Augmented Reality: The Future is Here Now!

The following article is based on my own interpretation of the said events. Any material borrowed from published and unpublished sources has been appropriately referenced. I will bear the sole responsibility for anything that is found to have been copied or misappropriated or misrepresented in the following post.

Glen Savio Palmer, MBA 2015-17, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur

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Ever since the dawn of the information age, man has striven to delve into the realms of a virtual world. The technology of Virtual Reality (VR) has shifted from being a mere science fiction concept to something which a lot of us can afford and use at our homes. However, critics have always been vocal about VR. “It ruins the real world experience, turning us all into robots”, they say. However, as always, technology has a solution to their problems. And that solution is Augmented Reality (AR).

Augmented reality is a means to change the way we interact with the world around us. One doesn’t have to leave the real world to experience its benefits. Wouldn’t it be great to be able to sit in the comfort of our rooms and interact in full 3D with our loved ones who reside a thousand miles away? Or to take it to another level, couldn’t countless lives be saved if a doctor from New Delhi is able to interact with patients in the far flung areas of Rajasthan in full 3D by being present there via an augmented reality technology? The possibilities for this technology are immense in every field, be it education, business, research, medicine, engineering or administration.

Two of the world’s software giants, both headed currently by Indian Nationals, have stepped forward and taken a lead in the direction of AR. Microsoft and Google have taken their competition from the software space into the exciting field of AR. Google imagined an AR product which is able to give us more information of the world around us, helping us interact with whatever our eyes see, in new and exciting ways. Microsoft, however, took things to an entirely different level, by placing a full Windows computer on our heads, enabling us to run apps and games on our walls and around us in full 3D, adapting dynamically to our surroundings. The battle between both software giants is an exciting one, and in the end, it is us, the consumers, who will reap the benefits.

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