Some ways in which teachers can use AR/VR technology in classrooms:
- Smart class: Moving away from traditional projectors or picture projects, teachers can use AR to overlay an animal or forest picture for a social science class or produce a square or hexagonal shape for geometry.
- Presentation skills: Adding fun to Powerpoint, teachers can promote the use of AR/VR and prompt students to learn further by pointing at an object.
- Beyond classrooms: AR/VR can be used anywhere with just a small, handheld device. This can enable teachers to make field trips and lab visits even more interesting with prompters and overlays.
The Technavio report further says AR in education market will grow steadily at a CAGR of more than 82% by 2021. Educationists say, students are increasingly interested in learning things that are aided with an augmented overlay or e-vision. In such an environment, the students are completely engrossed in the space around them. These enhance students’ cognitive and interactive skills.
AR/VR’s immense potential in the field of Education is picking up with several colleges inculcating it in their activities. A snapshot of how technology has added value to what they do:
Iowa State University
How does a player train at a centre on par to the field experience without having to visit one? That is where VR came-in handy for the students and faculty at the Iowa State University.
Virtual Reality Applications Centre
The University’s football coaches collaborated with the Virtual Reality Applications Center to recreate a live match effect just like at Jack Trice stadium to help players train.
The virtual action takes place in the C6, an immersive VR environment in the VRAC. The players wear a VR headset and practice in a live stadium setup with virtual opponents. This enabled students to place themselves in the centre of action.
Savannah College of Arts and Design (SCAD)
We might just be few steps away from an actual teleporting facility. In the virtual world, one can place themselves on the other side of globe at the touch of a button.
VR Recruiting Toolkit
People at SCAD have done just that, sending out Google Cardboards to 30,000 of their recruits last year, enabling them to view their campuses across the globe. The excitement of the students to view their home for next few years and the parental concern of where their ward will be resolved at the touch of a button.
Utilizing the other fruits of VR, the university took to AR to provide enhanced course catalog with AR videos and animations that aided course study for several students.
Texas A&M University – Virtual Campus Tours
VR campus tours have become tech fad at most universities. Texas A&M University unveiled immersive 360-degree VR tours at SXSW in March, showing how VR aides as a recruitment tool. The VR tours also relieve the management and students of having to work a mutually agreed date and time of tour as it enables tours from anywhere, anytime the student wants. Furthermore, the virtual tours provide a much-detailed over view of all the aspects in a campus as opposed traditional walk-in basic over-view.
Embrace excellence in the field of Education, setup your own AR/VR facility at just one click.
Based on an article that was first published in Edtechmagazine.com
It is common knowledge that as technology evolves, individuals are becoming more informed and driven to create content aligned to their passions. Think about the content you are seeing in your social feeds – your colleague’s oddball memes, Aunt Sue with puppy’s ears and your old school mate Trevor Lam and his latest “work of art” – everyone around us is getting more and more able to express their creativity and publish it too. Facebook Augmented Reality (AR) is going to allow people to express themselves a whole lot more.
Give everyone the power to share anything with anyone.
– Mark Zuckerberg
What is F8 – and why should you care?
The Facebook Developers conference (F8) was first hosted in 2007 – where the team at FB presented the social graph – or a rendition of the concept of a social network. Subsequent editions of F8 hosted similarly theoretical principles behind the evolution of the behemoth that FB is today. Essentially, this is the conference where they announce their next plans, and given how integrated FB is in our lives today – you might want to be aware of what’s ahead.
F8 2017: Facebook Augmented Reality
Earlier this week, at F8 2017, Mark Zuckerberg (Zuck!) shared an update on the next phase of FB’s 10-year product plan, originally shared in at F8 2016. Commencing with some warm up jokes about the release of Fast and the Furious 8 (the “other” F8 ) this week, Zuck proceeded to give us a snapshot of how FB plans to integrate AR into camera functions in their apps.
Mark Zuckerberg’s keynote from Day 1 of F8
FB, AR & Cameras – how do they come together?
In recent times, the FB family of apps (FB, Messenger, Instagram & Whatsapp) have seen the integration of camera icons across the board – enabling functions such as video conferencing. While these changes have gone unnoticed by some, it is estimated that the FB messenger app has 1.2 billion monthly users.
FB Messenger with camera Icon (Source: Forbes)
And how does AR fit into this equation?
Zuck went on to share a common understanding that AR is essentially used for three key purposes;
- The overlay of data onto the physical reality around us – such as messages or information
- The ability to add digital objects into our surroundings – like a virtual television or gaming avatars
- Enhancements to physical objects around us – like buildings or human faces.
Facebook Augmented Reality will work by aggregating these tools – the cameras within FB apps will allow users to create AR “experiences” – and they will seem quite familiar once you see them. AR is not rare – we’ve all seen it in one form or the other – quite possibly most recently in the form of Pokemon Go.
Now, we all know that Pokemon Go was a huge driver in bringing AR to the mainstream – even if it was little more than a temporary fad for most. You’ve also undoubtedly heard us go on about how the popularity of the game was influential in the voluminous cash injection industry players received in 2016. But this could very well be, to quote Led Zeppelin, when the levee’s gonna break.
Where might you have seen AR in action?
Some use cases we’ve found interesting
So how does it all work exactly? (A splash of technical jargon)
This vision comes to life with the incorporation of some technological building blocks;
- Simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM) – a technique borrowed from Artificial intelligence – enabling users to integrate digital elements into the reality in front of them
- 3D effects – capturing and interacting with scenes that you can explore and effects that you can adjust
- Object recognition – technology that can identify items around you, that can then be targets for the overlay of digital content
What about Virtual Reality?
AR and Virtual Reality align quite well, and in that vein, FB is launching a platform called Facebook spaces – where you can interact with people in a virtual environment through the Oculus Rift.
Facebook spaces (from F8 2017)
Meanwhile, we’ve been doing our own experiments with the Rift too!
Early days in terms of adoption – and the plan for an open platform
Zuck reiterated a key message around AR: It is yet in a rudimentary phase of development – and most of the use cases around us are still evolving too. Don’t expect the world to change overnight.
That being said, in offering an open platform and leveraging the huge universe that lives on FB – users will be able to create AR experiences on their own, and share them online. In doing so, new users will have access to parallel creations by fellow users from around the internet.
This spike in available content will invariably help everyone around us find AR experiences that fit their fancy – especially if this punt from FB is a good one – and at Appearition, we certainly believe Facebook Augmented Reality is going to be something special for all of us.
TV is old news, mobile is now, but AR is the next big thing
AR is truly magical. As such, it appeals remarkably strongly to young people.
Vuforia How To :
Cardboard / Gear VR :
Vive Setup & Input :
Custom Editor :
Shader (Shaderforge, a Unity asset) :