Augmented Reality in the World1)
Augmented Reality (AR) is advanced virtual reality technology that mimics the images in the real world by adding virtual images. However, this technique is different from what people already know as virtual reality or VR. The difference between the two technologies is the real world connection. VR completely blocks visibility and shows a 100% virtual reality, but AR overlays virtual objects in the real world. Because of the difference, AR harmonizes the real world with the virtual world, and users are unable to recognize the two environments as being different. Although the two technologies are similar, they have different characteristics, so the fields, in which two technologies are applied, also differ. In the case of VR, it is limited to areas such as games, education, and travel. For example, there are many VR experience cafés, which provide visitors a new type of experience. However, AR is being used in fields such as manufacturing, logistics, medical, and advertising. Compared to VR, AR is far less familiar among society. However, researchers expect its utilization will be much greater than VR because AR can be used both in fields where VR is used but also in new fields.
More and more fields are applying this augmented reality technique. The most common area people may encounter it now is shopping. For example, when purchasing clothes, people often wish to see themselves in the clothing in order to determine if the color or style matches them, but that can be cumbersome. Through augmented reality, people can easily view themselves wearing new clothes. In other words, it is easy for people to see themselves wearing the item they are considering to buy without actually wearing it. In addition, when purchasing furniture, people can see the furniture in the magazine in their home room to assess whether it is a good fit. Like these examples, AR is already being put to use in marketing, and researchers are incorporating the technology into their products. One such product is AR glasses. The glasses let people experience augmented reality. In the industry field, people wear these eyeglasses to view stock and check their work status without going to a specific place or department. Drivers can use the eyeglasses as navigation systems. However, the sale of the glasses was stopped in 2015 because of the high price and controversy over privacy issues. If the glasses do come into the world again, the society should prepare completely in order to avoid problems that will arise when people use it.
1) Kim Youngdae, “The Next One Following Smartphone Is ‘AR Glasses’”, YeonhapNews Northeast Asia Center Midas, December 21, 2018