Augmented Reality Fall 2017

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“My own view is that augmented reality is the larger of the two [virtual reality], probably by far, because this gives the capability for both of us to sit and be very present talking to each other, but also have other things visually for both of us to see.” -Apple CEO, Tim Cook[1]

But what is Augmented Reality (AR)? Simply put, augmented reality (AR) is overlaying digital/virtual information into the real world [2]. While there are more technical definitions that exist, when the technology of augmented reality is distilled into its most basic components, it is essentially the definition stated above.

Augmented Reality vs. Virtual Reality

When discussing augmented reality, the topic of virtual reality (VR) oftentimes is brought up. It important to establish that augmented reality and virtual reality are not synonyms for the same technology; they are different. While both AR and VR possess the ability to alter our perceptions of the world, they do have some key differences. As stated above, AR is about overlaying additional information into our current reality -- hence the term augmented reality, information added to our current reality. Conversely, VR is an immersive experience that oftentimes “transports” the user to a different reality. Herein lives the difference, VR removes the user from the current reality that they are in and takes them elsewhere and AR adds to the user's current reality. Below are two example videos that illustrate the differences between the two technologies.

Augmented Reality Virtual Reality
A video highlighting the key concepts/implementation of Augmented Reality

A satirical video that highlights the key difference between AR and VR. Notice how the user is removed and no longer able to see his audience but is “virtually present” in the 2016 election.

A word on Mixed Reality

The jury is still out on the definition for Mixed Reality, but for the purposes of this wiki, going forward, Mixed Reality refers to the combination of physical reality, augmented reality, and virtual reality.

The Necessary Components

The Components Of AR

Augmented reality, when distilled down to its base components, requires 4 things: reality, a display device, data, and software. Reality, that is, the physical reality that we currently find ourselves in in our day to day lives is ever present and therefore is of no concern when it comes to acquiring this piece of the formula. A display device can range from a commonly used device such as a smartphone to more complex devices such as google glasses, the hololens, projectors etc. -- basically anything that can overlay graphics into the physical world. Data is the actual computer graphics themselves and physical reality represented, at their core level, as bits that can be understood by hardware/software. The software is what processes the data from the physical world and the data regarding the graphics and superimposes this data into the real world. While this formula is easy to grasp, like other technologies, the actual implementation of AR is quite intricate and requires the ability of developers, software, and hardware to be able to consider and plan for things such as dimensionality factors, auditory depth, registration, and latency.

The Development of AR


Here is an infographic which we feel highlights the key facts/milestones of Augmented reality

Hype Cycle

2008 Hype cycle[2]
2017 Hype cycle[3]

2008 was the first year the “Hype Cycle of Emerging Technologies” from Gartner mentioned augmented reality. In it, Gartner estimated that AR was “more than 10 years” from mainstream adoption. Almost 10 years later, AR has not only gained popularity from mobile games and other mobile applications, where the primary medium is the smartphone, but also in organizational/business settings as well. Given the limiting factors introduced by combining AR with smartphones, organizations have opted for other equipment to better utilize this technology. Issues with the price and hardware are less of a factor if the technology is found to assist efficiency and productivity. Under the updated Gartner Hype Cycle for 2017, AR is still estimated to be 5 to 10 years away from wide-scale adoption in various industries. However, as discussed below, due to large advancements in recent years, AR has the capability to be implemented on a large scale in certain industries in relatively little time.

Augmented Reality: The Current and Future Applications

As discussed above, augmented reality offers a real-time direct or indirect view of people’s immediate surroundings changed or improved by computer-generated information such as sound, video, graphics or GPS data. The major benefit AR brings to people is that it merges the digital world and the real world. Nowadays, AR has been developed and used in many fields and has brought visible benefits to industries such as entertainment and gaming, education, e-Commerce and retail, and marketing and advertising. Including but not limited to the aforementioned fields, AR could have huge potential in various industries.

Industry Leaders

The endorsement of augmented reality by industry leaders has never been more prominent than in the year of 2017. Apple and Google both made key announcements this past summer to highlight large advancements in the software that supports AR technology. Google has had AR technology in place previously with its Project Tango platform, which required specialized hardware in the form of tablets and smartphones from Lenovo and Asus [4]. In the last year, large improvements have been made that further cement the significance of the future of augmented reality technology.

Apple Logo [5]


With the introduction of iOS 11, the latest release of the iOS mobile software, Apple unveiled ARkit, it’s new augmented reality development platform. ARkit will allow new augmented reality based applications to be developed, which will be explained in greater detail below, and will give millions of everyday users access to AR technology. This new software has come with improved specific processing power including an A11 bionic chip which contains Apple’s first internally built GPU (graphics processing unit) as well as a Neural Engine with its image signal processor and 6 new CPU cores, and a 2G performance controller. These developments make it evident that Apple is creating hardware and software going forward that will support and enhance AR technology.

Google Logo [6]


Google has also made large improvements from its Tango system as they introduced their answer to Apple’s ARkit, in the form of ARcore. ARcore is essentially the Android version of ARkit, and will allow Android users all around the world to access AR technology on their smartphones, without requiring a Tango device. ARcore works similarly to ARkit and contains motion tracking, environmental understanding, and light estimation capabilities. ARcore will be used on a wider range of Android products in the future

The advancements made by technology giants like Apple and Google will bring augmented reality into the hands of millions of consumers all around the world. Augmented reality will continue to be used as a tool to aid many different industries, and is being used in a variety of ways currently.

In Entertainment and Gaming

Pokemon [7]

PokeMon Go

The most well-known and popular AR game in recent years is definitely Pokemon Go.This mobile game is based around catching, trading and battling Pokemon in real life through augmented reality, using the devices with Android and iOS systems installed. The location-based augmented reality feature enables players to experience the fun of interacting with Pokemon, albeit in an augmented way.

WallaMe [8]


The other one is WallaMe, which is a social networking augmented reality mobile application. WallaMe is an app that allows users to share hidden or public messages on surfaces in the real world. With the App, users can take pictures of the places where they want to hide the message, and they can type or draw the things they want to share with specific people. In essence, this is an application that utilizes the idea of secrecy and augmented reality in conspicuous settings.

Future of AR Gaming

Software and hardware developments being made will support many new location-based augmented reality games on mobile phones, including the Walking Dead game. Users will be able to fight zombies in any location they please, whether that be their neighborhood park or their sofa. The real-world overlaying of zombies is augmented reality at its very core, and you can expect many more games like Walking Dead Our World to be produced in the future.

Recently, the creator of Pokemon Go (Niantic) announced it is working on its follow-up game:Harry Potter Wizards Unite. There is not a great deal of detail released about the upcoming game yet, however, it will involve players exploring their neighborhoods to fight and battle with legendary beasts, team up with other players, and learn spells along the way. This game will surely take advantage of the improved augmented reality features provided by the latest Apple and Google software.[1][2]

In Education

Elements 4D

Elements 4D (click to watch the video) was developed by DAQRI studio. This application supports students in exploring different areas of chemistry by allowing them to combine different elements to see how the respective elements would react if physically combined together. The usage of the application begins with the teacher and students point their devices at printed cards or objects containing special triggers. Moreover, DAQRI’s website has lessons plans with the usage of this application not just suitable for high school students, but also for elementary and university students as well.[3]

Quiver (Colar)

QuiverVision consists of world-leading augmented reality specialists, with a focus on cutting-edge colour technology. This technology provides high-quality engaging experiences for all ages for some of the most recognizable brands in the world. This application supports visualization and interaction with many colouring pages in different subject areas. Children are able to colour a picture using this application, then a 3D model of what the users draw and colour will be created and shown on the screen. Quiver delivers truly magical experiences that many people can enjoy, especially children.[1]

Anatomy 4D

Another great augmented reality application for medical students is Anatomy 4D, which, in regards to functionality, is similar to Quiver (they both use cutting edge technology). Users can see and learn about the material by viewing the 3D human body model or organ models by scanning the printed targets. They are then able to view visual details about what is inside the human body, via this app. Anatomy 4D allows users to understand and interact with complex information with unprecedented ease, speed and depth.[1]

AR Works

Augmented reality also plays an important role in improving visitor’s experience in a gallery or museum. Now visiting a museum is no longer a one-sided, passive experience, as more and more museums and galleries are adopting the interactive exhibition apps that use the newest innovative mobile technologies to convert static technical information into a dynamic and interactive journey.

With the application, visitors can view detailed information of the artwork. When visitors walk around in the museum, and get within a meter close, iBeacons will trigger various content on the tablet automatically. For example, the descriptions, photos, videos and in some cases even 3D moving augmented reality models. In some cases instead of the iBeacons, QR codes are placed, and the content will pop-up on the screen after a visitor scans the code of the artwork.[1]

AR Education Image Source [2]

Word Lens

World Lens is an augmented reality translation application created by Quest Visual and was purchased by Google in 2014. [1] It uses the built-in cameras on smartphones and similar devices to quickly scan and identify foreign text, translate, and display the translated text on the user's screen. Through this app, users can translate other text printed in other languages just by pointing their phone cameras in the direction of the text, and in real-time, watch the foreign text be translated into their chosen language. As part of the latest app update, Word Lens now supports downloadable language databases in devices and thus can work without an active internet connection.

Future of AR in Education

Augmented reality has the ability to enhance the reading and writing practices of students in the future, and further develop their knowledge base. For example, a young student who is learning about the muscular make-up of the human body in a biology class may feel limited in their understanding from solely reading from a textbook. Imagine this student having the opportunity to see a three-dimensional detailed diagram they can interact with just by pointing their phone or tablet screen on an augmented reality enabled textbook. Students participation could very well increase, as they will be much more engaged interacting with a detailed visual diagram. This holds true for many educational subjects in schools, and will likely be very popular going forward once this technology is accessible on a wider scale.

Augmented reality also allows students to have a much more personalized educational experience. Students will have the ability to access these diagrams from their devices they have at home as well. Another benefit of AR technology in education is increased retention rates from students. Many students will have the opportunity to feed their curiosity by having access to AR applications throughout various classes. Imagine while studying the solar system at home, having the ability to point your tablet/smart device at the textbook and then being able to interact with a 3D model of Jupiter!

This TED talk by Florian Radke, communications leader at Meta, outlines some of these benefits and more that AR will bring to education in the future

AR technology will not only be popular at the elementary and high-school levels but in universities and college settings as well. For example “Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine have developed an augmented reality application for the iPad for the medical school students to use during lectures and lab sessions as well as for self-study” [2]. This technology will also prove to be less expensive in the long-run, as these devices, like tablets, last many years and will replace many printed textbooks and handouts. However, universities will likely continue to publish textbooks, and AR will most likely serve more as a supplement to these books.

The Chalk AR App

A new app developed by Vuforia called Chalk is a very practical augmented reality app that will be released into the market this fall. Chalk uses Apple’s new Arkit platform to allow two users in different places to chat and create and place content in real-time. For example, if you are at work and your not so tech savy mom is having trouble turning on the television at home, you can talk her through the whole process by circling the buttons she needs to press in real-time. To see an example of the Chalk app in action, take a look at this video:

In eCommerce and Retail

AR technology is also widely used in eCommerce and retail industries. It allows one to visualize purchases, personalize their online shopping, and enhance their shopping experience overall.

IKEA Place

With the release of iOS 11, people are now able to access IKEA’s new augmented reality App “IKEA Place”, whcih allows people to virtually place furniture in their homes, work places or studios. People can even try out the furniture on the street if they like. IKEA is one of the first home furnishing brands that is using AR technology to deliver a better shopping experience, and enable a shift in the way people purchase furniture. This App can scale IKEA products (furniture) based on the detected room dimensions and sizes the users are in, with more than 95% accuracy. IKEA Place is more accurate and precise than people think. Users can see the texture of fabric as well as how light and shadows are rendered on their furnishings. [1]

Sephora Modiface Mirror

Sephora also has this kind of augmented reality application, which allows users to virtually try on different makeup products and create their own unique profiles without purchasing the product. They also have other apps that let you virtually try different hair colours, nail colours, or wedding dresses. This AR application shows a strong sales potential of digital sampling, as well as building Sephora as a new digital brand.[2]

Future of eCommerce and Retial

The future of retail has the potential to be largely shaped by augmented reality technology. AR offers a personalization of the shopping experience for consumers and Gartner predicts[3] that 100 million consumers will shop in augmented reality by the year 2020. Virtual try-on technology, like that of L’Oreal’s Makeup Genius app, will be very popular in the future as more and more people have access to platforms that support it.

Another application of the virtual try-on capability of AR is that of magic mirrors. Although this technology has been previously introduced, this technology will be available on a much wider scale in the future. UNIQLO, a Japanese clothing retailer, has placed magic mirrors in various stores. These mirrors contain an LCD (liquid-crystal display) that allows you to choose apparel and try it on virtually, using augmented reality technology.

Uniqlo Magic Mirror [4]

Google has a similar system with their Tango app GAP dressing room. Large retailers are currently working on these augmented reality dressing rooms, such as ADIDAS. Take a look at an example used by Holition, an augmented retail developed for Vans here:

Future AR Shopping [5]

As the software and hardware continues to be developed and become available to retailers all around the world, there will be many more retailers following suit in the coming years. These types of systems will increase customer conversion, as customers will be able to choose and try on products without having to search for their size on the rack, or for a dressing room that is available. There will also be deals and information presented to them depending on which products they are looking at. Imagine being able to bring your smartphone into a store, pointing it at a certain rack, and having sizes, discounts, and related items based on your purchase history, all presented to you in seconds. Consumers want a convenient shopping experience, and with only a few clicks they are able to try on items, see information, and purchase what they like.

This will also build brand loyalty, as consumers who have previously shopped at a store, whether it be for clothing or groceries, will have products recommended to them on their device using augmented reality technology. AR allows brick and mortar retailers to enhance their customers experience through methods such as these.

Virtual Stores

Yihaodian Virtual Store [6]

Another prominent example of augmented reality in the future of the retail industry involves virtual stores. A great example of this occurs with Yihaodian, China’s largest grocer. Yihaodian setup over 1000 virtual stores and uses augmented reality to bring its products to consumers in various areas, such as parking lots and parks, without building a single store.[7]

Individuals with the Yihaodian app on their phone can view a grocery store through their phone, browse isles, and select groceries to be delivered to their home with just a tap on their phone screen. This technology allows companies to expand their outreach to consumers and ultimately enrich the shopping experience, and it is very likely that many more stores of this type will be developed in the future.

In Marketing, Advertising and Television

SeeSpace InAir

InAiR is the world's first AR television and can turn your TV into a Minority Report-like experience, with layers of Web content, inline with the programs you're watching. With the usage of InAir and 3D television, content can be manipulated with hand gestures using the Kinect, leap motion, or with an application on a smartphone. With InAiR plugged in, users can turn any TV into a new and wonderful medium, filled with rich and dynamic information from the Web. InAiR has three main functions, which are detection, gathering, and display. It can sense and detect television programs users have watched or prefer, and gather information related to the users' preferences online. Finally, it will display the information in layers in front of the TV, just as the video shows. [8]

In Television News

Augmented reality has been used frequently in the television industry as well, in areas such as education, weather forecast, live sports and advertising. AR is used in TV to make things visual and animated, which enhances an audience’s watching experience. For example, the host in the video is educating people about the importance of road safety.

Future of AR in Marketing and Advertising

Audi Future AR [1]
Snapchat 3D World Lens [2]

It is no secret that consumers today, specifically millennials, are tired of overwhelming pop-up and pre-roll ads, and there has been an increased use of ad-blocking software. [3] As augmented reality continues to develop, it will replace these traditional ads in many areas, and offer experiential ads that consumers can interact with through their devices. AR has the potential to replace digital advertising as we know it by providing interactive advertising experiences as a 3D storytelling medium. For example, a consumer in a waiting room viewing this magazine could point their mobile phone at the picture of the car and virtually tour the product from the comfort of their seat.

A great example of advertising in augmented reality can be seen by Snapchat. The launch of Snapchat 3D World Lenses opens up the AR features of Snapchat to brands around the world. It allows brands to include advertisements placed on an AR platform through Snapchat in their marketing campaigns, and the first example of this can be seen with the Blade Runner 2049 movie. This is a much more engaging way to advertise content to consumers, bringing content to them in their natural world. “Brands can buy from Snap directly for 3D World Lenses, and they can either be run as a national campaign, as a targeted audience lens aimed at a certain age, gender or interest-based demo, or as a swipe up attachment for any standard Snap Ad.” [[4]]

In Engineering and Design

DAQRI smart helmet

A great AR example in engineering would be the DAQRI smart helmet. This AR device lets users see through faulty pipes or overlay directions onto the helmet's display. Workers can search for the overlay data, and the helmet will filter the useful information automatically. With this AR helmet, workers and engineers will no longer need to spend as much time learning certain new things, as AR enhances their hands-on experience without the cost of using actual materials to learn. They can now have a guide on how to do things right in their field of view when they are repairing a piece of equipment. Also, smart glasses are seeing adoption on factory floors and in fields like construction and oil and gas, where hands need to be free.[1]

Autodesk Fusion 360 TM

Autodesk is an integrated Building Information Modelling (BIM) tool for building design, civil infrastructure, and construction. It connects the entire product development process in a single cloud-based platform that works on any devices with the installed software. The goal of autodesk is to redefine design with state-of-the-art 2D and 3D technologies. Users can leverage their data in a model-based environment, to take advantage of superior animation, visualization, and simulation functionality. Digital models using software, such as Autodesk Maya or Fusion 360, could then be viewable with Microsoft's HoloLens technology. [2]

Future of AR in the Automotive Industry

Automotive Industry
Visteon HUD

As leading car manufacturers strive to create autonomous vehicles and advanced HUD (heads-up displays), augmented reality will be a very significant part of automotive innovation going forward. It has the potential to reach the mass market in a successful way, as there are numerous benefits primarily being advanced navigation and geolocational capabilities that change update in real-time. [1] AR will undoubtedly be playing a major role in helping users adjust to fully-autonomous vehicles which will be coming out in the next several years. AR goes beyond traditional head-up display technology by using GPS and sensors to pick out objects in the car's environment and calling out those objects for the driver. Passengers will need to trust driverless cars, and with the advanced HUD displays using augmented reality, passengers are able to view important information such as street signs, potential road hazards, speeds and surrounding vehicle information. Three automakers unveiled new augmented reality technology at the latest Consumers Electronics Show during January 2017. Automotive equipment suppliers Harman, Continental, and Visteon all showcased new AR technology. [2]

Harman LIVS [3]

Harman implements AR as a feature of its LIVS (Life-Enhancing Intelligent Vehicle Solution). They used a large dashboard LCD display to show how AR works on the system using a modified Chrysler Pacifica, and are currently working on a HUD version to make it easier for drivers to see. Harman’s system adds markers for other cars detected by the sensors, informed the driver if they were accelerating or braking, and placed street signs above where drivers would otherwise be unable to see them clearly. These types of functions will be very important in the future as the potential to increase driving safety is immense.

Continental [4]

Continental focuses on the actual projection technology that can make AR possible, with the use of Digilens. Digilens makes augmented reality possible by developing projectors with high-resolution displays, typically with the use of glasses. Using this technology, Continental introduced a head-up display (HUD) that can project over a larger area of the windshield than current projectors, and could thus show a larger variety of information derived from the driver's environment. This technology is more current and can be introduced into a new model of a car in the very near future.

Visteon, a supplier of infotainment systems in the automotive industry, displayed a sensor-driven HUD that showed simple graphics on the windshield of the car. In the example here the Visteon technology highlighted potential dangers on the road and used colour-coded imagers, such as the red hazard around a braking car ahead. It is clear that the augmented reality technology is vital to the automotive industry, and can offer drivers and enhanced experience and increase safety on the road.

The Future of Augmented Reality by the Numbers

AR Forecast [5]
Augmented reality (AR) has undoubtedly become a technology with many practical uses in the current day. It has continued to evolve from what some may have perceived as the Pokemon Go technology, into something that is being used in numerous industries.

The future of AR looks very bright, as the augmented reality industry is expected to grow 35% annually over the next five years [6]. This growth will create expected revenues in the AR market to reach over 100 billion dollars by the year 2020[7]. With such an abundance of companies being classified on the market as AR, and the continual advancements of processing and computing power, the rise of AR will be immense. Companies such as Apple and Google are leading the way in honing this technology and making it accessible to more people. With the introductions of Apple’s new augmented reality taylored software, ARkit, and Google’s ARcore, it is evident that technology leaders are focussing on hardware and software that can support augmented reality going forward. With advancements such as these, the technology will be accessible to many more people, and it has been projected that there will be one billion users of AR by 2020.

Mixed Reality


Mixed reality aims to combine the most enticing features of both augmented reality and virtual reality. It incorporates a mixed configuration of capabilities that connect the sequence of reality to virtual and augmented reality. In a mixed reality setting, users are able to seamlessly maneuver through the real world environment, and the virtual world, at the same time. Virtual items or surroundings are merged into real-world spaces, and allow for realistic interactions.

Mixed reality bridges the gap between the virtual and real-world, and the spectrum outlines the sequence from the natural world with no computer overlaying (far-left), to the fully virtual world with all computer-generated imagery (far-right).

MR Continuum [1]

Case Study

Google Glass

Google Glass

Google Glass is a wearable, voice-controlled Android device that resembles a pair of eyeglasses and displays information directly in the user's field of vision. People can have an AR experience by using the visual, audio, and location-based input to provide relevant information. Google Glass can be started and operated by using the touchpad, voice command, and sight control. As many people believe, Google Glass failed to gain commercial success.

Based on our research, there are four main causes of the failure.First, before a product is produced, it is important to find understand the demand or the problem that the product is trying to solve. However, Google Glass failed to do that, as it provided no clear practical function to people's life. The two basic functions of the product are to quickly capture pictures, and to have a feed of useful information from the internet a glance away. These functions do not benefit the customer in daily use, and even the engineers of Google Glass did not agree to the terms of how it was to be used.[2]

Google Glass also raised privacy concerns with it's built-in camera. People strongly value their privacy, and want to know whether or not they are being recorded. Even though the lens lights up when the glasses are in use, if people are not looking closely at the wearer's face, it is hard to determine if it is recording.

User's safety and health is another significant concern. Not everyone is comfortable with the idea of having a gadget that constantly emits radiation so close to the head. While other mobile devices such as Samsung and Apple also emit radiation, they don't have to be in direct contact with your skin all the time like the Google Glass does.

Ultimately the failure of Google Glass was a result of bad marketing. Google Glass was exclusively sold to "Glass Explorers" who had to pay $1,500 to be called "early adopters". Unfortunately, this group was comprised mainly of tech geeks and journalists who wouldn't really benefit from the key features that Google Glass had to offer. The worst part was the fact that some of them are very opinionated people, and have the habit of sharing their experiences through multiple channels including social media and personal blogs. For instance, Tim Bajarin, the president of Creative Strategies Inc. said "I was a Google Glass Explorer, and the experience was horrible from the start. Google Glass now sits in my office museum of failed products". Consequently, the underwhelming experience explorers received from the product damaged its reputation prematurely. [3]



First released in March of 2016 as a development edition, "the HoloLens is touted by Microsoft as a fully-untethered holographic computer that delivers 3D holograms pinned to the real world surrounding a user via cutting-edge optics and sensors." [1] HoloLens currently has two versions: a development edition (CAD $4000) that is meant for developers to use in their work, and a commercial suite edition (CAD $6,669) that is meant for business use. [2]

Microsoft provides support to make its product more meaningful. Microsoft created the Enthusiast's Guide to provide users with exclusive information and answer popular questions they have about HoloLens before and after they buy it. Microsoft also offers free online courses for developers on YouTube that will walk them through different projects, which started in early 2016. [3]

HoloLens is being used in many areas including, but not limited, education, entertainment, engineering, and design. HoloLens is currently collaborating with Ford, in this case, HoloLens goggles let designers see what a new feature like a different headlight design would look like on a new car without actually having to create a physical prototype. NASA and Microsoft are also teaming up to develop Sidekick, a new project using commercial technology to empower astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS).[4]

HoloLens and Google Glass

An honor thesis published by Lucas Roitman from Harvard University analyzed augmented reality technologies and their marketability. When comparing Google Glass, HoloLens and other AR platforms, it mentions "HoloLens... on the other hand, are having better acceptance than Google Glass. [Google] Glass was possibly asking for too much from users - too big of a leap from existing technologies into something completely new, unpolished, that provides marginal improvements to user experiences." [5]

HoloLens and other platforms

A survey that was done by Game Developers Conference (GDC), based on the feedback of more than 2,000 game developers ahead of GDC 2016 in March, revealed AR/VR platform trends in the gaming industry. [6]

When asked which (if any) VR/AR platforms most interest them right now, as developers, 40% of those surveyed chose the Oculus Rift. The HTC Vive and PlayStation VR headsets followed with 26% each, followed by Microsoft’s HoloLens headset with 25% interest from those surveyed.

Limits of AR

Privacy issues

How people can protect themselves from being recorded via an AR platform is a topic that raises people’s attention. Based on research findings, 87% of global respondents agree that organizations should be concerned about AR privacy risks.[7] The enormity of the situation becomes more apparent when you consider the possibility that the computer database has been hacked as a result of large leakage of information. The study conducted by web hosting company Rackspace with the Centre for Creative and Social Technology (CAST) at Goldsmiths, University of London shows the results below:

  • 20% of 40,000 adults think Google Glass and other wearable devices should be banned because of the privacy concern;
  • 69% demanded that there should be a greater regulation of people who wearing the devices in the public places. [8]

Take Google Glass for example, in May, Google Glass wearable computer was hacked so the video and audio could be transmitted online, and the hacker was able to remotely watch and heat anything from Google Glass Wearers. Here is a video about people’s perspective of privacy concerns arising from AR [9] Another situation in terms of privacy is that zoom capabilities on platforms will soon match that of modern smartphones and digital cameras available on the market. Personal information could be accessed using facial recognition technology. For example, when someone walking down the street with AR tech in their hand, imagine them being able to find out information about each person they come across. Information such as whether someone is married, where they come from, or what they like to do, could all possibly be discovered by a stranger with this technology.

Security issue

As augmented reality combines the digital world and physical world together. Cybersecurity risks can have a big influence on the physical world. For example, nowadays, the navigation system is installed in 90% cars. Compromised navigational data can lead a driver to go somewhere he was not intending on going. A hacker could manipulate a navigation system to show the driver dangerous false information, such as incorrect computer generated speed limits, signage ,or a wrong travel route. Furthermore, a malicious application could leak a person’s geolocation or field of view to criminals with ulterior motives. The risks are much higher compared to the use of virtual reality. In VR, nothing is physical and people only can see a simulation of the real world. However, in the case of AR, every part is physical except only one part is simulated; the overlayed graphics. [10]

It is evident that on top of the many significant benefits AR has to offer, it is also capable of causing significant disruptions in areas such as safety, privacy, finance, or operations if it is breached, as put forward by a report titled, Emerging Technology Domains Risk Survey.




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