This month’s blog post is an exciting one for the Fuzzy Logic team as Apple and Google are finally jumping into augmented reality (AR) in a big way.
Fuzzy Logic have been developing AR apps for over 6 years now and during this time we have always encountered the same questions from our clients: (1) How will people know about this? (2) How do I best use it?
Well, Apple and Google have given us the hardware to give a definitive answer to those questions and in the process, started an AR war between these two giants of hardware manufacturing.
In June 2017, Apple shared its new operating system, iOS 11, with developers and this included the exciting new AR functionality.
In fact, the new iPhone 8 and iPhone X announced to the public this week, fully embraces AR and Apple are eagerly promoting the virtues and possibilities of AR along with the opportunities it offers. Suddenly, Android (Google) then sprang into action and announced AR support on their devices….the war began!
However, this is more than a tussle at the top. What this means for developers, brands and anyone interested in AR is that by announcing these developments, Google and Apple have shown their hand with regards the importance they place on AR and this is very quickly translating into public awareness. AR has been catapulted from being a niche area into the next big innovation that everyone is talking about, which answers the first client question above. In addition Facebook, Snap and a range of hardware companies (Meta, Microsoft Hololens, ODG and more) are all readying products aimed at the mass market and commercial enterprises. In the next few months and into 2018, Fuzzy Logic firmly believe that the buzz around AR will increase and this will result in the public and corporations demanding more AR products, rather than seeing them as niche opportunities.
Suddenly our little AR island has become a resort with everyone trying to get involved, with something for everyone. And we love it. We see endless opportunities for ourselves and our clients and we can’t wait to now use our experience to guide you through this next key phase in digital transformation.
To answer the second client question from above, we need to get a bit technical, but it’s exciting. In the past, AR apps could be a bit gimmicky as they were mostly used for marketing opportunities. The app recognised a logo or image (a marker), which activated content, all a bit like a glorified QR code. There will still be a segment of the market that will use this type of AR experience, but the constraints around AR are being removed as the technology improves. We can now for instance:
- Recognise the real world environment, specifically surfaces like tables and floors. This allows us to create content on top of these items/places without markers to activate the experience. So for instance we can draw directions onto the floor as you walk through an airport, or instead of an instruction manual we could make a 3D character appear alongside you and help you build your new purchase.
- Recognise points in the real world and get information back from them. A great example of this is a developer who created a tape measure – you point your phone at a corner, move it to the next corner and the tape measure tells you the distance between the two points! Building companies can for instance very quickly measure up a room and then display their wares virtually.
- Display content in real life as if it were right in front of you with realistic lighting and shadows all added dynamically. If you for instance wanted to see the latest sports car it could pop up in your driveway and you can change colours dynamically and even swap out the accessories.
- Content is not constrained to your location. You no longer need to look at an image and stay tracked on that image to enjoy the AR experience, in fact you can look away and the content will follow. Imagine you’re in a museum where a virtual tour guide appears when you purchase a ticket. As you walk into the museum, she leads the way, talking to you and telling you interesting things about the exhibits, as if she was real.
In other words, AR is no longer limited to a specific object, position, place or time. It can literally be used anywhere. Want a rocket to land in your pool? No problem. Want to see your choice of furniture in your office before you buy? Done. Need to show a client what a house will look like on the site before it’s been built? Sorted.
The next question we anticipate is now “do we need a new iPhone or Android though”.
The answer is no, as iPhone 6S and above will support this upgrade while Android devices with OS 7 and above will work as well.
Suddenly, the merging of technology and software has made AR a simpler, more believable and engaging experience. We’ve moved from gimmick to useful, from exciting to compelling – and Fuzzy Logic are here to help you navigate this amazing new world.
ARkit & ARcore… Apple and Google are finally jumping into augmented reality.
With over 6 years award winning experience in the field of AR, combined with over 20 years of AAA games industry experience, Fuzzy Logic are uniquely positioned to harness this exciting improvement in technology to create more compelling, seamless AR experiences for business and industries that may have never considered AR as an option before.