‘What is essential is invisible to the eye’. This is what the fox said to the Little Prince in Saint-Exupery’s book. But this sentence is now out-dated due to new technologies and the arrival of augmented reality.
Augmented reality should not be confused with virtual reality or mixed reality. While in virtual reality the real world disappears and is completely substituted, and in mixed reality the real world interacts with the virtual world, augmented reality offers a real world enriched with information coming from the virtual world.
Currently, there are two accepted definitions for augmented reality (AR). The first one is the one Ronal Azuma wrote in 1997. His definition says that augmented reality has three characteristics:
- It combines the real and the virtual
- It’s interactive in real-time
- It must register in 3D
The second definition is the one laid down by Paul Milgram and Fumio Kishino in 1994. According to this definition, there is a continuum going from the real world to a totally virtual environment. Between them we can find augmented reality (closer to the real world) and augmented virtuality (closer to the totally virtual environment).
This is currently a topic of high interest due to the fact that we are living in a world full of information, which is more and more accessible. For this reason, many companies are working on this concept.
There are many augmented reality apps for IOS and Android (holaapp, Word lens, the dark knight rises Z+, augment), which allow us to get to know the concept.
In the case of Google Glass, these augmented reality glasses have the purpose of changing the way we perceive information. These highly technological glasses use a little screen with a special frame, which gives them the look of reading glasses. The screen is connected to a camera, a microphone and a speaker and through an internet connexion and Bluetooth the device can communicate with other devices like a smartphone.
The oldest virtual reality, cinema, already predicted the birth of this technology. In the movie Minority Report, augmented reality was present and Arnold Schwarzenegger was the first to wear Google Glass…
Virtual reality games, maps, museums and photos already use this technology. Even the automotive sector applies it on vehicle maintenance and it also reaches the Facility Management sector. There are many companies interested in developing this technology to put it at the service of the discipline.
Itglas (www.itglas.es) is a startup specialized in app development for Google Glass. They have already delivered apps for the financial sector and is now developing apps for the automotive sector and the pharmaceutical industry (SANOFI), among others. The company is focused in app development for big companies, helping them define and develop a new digital strategy for wearable technologies in general and Google Glass in particular. Amongst other projects, Itglas has developed apps for Google Glass for the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona and the DevCon Wearebles in San Francisco.
In the Facility Management environment information management is essential to achieve higher efficiency in building management and facilities maintenance, where augmented reality has the highest potential. Real-time information from machinery and facilities can bring considerable savings and efficiency improvement at those facilities due to better maintenance management.
The biggest effort in this technology real implementation in buildings relays on having perfectly updated the facilities’ documentation and I am afraid my friends, that this process does not go at the same speed as technology, but this problem should become a challenge and not an obstacle, since this technology can turn into a great field of professional opportunities.
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Photo by orse http://bit.ly/1DLLbHP