AR Applications: Education, Military, Retail, Tourism, Video Games, Medical, Architecture

  • Post last modified:24 February 2023
  • Reading time:20 mins read
  • Post category:Technologies
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AR has made possible for businesses and consumers to view and experience things that actually is not present in reality; thereby, creating deeper and more meaningful experiences. The augmented reality can be applied to almost all aspects of life. The following are some areas where we will see the application and use of augmented reality:

AR Applications in Different Fields

AR in Archaeology

Archaeology is the study of human activity in the past by recovering and analyzing material culture. The archaeological record comprises architecture, artifacts, biofacts, ecofacts, and cultural sites.

The most important factor in any archaeological site is the preservation of facts or materials found at the site. The presence of a human at such sites brings damage to the site. For example, our steps may wear the surface, floor, staircase, etc., oils from the fingers may spoil and wear the artwork, the moisture content in our breath may bring damage to the interiors and the caves, etc.

Augmented reality plays a very important role in archaeology. We can build a 3D model of the archaeological site in its exact dimension and utilize it for viewing the site from various directions, measuring different dimensions, noting down the various findings, revisiting the points of interest again and again, providing augmented information about the archaeological site and its history and other details, etc.

With the use of augmented reality, the physical visit to the sites can be avoided to prevent any losses and damage to the archaeological site due to human presence. The augmented reality 3D model can also be used for giving the tourists the same feeling of being present at the actual archaeological site along with useful information.

Therefore, it can be concluded that AR is useful in solving our purpose of examining, visiting, and getting information about the archaeological field and sites along with the prevention of any damage or loss to the site due to human presence.

AR in Architecture

The potential of augmented reality in architecture is huge. It can be used for architectural design, construction as well as demonstration purposes.

On a construction site, the ‘see-through’ walls would enable builders to view the structure and layout of the different pipes and ducting. Before actually placing the different types of furniture in a room after completing the construction, the furniture can be seen through augmented reality for its size, correct fitting, and appearance in a room.

While planning construction at various sites in the city, it can be ren- dered as a canvas for seeing the past, present and future buildings along with the augmented data. The city’s overall architecture, un- derground water and drainage system, etc. can be better visualised by making use of augmented reality.

By having the virtual elements stand in place of the real physical components, augmented reality could result in lots of savings on the material and fabrication costs of real-world models and prototypes. It would also help in performing architectural repair and maintenance tasks in a better way.

An Augmented reality can overlay a real construction site with a virtual generated design that is also at full scale. The platforms for augmented reality now enable customers to have a ‘Walking-Tour’ of a building that does not exist physically. They can view the outer design of the building even before the beginning of its construction. AR also helps in creating the interior design of the flat, office, or the entire building.

AR in Commerce

Augmented reality is also making its impact felt in the field of commerce. Many companies are now utilizing augmented reality in their product advertising and marketing. Earlier, customers used to select products by using the flat images provided online. But, now customers can have better interactivity with a particular product using AR without actually purchasing or placing that product.

They can even try different colors and textures for the same product and can choose the best match or the most suitable product. All this use of AR in business had boosted commerce a lot. According to a recent survey, most shoppers like to view the product by using AR/ VR devices. Consider the case of a well-known watchmaker TISSOT using AR and commerce to provide users with an environment where they can select watches in a better and highly interactive way.

Augmented reality not only empowers customers for making better decisions but also helps the brands to build a better credibility along the whole process.

AR would relieve the consumers from guessing and measuring whether a product would be a good fit for them may be it an item of furniture, a house, a car or clothes, etc. The augmented reality apps are all set to provide a better future in the field of commerce.

AR in Education

Augmented reality these days is playing a vital role in imparting educational information to children in an entertaining way. With the help of AR, 3D objects and models can be created that would be more clear and more interactive for learning purposes.

With AR, you can visually build basic skills in education. You can make use of built-in cameras to have a conversation among the animated characters when aligned with certain pages and sections of the books.

There are augmented reality apps that let the students go on an AR voyage through the library to know and understand where to find the needed thing and whom to ask for help. AR allows for more effective and far deeper engagement with native speakers when compared to many classroom lessons.

The students can point their gadgets to the sky and can see the currently visible stars and planets along with their names and with other additional ‘Astronomical’ information. The students may be asked to write the educational impact of their immersive AR experience.

With just a simple scan, the student would be able to obtain the aug- mented 3D model of the corresponding object may be it some figure, part of a body or some historical monument. The use of augmented reality in education would definitely change and enhance the overall teaching – learning experience.

Having augmented reality integrated into the lectures would result in capturing the students’ undivided attention. We can have 3D models of the complex and difficult concepts. By seeing the augmented reality 3D models, the students could have a better understanding of their study concepts. Figure 7.19 shows AR in education:

They would be excited by the new offerings and the ideas augmented reality has to offer and they would think critically about their surrounding and the world around them with a different perspective altogether. The following are some of the highlights of the use of augmented reality in education:

  • Interactive lessons
  • Higher retention
  • Portable learning materials
  • Enhanced learning
  • Foster intellectual curiosity
  • Makes learning easy & enjoyable

AR in Medical

AR can be used in the field of medical education and training as it can help in getting details of a patient and determine whether the patient is ready for various medical tests such as MRI. The study of anatomy would become much simpler and easy with the help of augmented reality. You can take an image of a bone and the information associated with it would appear there itself on the user’s screen and that also in real-time.

Remote medical assistance had become more accurate and widespread using AR. Moreover, there are AR apps that can even find the location of veins, valves, and other organs in the human body. Finding a vein in the human body is a cumbersome task that is now comparatively easier with the use of AR. The use of augmented reality in the medical field proves to be a boon for the whole medical community, especially for the patients.

According to a study conducted in the medical field worldwide, the following are some challenges that exist in this field:

  • No access to affordable, timely, and safe surgery for around 5 billion people worldwide

  • Annually, around 143 million (simple) operations are done

  • Requires around 2.2 million surgeons and the related staff

These issues and challenges can be solved up to some extent by making use of the augmented reality in the medical field.

AR in Military

Military operations are highly significant and diversified in nature. To deal with the new, more challenging, and demanding tasks, the military has started using AR in its various operations. It also uses AR while conducting the training of soldiers getting ready for any type of operation. Augmented reality is being experimented with and used heavily in the military for getting information about surroundings.

The major countries that have started using augmented reality in their military are USA, Israel, and Norway among others. In 2006, FFI – the ‘Norwegian Defense Research Establishment’ conducted an experiment with simulated augmented reality and the ‘Battlefield Management Systems (BMS)’. This was their first experiment and for this, they used the simulator which was developed in-house and was based on a commercial game.

The military of USA is using AR tools to train their airmen and other military personnel for the ever complex battle conditions. They inject virtual threats into a live battle environment and thereby teach their troops to operate and use the equipment in all conditions and capacities.

In order to have mission readiness, they are accelerating their train- ing efforts by using simulations and augmented reality environments and other innovative tools. Effective training is very important and a must in today’s operational environment which is not only complex but also becoming very critical.

To have special mention here, Israel has developed military software that lets their commanders see the positioning of troops from enemy points. They are also developing tools to enable medication on the battlefield. While receiving the needed guidance from the expert surgeons, they are preparing to treat the wounded soldiers using HoloLens glasses.

The other use of AR is to enable the soldiers to fix the military equipment on the battlefield itself making use of augmented reality tools. In addition to this, the AR glasses could also be used to monitor in real-time the ‘Psychological State’ of the soldiers.

AR in Navigation

A navigation system that is based on augmented reality integrates an AR display and removes any need for a navigation map. AR provides hands-free navigation. As it eliminates the need for maps, we get many safety and practical benefits. Apart from the navigational information, it also gives the user additional information about their surroundings.

AR in Industrial Design

Nowadays, even concept design software like Computer-Aided Design (CAD) is making use of augmented reality in ‘Product Design’. With the change in time, the design is becoming more collaborative and AR would prove to be very beneficial in this regard.

Designers are increasingly using AR technology in their designs to visualize different prototypes and hypotheses.They overlay the virtual elements of a service design onto the real-world design environment.

For example, if you are designing the interior of a car, the use of augmented reality would let you sit inside the design as you are creating it. It seems that the AR headsets would soon become a part of the design toolkit.

AR in Tourism

In the tourism industry, planning plays a very important role, and AR has the potential to revolutionize the tourism industry as it facilitates the planning process. In the tourism industry, planning plays a very important role, and AR has the potential to revolutionize the tourism industry as it facilitates the planning process.

It would completely change the experience of a traveler by assisting him/her in making the tour planning much more simple, interactive, and seamless. The process of hotel booking, navigating around the destination, ac- cessing detailed information about the location, etc. can all become handy and more convenient. During travelling, the navigation based on augmented reality would help a lot in finding the places which you want to visit.

While making decisions about the stay, AR would assist you in visualizing things before making any bookings. It enables you to take virtual tours of the hotels you would like to stay at and check out the hotel facilities and the other amenities offered to have a comfortable stay.

The tour operators can also leverage the augmented reality for their advantage. They can show the visual tour of the possible tourist locations, hotels and other points of interests which would definitely assist the tourists to make more informed decisions and more suitable choices. If you do not have any information about a particular site or a location, you can just point your AR enabled device or a smart phone towards it and you would get more details about it such as its name, its history and any other additional information associated with that spot.

You can check real time weather information, locate nearby Wi-Fi hotspots, information about nearby locations etc on your smart phone itself. You can even have translation of the various signs, messages/ instructions in other languages etc. using AR.

The benefits of AR in tourism can be enlisted as follows:

  • Self-exploration of monuments and landmarks
  • Interactive travel guides
  • Enhanced city tours
  • Real-time navigational directions
  • Visual tours of the facilities

Overall, augmented reality makes tourism more enriching, more fulfilling, and a more satisfying experience.

AR in Retail

In the retail industry, providing the best possible shopping experience to customers is key to success. So, they are constantly making use of the latest technological innovations to make this experience the best a customer can get.

Augmented reality would not only improve but also transform the retail industry. For example, consider the case of online retail glass frames. The user would like to try different frames on his face before making any choice. Now it’s a challenge for the retailer how to give this experience to the consumer.

Augmented reality has a solution for this. The user can simply upload his/her photo and the AR tool would let you try different frames on your photo. It would place all the possible frames onto your photo and you can select the most suitable frame for you.

Let’s take another retail example. If you want to purchase a shoe, you need not go to the store and try out different shoes in order to select which one look best for you.

which one look best for you. There are augmented reality apps available that let you sit in the chair at the comfort of your home. The only thing you have to do is point your smart phone’s camera to your foot and the AR app will show you the options of different shoes that can be worn on your foot. This helps you in deciding which pair of shoes looks good on your feet and suits you the best. It is observed that when a retailer is providing Hi-Tech options, the consumers spend more time in the store/site and also they spend more.

AR in Video Games

The video game industry is quickly adopting augmented reality technology in its games. AR becomes very interesting when used in video games. The video game industry uses AR to create life-like games and give us the most amazing gaming experience. They provide us with a feeling of being present right there in the game and performing the actions.

For example, there is a company known by the name ‘Total Immer- sion’. It makes video games software that applies AR to the baseball cards. What you have to do is simply download its software and then hold up the baseball card of yours in front of a webcam.

The software identifies the card and also the player on it. It then displays the corresponding video on your screen. You can move the card in your hand (it should be in the webcam’s view) and yes-the 3D picture on your screen would perform the necessary actions such as throwing the baseball at the target.

There is a video game known as ‘Pac-Man’. In this game, the users/ players in the real life can chase one another. The goggles worn by the users let them feel and look like the video game characters. Consider another game – ‘Scavenger Hunt’. This game makes use of virtual objects.

You can use your smartphone to put tokens around the city and then the other participants of the game will use their smartphones or the AR glasses to find these tokens or the invisible objects.

Article Reference
  • Kipper, G., & Rampolla, J. (2013). Augmented Reality: An Emerging Technologies Guide to Ar. Waltham (MA): Syngress.

  • Schmalstieg, D., & Höllerer, T. (2016). Augmented Reality: Principles and Practice. Boston: Addison-Wesley.

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