The budding technology, which brought you the wonderment of SnapChat dog-face-filters and Pokémon Go (that game that drove the geeks into a frenzy and made them leave the house for the first time in ages so they could catch Picachu in the street?) is now making major strides beyond your mere amusement.
Augmented reality (AR) is the superimposition of computer-generated images or videos on top of the users’ real worldview through their cameras lens. In other words, you can point your Yelp app down the street and your camera will show you reviews of the restaurants you can see, in real time.
Although the tech has been around for a while, companies have only just started recognizing it’s potential. A report from AR/VR adviser Digi-Capital showed that virtual reality (VR) and AR companies raised $3.6 billion in the 12 months to Q1 2018 globally.. It is also leading to a “who is going to be the first one to crack it” war that couples with the ongoing camera war in the cellphone industry. Be it Samsung with their new “try on Sephora’s new line of make up and buy it in camera” applications which are going head to head with Huawei’s “try out this new Porsche in your garage.” (iPhone on the other hand is still stuck in the world of “Ooooh, look at this 3D dinosaur on your work desk.”)
Besides mega pixel envy and lens clarity, what’s making this battle possible is the introduction of Artificial Intelligence (AI) into the palm of your hand. Thanks to the smarts of Bixby (Samsung) and the Kirin 970 chipset (Huawei), your cellphone camera is now smart enough and able to process information fast enough to allow you to overlay a whole new interactive world on your screen. Soon you will be able to casually see Google-able information about every single thing outside your bedroom window fully integrated into your world view, something akin to Ironman’s or the Terminator’s heads up display.
But it doesn’t stop there. Up until now AR has been hindered to a single view experience. Sure, you can create and look at a 3D generated Porsche in your garage but only those looking at your phone in that instant can see it. And if social media has taught us anything it’s that if you can’t share it, did it even really happen? Now thanks to recent launch of Umbiquity6, an AR app created by a startup of the same name, you can share your AR experiences with up to 10,000 others. When the startup’s co-founder and CEO, Anjney Midha, was travelling, he felt a profound sense of wanting to share what he was seeing with his family and friends – thanks to Umbiquity6 you can scan your surroundings in 30-seconds and let others experience your reality with you by augmenting them into it.
Futhermore, AR experiences normally end the minute you move on to something else, now thanks to the merger of AI, AR and tech created by Umbiquity6 you can have a single ongoing experience that continues in spite of you not being there. Example? Generating a virtual augmented pet lion that learns and thinks for itself thanks to AI tech, that you can leave and come back and visit. Talk about Tamagochi 2.0.
WATCH | Umbiquity6 AR experience: How to tame a lion:
New responsibility free pets, fun new ways to cheat on tests and a whole new definition to beer goggles will become common place sooner than you think. All in all, soon if you’re not happy with what you see or satisfied with the life you’ve got you can always augment yourself a new one. What would be the first thing you’d change?