Augmented reality (AR) has been picking up steam as of late. What is augmented reality? Download Pokémon Go and it will become crystal clear. This app has 20 million users in the U.S. alone, littering the streets with players on the search for all manner of wild Pokémon and Pokéstops, guiding you to that Pikachu or Magikarp hiding around the next corner.
In a nutshell, augmented (supplemented) reality games and applications take computer-generated sensory input such as sound, video, graphics or GPS data and augment a live direct or indirect view of a physical, real-world environment. In the case of Pokémon, GPS is used to lead users on a Pokémon-finding adventure.
But this tech goes beyond games. Many analysts and market watchers see AR as a more realistic option to virtual reality since it can be activated using just a smart phone, rather than a cumbersome headset that pins you down to your environment. After all, would you walk around your neighborhood looking for Pokémon with a huge pair of virtual reality glasses on?
Applications in the home automation market also open up. For example, you can use your smart phone’s camera to view your environment, and react to it, in real time. One innovative home automation company allows you to use your phone’s camera to scan a room and enact certain functions. Say you’re in the living room and want to turn on a light. Use the app to scan the room using your smart phone’s camera. When the lamp you want to activate appears on the screen, you can turn it on or off. The same home automation company allows you to use the camera in your phone to view your room and select a speaker when it comes into view, turning it on or off, adjusting volume, or selecting media. This type of technology can also be used to turn on or off or interact with your home appliances.
Even MIT is exploring ways to introduce augmented reality into our everyday lifestyles. For example, they created the Reality Editor app that marks objects all around you with a design that can be read by a smart phone. You can use it to turn on a lamp, open a car’s window or any other function that can be controlled over the Internet. The app opens up possibilities for the way we will control the Internet of Things moving forward.
The number of AR apps is growing every day and the size of the AR app market alone will reach $2.4 billion in revenues by 2019, so expect to see more AR invade the home in the future.
Of course, you don’t have to wait for that to happen. Come in or call us today to learn more about your home automation options, both now and in the future.