4 ways augmented reality can attract attention and even protect against Covid-19

April 9, 2021
Addressing target groups intelligently? Augmented reality lifts viewers to a new level of reality and lets us present information as immersively as we know it from movies. But how does the technology work and in which areas can it be used?
Photo: "Taking photos together with your idols at the FC Bayern World." / Photo credit & Source: © Sensape

Addressing target groups intelligently? Augmented reality lifts viewers to a new level of reality and lets us present information as immersively as we know it from movies. But how does the technology work and in which areas can it be used?

Intelligent Augmented Reality
Augmented reality, or AR for short, means augmented reality and speaks of digital effects or information that enhance the real world. This augmentation is computer-based and is usually associated with visual elements, although augmented reality can actually appeal to all the senses. An Artificial Intelligence recognizes facial shapes, gender, age or even emotions and can make the augmentation even more realistic as well as personal. When you think of such technologies, you often envision large high-tech corporations and top modern environments. However, this has not been the case for a long time now, as AR installations can be implemented well in any environment and can process just about any subject matter. You are probably familiar with Instagram or Snapchat filters. Even that is already augmented reality and works with your own smartphone! Porch magazine has published a good compilation of uses for AR and how it relates to VR, MR and the metaverse.
If you think the technology beyond animated dog tongues and changing face filters, there are hardly any limits with AR. So suddenly you're smiling with the Mona Lisa, asking questions to Marie Antoinette, or getting the perfect route recommended between sights based on who you are.
Many institutions are currently striving for digitization. AR offers a variety of ways to make a visit more interactive and memorable. After all, interaction not only strengthens the positive image transfer, thus shaping a positive experience, but also contributes to a longer-lasting memory of the experience and the associated facility.

Possible applications of augmented reality

Smart Guiding through AR
Choosing the perfect route between attractions or, for example, at the zoo so as not to miss an event can be quite difficult for visitors. This is where intelligent AR comes into play. So-called Smart Guiding can suggest tailored routes on interactive displays or the visitor's own smartphone based on the recognition of age and gender, and even considers capacities. This means that the child will definitely not miss the desired performance and will probably also get a seat.

Interactive AR worlds
It is possible to immerse oneself even more with interactive AR worlds. This means users see themselves transported to another age, paintings, landscapes or underwater worlds on a large display. The worlds can be controlled by gestures or touch, creating an immersive experience.

What would my fate have been?
Based on external characteristics, the artificial intelligence in the museum could, for example, show historical fates of people with similar attributes. The analysis of characteristics can create very special experiences and establish a connection to the topic. Emotional but also playful mediation through fun AR games can make augmented reality possible.

Support during the pandemic
AR can also convey serious topics in a playful way. One example is the mask recognition in the Leipzig public library. If a person comes in without a face mask, they see themselves on a large display and are provided with a virtual mask. In addition, further instructions on correct behavior in the facility appear in speech bubbles. The virtual elements, such as the mask and seeing one's own reflection in the mirror, increase attention in one fell swoop and provide a friendly reminder. The intelligent technology even detects if the mask is crooked or under the nose via a camera in real time. If capacity is low, the solution can be coupled with a virtual queue that measures capacity and displays the remaining wait time on the smartphone. Visitors are notified as soon as they are allowed to enter the facility, avoiding queues at the entrance and reducing the risk of infection. In the event of an infection, artificial intelligence tracks the affected contacts.

AR as a trend in 2021
AR is being used in many areas, creating an innovative way to engage target audiences and immerse them in an immersive experience. Visits to culture-preserving institutions can thus be made more interactive and digital and attract high attention. It's definitely a fun way to experience culture, and even catches the attention of the selfie generation in a new way. Institutions that are thinking about an AR installation are definitely on trend.

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