Augmented Reality can take the uncertainty out of shopping.
The Augmented Reality industry is expended to swell over the coming years, and as a result, we can expect to see the technology becoming more and more mainstream. AR developers will drive the technology so that it will impact in many industries, and retail is no exception.
Online shopping has already made the process easier, and overlaying data onto the real world is another step-up. More and more different brands, producing different products, will find uses for Augmented Reality in their business.
Take, for example, buying beauty products.
Using AR, you could easily see how different shades of makeup would look on you, without having to go through the hassle of wiping layers off and re-applying them. As well as this, for anyone who may be self-conscious about trying on make-up in store, augmented reality allows one to do it from the comfort of your own home.
Another use would be buying furniture. Being able to instantly see whether, for example, a sofa will fit through the door, rather than finding out when it’s too late, removes some of the stress, as well as streamlining the purchasing experience. And even before making the purchase, you can use AR to visualise how various piece of furniture would look in your home, before making your mind up about which one to buy.
The same is true of clothes as well, with some shoe companies creating an app to let you try them on before you buy, albeit in the virtual domain.
Augmented reality is going to link well to the rise of wearable technology, and all us to interact with data on a physical level, fundamentally altering our relationship with information. Shopper will undoubtedly benefit from the onset of AR, and so will retailers, who should be excited about the potential boost in sales on offer.
As well as this, the experience will become more streamlined and personalised, which builds trust between consumers and retailers, which can be mutually beneficial for both parties.
AR and dining – how Augmented reality will improve our eating experiences.
Going out for a meal is a very popular activity, and yet, up till now, has largely avoided the opportunities presented by Augmented Reality.
But this is changing rapidly, and to that end, we have compiled a list of areas in which the advent of virtual and augmented reality technology is going to impact.
For a start there are many unknown factors that we consider when picking where to eat, whether it is child-friendly, for example. Traditionally, Googling the website and reading some online reviews might have been sufficient, but with AR technology, this information is even easier to find.
Apps are being developed to give you an immediate list of restaurants local to your area, delivering a greater understanding of the options available to you. Using GPS technology and your phones camera, the information can then be simply overlaid onto the real world, providing you with instant information about local eateries.
The technology also exists that allows you to actually visualise the meal in 3D before you order it. Given that the aesthetics of a meal has a signficiant impact on the overall experience, this seems like an excellent way to ensure your dining experience is a good as possible. The amount of information your brain takes in visually is astounding, and visualising the meal before it arrives is a great way to decide if you want it or not. There is also the suggestion that this kind of technology can make the service process more efficient, especially if the restaurant is short staffed.
Augmented reality also allows for the possibility of allergy information to be overlaid over dishes, so as to help avoid any accidental ingestion. This adds a level of convenience to a process that is often made quite difficult due to the relative incomprehensibility of food labels, imagine this integrated into the shopping experience, selection of produce by those with allergies could become much easier.
Finally, Augmented Reality provides a great opportunity for advertisers, providing an easy way to get their brands exposed to a large audience. Bringing the menu to life is an excellent way for marketers to entice customers towards their products.
Animmersion to Host Exclusive Event Launching Digital Technology Firsts
We are delighted to announce we will be hosting an event on the 23rd and 24th of January that will see Animmersion premiere the largest mixed reality display ever designed.
Hosted alongside the manufacturers, RealFiction of Denmark, the event is a UK and European first and will see the official launch of a new mixed reality display – known as DeepFrame – together with a brand-new 3D hologram exhibition – the Dreamoc Diamond.
Both DeepFrame and Dreamoc Diamond will be launched in front of a UK audience made up of many of the world’s highest profile brands across retail, design and manufacturing.
Unique to the industry, DeepFrame presents living images as a virtual layer overlaid on real world visuals, in any size and distance, using filmed or 3D animated content in full colour and at 4K resolution. The Dreamoc Diamond is a large and elegant unit that allows real objects and 3D holographic images to be blended together and experienced from all four sides of the display simultaneously.
As one of the Realfictions chosen partners, supplying to clients across the globe, Animmersion is delighted that the DeepFrame and Dreamoc products are to be premiered at our very own exclusive event. This follows a very successful US launch – earlier this month – at the global consumer electronics show CES 2018 in Las Vegas with both Animmersion and RealFiction present at this event.
Alongside the launch of these two products, we will also be showcasing our current mixed reality displays, super-size 3D holographic displays, VR/AR technologies and Interactive digital presentations systems to both key and prospective clients. Designed to provide an insight into all our latest cutting-edge digital visualisation products and services, the event will showcase to the many visitors attending just how the latest digital visualisation solutions can enhance their business offering and where their use is most appropriate.
As well as offering the opportunity for attendees to try the technology for themselves the Animmersion team will also be on hand to answer any questions on the latest technology to hit the digital visualisation market and how content can be created for it.
Exclusive European Launch of the World’s Largest Mixed Reality Display
We are hosting an exclusive two-day event to premiere the largest mixed reality display ever designed.
The event has attracted an array of high profile retailers, designers and manufacturers from across Europe and will be co-hosted by RealFiction of Denmark – a leading global manufacturer of mixed reality solutions.
To be held in Central London on the 23rd and 24th of January, the event – a UK and European first – is primarily to launch two products.
The first is the Dreamoc Diamond, a large new 3D holographic display which boasts 360-degree visibility, allowing it to act as focal point and centrepiece for exhibitions and displays.
Designed and developed in collaboration with Danish designer Steffen Schmelling, the Diamond allows real objects and 3D holographic images to be blended together and has been expressly designed for exhibition and event use across a range of industrial sectors including automotive – but to function equally well for point-of-sale promotion efforts in shopping and retail situations.
The second new product is DeepFrame, the world’s largest mixed reality display, newly designed by RealFiction. DeepFrame enables viewers to experience breathtaking images and animations as a virtual layer on top of the real world. Its game-changing capability is the ability to produce visualisations of any size, depth or distance, for example allowing a bridge or a castle to be superimposed on a real cityscape, or dinosaurs to roam across real galleries or gardens.
The US launch took place last week at the global consumer electronics show CES 2018 in Las Vegas with both Animmersion and RealFiction directors present.
Speaking about the launch, Dominic Lusardi, Managing Director of Teesside based Animmersion UK said:
“We are delighted to be hosting this event to show industry professionals how they can use the latest innovative solutions to enhance their business offering. The Diamond offers a real wow-factor. In a retail setting, for example, users can show flowing animations evaporating from a real perfume bottle – or highlight the intricate features of large products like designer furniture or cars, or anything else that takes the imagination.”
To accompany the launch of the holographic and mixed reality products, the event will also feature other digital tools, including Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR), so that delegates can see the new products at first hand, but also compare them with other digital tools. Dominic said:
“The ability to compare is important – often these technologies work best in combination – so it is important to us that our clients understand what is new, but also how to combine new tools with existing ones in order to fulfil their individual needs.”
Established in 2006, Animmersion is one of the country’s leading designers and suppliers of digital tools – dashboards, user interfaces, apps and animations – and work across a number of sectors including offshore & subsea, energy, process industries, engineering, construction, defence and retail.
For more information contact: Ian Robson Animmersion UK 01642 688091
How Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality could impact on the future of healthcare.
When it comes to entertainment, the uses and applications of Virtual and Augmented Reality, or VR/AR, are well documented. The devices are already familiar to tech buffs and gamers alike, with seemingly weekly new developments, from apps to fully fledged video games, being announced.
But beyond the field of the entertainment industry, there are many sectors in which the correct application of VR could be extremely beneficial for everyone involved, and nowhere is this truer than with healthcare.
In terms of training, a problem that traditional, mannequin based techniques have suffered from is their lack of customisability. If clinical skills training is to be as effective as possible, then variety is key. Otherwise, the process seems artificial to the student.
Realism is another issue that VR can hopefully help with. With standard training methods, the mannequin that the student touches, doesn’t feel real at all in most cases, and the more realistic iterations of the mannequins can cost up to £100,000.
As VR technology becomes more sophisticated, then the realism, and so, the overall effectiveness of the training will increase. And despite the common misconception that VR can be occassionally an isolating experience, it actually allows for more collaboration between teams who may not even be working in the same country.
As with all technology, initially, the prices will probably be high. As mentioned earlier, a top of the range, highly realistic mannequin set, complete and ready to use, can cost up to £100,000.
Initially, is it even possible to replace this with VR? And in terms of costs, would it be cheaper? Well the first question, to give a short answer, is yes. With the correct management these training processes could be replaced with VR. But in terms of costs, the answer is less clear cut.
Right now, it may not be possible to match the quality of the mannequin for the same price, as VR technology is fairly new. But with time, and investment, the prices will drop right down, and in the not too distant future, VR could be a viable and cheaper alternative. The question is when and where to invest, so that the process is as quick as possible.
Now this isn’t to say that VR will ever completely replace more traditional, hands-on methods. The human factor will always have to be taken into account, and as with flying, there is a common school of thought that no amount of simulation can prepare you for the real thing.
But VR can bridge the gap, so that when a student finally moves on to a body, the transition is as seamless as possible. It also means that, when it comes to practicing potentially dangerous procedures, the risk to the patient is reduced. Some of these procedures could do serious damage if performed incorrectly, and the first time you try it the success rate is going to be far lower than the hundredth time. Using VR as a bridge in this sense, will be beneficial for everyone, both student and patient.
But there are risks involved. The primary one being that VR is not yet adapted to our human biology.
We don’t know the ramifications, in terms of eye health, that occur when one spend hours every day staring at a screen a few centimetres from our eyes. As well as this, there is the issue of desensitisation. This is a common issue that has plagued the gaming industry for a while. But whilst a degree of empathy and care is obviously important, a certain level of desensitisation is as well. Doctors have to deliver heart-breaking news, and perform life threatening operations every day. Without a degree of desensitisation, their job goes from hard to impossible, and, counterintuitively, becomes more dangerous for the patient.
Would you want your brain surgeon terrified at the complexity of their forthcoming task, or would you want them to just get on with the job at hand? Another potential problem is the necessary incorporation of big data. In order to have a versatile and accurate simulation, a lot of information, much of it personal medical information is required. This is a concern because it puts at risk people’s right to privacy, and risks doctor patient confidentiality.
This problem is averted by making it clear that information stored is used for training purposes only, completely anonymously, and will remain within the realm of medical education.
The development of AR platforms could catalyse ground-breaking developments
Two competing AR platforms, one developed by Google, and the other by Apple, could be the battleground upon which new and ground-breaking developments in the field of AR occur.
Apples ARKit hasn’t even been launched yet, but developers are already creating a variety of different demos for a number of toy-like apps.
But the platform has the potential to host more serious programs, like the Ikea app demonstrated at a recent conference, where users can size up real furniture and how it would fit in their room, from their phone.
And Ikea aren’t the only big company Apple have teamed up with, developments with The Food Network, AMC TV and Giphy have all been announced. The platform is easy to use, and allows you to go from idea to finished app in merely 6-8 weeks. With Apples giant audience, the ARKit will be used by Mac, Iphone and IPad developers, which will create huge interest in the kit, and promote greater developments in the field.
And Google, eager to put themselves on the forefront of progress, have also developed their own AR platform, called ARCore, which is akin to ARKit, and will be available for Google’s 100 million Android users. ARCore is built into Google Pixel and Samsung Galaxy 8 phones, and Google is apparently developing 2 experimental AR platforms, one of which can support Apples ARKit.
But even with all these developments we need to avoid the propensity for gimmicky, one-trick pony apps and the fact that they tend to drain battery life rather quickly will continue to be barriers preventing AR from entering mainstream consciousness quickly.
AR can be a fantastic tool, used for so much more than merely overlaying cartoon like characters on the world around us.