It is impossible to talk about Augmented Reality without mentioning Artificial Intelligence. Many of these applications require massive data processing that would not be possible otherwise. Moreover, it would be unthinkable to perform effective object and image recognition in any other way than through AI.
The synergies between the two are only increasing due to the period of digital transformation that industries are going through. Artificial Intelligence takes Augmented Reality to the next level, improving its performance and multiplying its use cases.
Interesting developments for both companies and society are emerging from the interaction between the two.
What is Augmented Reality?
Sometimes this term is confused with Virtual Reality and Mixed Reality. Although there are coincidences, augmented reality not only creates virtual elements to interact with, but also integrates them into the real world.
Augmented Reality systems use three inputs to obtain all the information from their environment:
- Spatial information in two dimensions.
TrAfter this, it integrates the virtual elements in three dimensions taking into account the position and movement of the camera. In this way, the digital aggregates will move taking into account the real environment in which we are moving. This is called simultaneous localization and mapping.
Many analysts agree in pointing out the dormant potential of this technology. They point out that, only when there are devices with high capacities to use it and with accessible prices, it will finish maturing.
The Augmented Reality market will grow to 220 billion dollars by 2027, according to a study by ABI Research. At the same time, the number of glasses to support this technology will reach 40 million units.
These figures are more than significant. They not only give an idea of the future of these technologies, but also validate the argument that Augmented Reality needs Artificial Intelligence to function successfully.
Can Augmented Reality be understood without Artificial Intelligence?
Augmented Reality has more and more applications in all layers of society. The number of devices that support this technology has skyrocketed in recent months, as well as the number of applications that make use of it.
Augmented Reality does not simply consist of superimposing a virtual layer over the reality that a camera captures. There are many factors that make it possible to deploy an immersive and valuable experience for users.
The advantages of combining Artificial Intelligence and Augmented Reality are the following:
- Content. Processes are accelerated and result in more and better applications than you would get from the technologies separately.
- Improved capabilities. Augmented Reality reaches its full potential when combined with Artificial Intelligence. The generated environments are much more immersive and the user experience much more satisfying.
- Data generation. The use of these technologies creates valuable information for developers. The feedback emitted allows the improvement of ongoing developments and/or gives ideas for other derivatives.
- Security. Especially in industrial environments, Augmented Reality and Artificial Intelligence replaces human operators in risky operations.
- Productivity. In the world of work, they make it possible to speed up tasks. Synergy has proven to be particularly effective in assembly lines, where it can reveal to human operators tasks to be performed in real time while they have both hands free.
Other technologies derived from this interaction include the following:
Artificial Intelligence enables uses that were not possible simply with simultaneous localization and mapping. It enables what is called image segmentation, which are algorithms that draw masks in seconds on the people or objects it captures and distinguishes them from their background. This is very similar to what happens in video calling applications.
This technology allows for much more realistic experiences. hus, it can hide parts of the person or object captured if their position in space suggests it. In this way, the projected virtual images are better integrated into the environment.
Along the same lines, depth maps based on machine learning accurately perceive the position of objects in space. The estimation is now done in real time and flickering, one of the main stoppers in the adaptation of these technologies, is avoided.
Thanks to this, the virtual elements can act with the entire geometry of the space. It is possible to do all this only with a cell phone and specific software. However, there are devices that take full advantage of these developments, such as smartphones with lidar. A device that launches light pulses and measures the response time to recognize the space more effectively.
Augmented Reality, AI and education
One of the sectors in which the link between these two technologies is reaping the most success is education. Subjects or didactic units that used to be a challenge for teachers and students can now be assimilated more easily by taking advantage of these resources. The learning curve is significantly reduced in these cases.
Students experience experiences closer to reality with the combination of both technologies. The combination of Artificial Intelligence and Augmented Reality makes it possible to recognize objects in three-dimensional spaces, creating totally immersive experiences in the classroom.
For the synergies between Augmented Reality and Artificial Intelligence to be effective in the educational environment it is necessary:
- Trained teachers. Teachers must not only be experts in the subject to be taught with Augmented Reality. They must also know the technology to make effective use of it.
- Methodology. These didactic units must be organically integrated into the curricula of educational centers.
- Equipment. The devices to be used in these immersive experiences must guarantee the success of the sessions. They must be up to date and have the necessary technical capabilities. The so-called projects rooms, virtual glasses and up-to-date software are essential.
Although some people talk about personalized education tailored to the learner through technology, the truth is that this will not happen in the short term. What will be possible is to adjust the content and its difficulty according to the level of the course in which the unit is taught and according to the student’s abilities.
This will not only lead to changes in training processes, but also in the world of work. Human resources selection processes are changing due to the implementation of this technology. Moreover, by 2030, it could create 60 million jobs in Europe.
The role of machine learning
Another technology with a direct impact on the use of Augmented Reality is machine learning. This symbiosis is already having a direct impact on sectors such as ecommerce, education and retail.
Through machine learning, Augmented Reality systems learn from the environment they capture. They are also able to react in real time, providing the user with a unique and, until recently, unthinkable experience.
These algorithms not only evolve as they interact with the environment, but also with the user. Thus, it adapts to tastes and needs gradually and discovers new content based on the information gathered.
Augmented Reality, Artificial Intelligence and automotive
If there is a productive sector that is benefiting significantly from this symbiosis, it is the automotive industry. Newly manufactured cars are incorporating more and more sensors of different types. Augmented Reality assistants using AI not only improve the driving experience. Among other developments, they achieve:
- Reducing the number of blind spots while driving.
- Warnings about unexpected events on the road.
- Creation of navigators in the main window of the vehicle.
Augmented reality has not only changed the driving experience. For years, the design phase has been using this technology to develop innovative models that were not previously considered.
This application is not only valuable from a purely industrial point of view. It is also of environmental value. The new design processes reduce the carbon footprint by opting for 3-D digital design instead of the previous analog processes. Paper for sketches and clay for modeling are history.
A value relationship
Although they are independent technologies, Augmented Reality cannot be understood today without Artificial Intelligence. From the combination of both arise new applications and contents that are not only changing the way of teaching, producing and selling.
Augmented Reality goes far beyond adding a virtual layer to reality. Today it is possible to create immersive experiences that create a valuable user experience.
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