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Augmented Reality is Redefining the Way You Live

Written by Monica Savaglia
Posted April 23, 2018 at 8:00PM

“Augmented reality” has been a popular keyword in the past few years, and it has been especially popular this year.

I can't escape overhearing discussions about how augmented reality is going to change to world and how it’ll launch the next industrial revolution. While all that might seem a little hyperbolic, it’s not.

Augmented reality (AR) isn’t just a buzzword. It’s going to change the way we see the world and how we interact with it.

According to a report from Zion Market Research, the global augmented reality market was valued at around $3.33 billion in 2015 and is expected to reach approximately $133.78 billion in 2021. That’s a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of just above 85.2% between 2016 and 2021.

The future growth of augmented reality is hard to ignore. It’s happening right now, and it’s going to pick up even more in the coming decade.

Developers working at tech companies are researching and developing AR products that will benefit their company’s business and become a necessity for consumers.

While some companies are still working on gaining traction in AR, others are developing AR in a way that will be helpful to people like you and me. 

AR has a lot of creative possibilities. And those possibilities are going to help improve and fulfill our lives in ways we never thought they could.

AR Helping Children with Autism

One big improvement AR will provide is assisting children who have been diagnosed with autism.

Playing pretend as a child is more than just having fun — it’s also an important development activity that teaches children valuable social and emotional skills while also building their self-esteem.

Most children with autism, a neurodevelopmental condition that affects their ability to communicate and interact with others, have a hard time engaging in imaginative play, which naturally has as big impact on them into their adult lives.

PhD candidate Zhen Bai has designed an augmented reality system that could help children with autism incorporate more imaginative play into their lives.

The AR system Bai created includes a web camera, a computer, a 60-centimeter monitor, and foam blocks.

The foam blocks are marked with black and white patterns that resemble quick-response (QR) barcodes. These QR codes are similar to the ones you’ve probably seen at retail stores that you can scan with your smartphone to get more information about a certain product.

Basically, the computer detects the marks on the blocks and calculates their position and orientation, and then the program superimposes a 3-D model of a toy. On the computer screen, the child sees itself playing with the toy, not the foam block. This helps the child have more of an imaginative playtime because the real-life activity has been augmented.

The parents of eight of the 10 children who participated in Bai’s study reported that their children were more engaged in the AR setting. Some of those parents noticed that their children were performing activities that they never saw them do before at home.

Bai noticed that with the AR program, the children were engaged in imaginative play and continued to play in that way a lot longer than they would have without the AR system.

While there is still more to observe with Bai’s study, this is a step in a right direction that could lead to some amazing conclusions and possibly benefit the lives of many children.

AR is also improving the lives and healing process of post-surgical patients.

Guiding Patients Toward Recovery

According to Dr. Michael Mont, an orthopedic surgeon:

Falling is a top driver of injuries in older adults, and of special concern after a surgical procedure like a hip or knee replacement...

Right now, we do not have any tools to help patients identify and remove trip and fall hazards in their homes besides costly home visits or confusing brochures.

This is an important thing to keep in mind after having surgery. A fall or injury could hinder a patient’s healing process, which is why a company is using AR to help patients heal effectively.

San Francisco-based company PeerWell has recently added an augmented reality (AR) feature to its app platform that aims to help post-surgical patients manage their recovery.

PeerWell’s AR extension is similar to having a physician come to the patient’s home and properly set up surroundings to ensure a safe road to recovery.

The patient will use the app to essentially give a tour of their home. After the tour, the app will deliver an itemized list of hazards with images, so the user will be able to review how to adjust their space to reduce any future accidents.

PeerWell CEO Manish Shah said:

Until now, augmented reality has mostly been used in gaming. We’ve combined it with real-time image recognition powered by our AI to bring this life-saving tool to patients. This technology continues to put us years ahead of the industry. Most image recognition systems are trained using publicly available data sets. Here, there is no data set like this, so even the foundational data is proprietary.

This type of information could even be useful for talking post-surgical plans with doctors before the actual surgery, so the doctors can let you know of any adjustments that need to be made to make sure recovery is smooth.  

These are just a few ways AR is improving our lives and will continue to do so.

Every year the technology gets more innovative. The possibilities are unlimited!

Until next time,

Monica Savaglia

Monica Savaglia

Monica Savaglia is Wealth Daily’s IPO specialist. With passion and knowledge, she wants to open up the world of IPOs and their long-term potential to everyday investors. She does this through her newsletter IPO Authority, a one-stop resource for everything IPO. She also contributes regularly to the Wealth Daily e-letter. To learn more about Monica, click here.

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