As smart technology continues to get smarter, so too does the hardware that actively changes our perception of reality.
Augmented reality has really immersed itself in the public consciousness in recent years, and with it comes more hope of a world that’s better connected, educated, and more resourceful.
When it comes to the practical implications of AR, there are very few industries left untouched by the burgeoning technology – from gaming to home improvement and fashion – and to help illustrate this, let’s take a look at four augmented trailblazers in the tech world today that are carrying very different purposes.
Vuzix Blade AR
Augmented reality glasses have been causing a stir in the market for some time now. Ever since the innovative but ultimately flawed advent of Google Glass, the industry has been ready for a successor to come and take the baton. Step forward, Vuzix Blade.
Gearing up for a 2019 release, Vuzix’s glasses have been winning plaudits and fans across the world through convention and exhibition appearances. Wearable were so smitten with the technology that they announced that the Blade AR may just represent the ‘best move toward mainstream AR glasses’.
The Vuzix Blade AR is a trailblazer thanks to its intuitive and cutting-edge features – all packed into a discreet and aesthetically pleasing piece of kit. There’s an 8MP camera on board, 4GB of storage, and healthy two-and-a-half hours of battery life packed into the understated framework.
The beauty of this particular pair of AR glasses is its seamless integration with Alexa, providing turn-by-turn navigation, as well as location-based alerts (Wearable compares the function to ‘Yelp’ reviews), and messages all under the bonnet.
Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus
AR may not be a particularly new concept to mobile devices, Samsung has come up with some very left-field ways of integrating the technology into their latest handset, the Galaxy 9 Plus.
The hype around Pokemon Go may have died down, with the app providing many of us a taste of AR in action, but the symbiotic relationship between handheld devices and augmented reality is very much alive and kicking.
The S9 Plus utilises AR for both recreational and more practical means. Reimagining Apple’s Animoji with the phone’s own AR Emoji, which uses an 8MP camera to analyse a 2D image of you before mapping over 100 different facial features into a 3D avatar – with much hilarity and light-hearted fun ensuing. The AR Emoji is easy to save and share on any third party application, too.
A more practical wade into the realms of Samsung’s augmented reality capabilities comes in the form of Bixby. As far as smart assistants go, very few in the industry are smarter than Bixby.
Bixby Vision offers a comprehensive range of features through the Galaxy S9 Plus’ cameras. From live translations to location-aware detailing of landmarks. It can also identify food – just in case you’re unsure of what you’ve ordered when it arrives on the table.
Bixby even has an augmented makeup mode – where users can try out various blushers, mascara and lipsticks via partnerships with CoverGirl and Sephora cosmetics brands.
The Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus is available now at prices ranging from £32 per month, but it pays to do your homework to find the right deal for you.
The Yeehaw Wand is paving the way for a more creative approach to AR technology. This tool enables users to draw their own 3D objects and images with the world around them as a canvas through the use of an integrated piece of hardware that connects with a smartphone or tablet’s app stores.
This intuitive piece of kit could be a great innovation for illustrators and designers alike, with users gaining the power to accurately trace objects or simply draw in open space. The Yeehaw Wand also connects with 3D printers, enabling designs to be plucked from augmented reality and pulled into real-life.
Billed as an excellent option for creatives who want to 3D print but don’t like the idea of relying on CAD to bring their ideas to life, the Yeehaw Wand is currently available to order on Kickstarter with over $50,000 dollars already pledged to the project. The AR tool has also received a GadgetFlow Innovation Award and comes at a cost of $99.
Occipital Structure Sensor
A godsend for DIY dabblers everywhere and designers alike, the Occipital Structure Sensor allows users to build accurate renders of rooms and spaces through AR technology.
Coming in the form of an add-on to an iPad, the Structure Sensor clips onto the built-in camera to provide the tablet with a wealth of depth perception that guarantees accurate measurements and the capture of dense and complex 3D models at the touch of a button.
The Structure Sensor is quick and flawless with its captures, helping interior designers to accurately render designs for their projects and create a canvas for an entire home – which can then be converted into CAD format programs like SketchUp, AutoCAD and Revit.
Occipital’s Structure Sensor is widely available as an add-on to iPad and prices start at $379.