If you’ve heard of augmented reality, it may seem a little surreal to you. Augmented reality is surely something that you’d only see in a Terminator film, right? Wrong! Augmented reality is being used day in day out by retail companies and estate agents to market their products and encourage people to buy. Let’s take a look at how augmented reality works:

Augmented reality is basically the process of overlaying a computer generated image over an image that’s in real time. It can be done in many different ways, and in some cases you’ll need a good knowledge of rendering, shading, and other computer imagery techniques to do it on a large scale. However, you can also do this by simply using your smartphone or computer.

Let’s say you’re shopping for sunglasses. There are many pairs to choose from, and ordering them can be a long, grueling experience. First you need to guess which pair will suit you, and then more often than not you’ll realise they don’t suit you before having to send them back and swap them for another pair. With augmented reality, you can actually ‘try on’ the sunglasses using the screen of your computer or smartphone. This can save a customer a lot of time and effort!

Real Estate augmented reality is similar, allowing you to see how buildings could look in a certain space, creating plans and all kinds of other things. You can even use augmented reality within the home to see how a certain piece of furniture will look before you buy it. It’s never been easier to redecorate! Augmented reality takes all of the guess work out of it.

Pepsi recently shocked some random bystanders by in London, Oxford Street using augmented reality. As people were waiting for a bus to arrive, they could suddenly see giant robots, tigers, and UFOs in the street ahead of them. This was achieved by using a screen within the bustop, that appeared to be a regular piece of glass. The images were then projected on to the screen using a camera placed opposite. This made the people looking through the glass believe that they could be attacked by giant robots at any given moment (luckily nobody suffered a fatal heart attack). It’s definitely an innovative marketing technique, and much more interesting than simply watching an advert on TV. Pepsi explained that their goal was to create something unbelievable in a public space. The bystanders at the bustop would agree that they did just that!

Although you may have previously believed that AR is something out of a futuristic movie, it’s being used more and more each day. There are even smartphone apps you can download that allow you to make use of AR yourself. You can use it to better explore the area you’re in, find exciting places to visit, and get yourself out of a sticky situation.

Do you use augmented reality to make your life easier? Leave a comment and share your thoughts!