How Designing And Modelling Benefits From Augmented Reality
Posted By : Arpita Pal | 06-Nov-2023
Augmented Reality incorporates digital data and real-world structures to construct an interactive experience for its users. The deviceâ€™s software and algorithms perform computational processing on the captured data to generate information to place them in the userâ€™s field of view via an augmented reality app. Components in AR involve artificial intelligence, sensors, tracking systems, projection-based display systems and more to display virtual elements in the physical environment in real-time. Augmented Realityâ€™s application is found in many industries due to its impressive ability to create customizable prototypes that help to demonstrate how a structure would appear in a specific environment. Based on these models, designers make the necessary changes to carve out the best design and remove any element that does not serve the purpose. For industries ranging from gaming, retail, healthcare, education to manufacturing and many more, AR heavily depends on design and modeling to develop virtual 3D models for them. This article explores how design and modeling industries greatly benefit from augmented reality and how its influence extends to many other use cases.
Types of Augmented Reality
1) Marker-Based AR: It was popularly used in generating initial versions of augmented reality technology. A marker-based augmented experience is initiated when a user scans a photo or an image (marker) from an augmented reality app through the user's device. The AR app utilizes image recognition to trigger generated content from the app to make it appear on the photo (marker). The markers help to determine where the generated content should appear in the form of filters. It uses components such as camera, image capture and processing, and can stored either on the device or on the cloud.
2) Marker-Less AR: It performs processing on the surrounding environment to place the 3D-generated content in the userâ€™s field of view on a real-time basis without requiring markers to determine its position. This technology utilizes a recognition algorithm, localization and mapping to analyze and identify any patterns and similarities in the environment through components including sensors, GPS, accelerometer etc. These components determine the direction where the generated content will be placed in real-time and do not require prefilled data sets to identify new objects. Following are the four kinds of marker-less AR technologies:
a) Location-Based AR: For this type of marker-less AR, the geographic location of the user and sensors placed in the device are utilized for placing the generated content. The AR is connected with the location of the users which is accessed by the AR algorithm through GPS, accelerometer etc. The generated data changes as per the changes happening in the location of the user in real-time.
b) Projection-Based AR: Known as Spatial Augmented Reality, this marker-less AR technology utilizes projectors to display 3D-generated content with the userâ€™s physical environment. Its components include projectors, calibration devices, software for content generation, media servers etc. to project computer-generated content on real-world physical structures to provide an immersive experience to its user.
c) Contour AR: It leverages special cameras to detect outlines and silhouettes of physical objects to display computer-generated 3D content on real-world structures to form an interactive experience for the user. It is mainly utilized in navigation for enhanced security while driving to avoid accidents in low-visibility areas.
d) Overlay AR: This technology works by replacing the actual real-world object with its virtual version. It does so by first retrieving and analyzing the characteristics of the real-world object and then replacing it with its enhanced digital version to provide an engaging comprehensive perspective to its user.
Benefits of Augmented Reality
1) Enhanced Visualization For Product Design: Design without visualization is similar to leading into development blindly. This is mainly because designers would not know what changes are required in the design as they would have no idea about the kind of experience users will have with the final product. Augmented reality in design aids in designers in giving structure to their designs before committing resources to the final product. The ability to create a prototype allows designers to eliminate any inconsistencies and errors in the design, make changes and have them reflected instantly, and see how they will look in the real world sense before the final production. This proves to be advantageous in improving speed of the development process and reducing costs for the organization.
2) Greater Collaboration: With augmented reality, designers can create virtual collaboration platforms where teams can connect and design together digitally facilitating greater collaboration among team members. As members work together, they are instantly updated about any changes made by other team members which helps to maintain synchrony in the design and development process. Also, companies can utilize augmented reality for showcasing prototypes to their clients where they can witness the current progress of development as visualized by the design team. And designers can incorporate any changes instantly in case of any suggested alterations.
3) Faster Development Process: Designing and its development are collaborative processes where multiple teams come together from the initiation phase to the final production phase to turn an idea into reality. With multiple people involved, companies use augmented reality to create a centralized digital platform where designers and developers are updated immediately in case of any changes and avoid inconsistency in the process. Without such a platform, the process may create confusion and chaos which can cause delays in the production process.
4) Improved User Experience: Augmented reality borrows from virtual and mixed reality to create an interactive experience for its users. With this feature, designers can create engaging experiences by integrating features from virtual realities where users can interact in numerous ways through visual, auditory, haptic, olfactory etc types of AR devices.
1) Cost Efficiency: Repeated changes and frequent updates in the design can considerably increase the time and cost of the development process. AR-based modeling facilitates designers with a customizable platform where they can alter the design as many times as they require without utilizing costly resources repeatedly. This greatly helps in bringing the cost down for the project and saves time and money for the organization.
2) Real-Time Visualization: Augmented Reality helps designers create a virtual 3D model of their design and make changes to the structure instantly as and when new additions are made. It is greatly beneficial in speeding up the design and overall development process as the concerned team members wonâ€™t have to wait for a long time to see how their final design will appear as a model as the changes will be reflected instantly.
3) Prototyping: AR-based prototyping provides designers the opportunity to create as many versions of the model as possible without the chances of exhausting resources for the organization. Prototyping makes it possible for designers to refine their designs with repeated attempts to make the final design foolproof and ready for development.
Use Cases of Augmented Reality in Industries
Augmented Reality in manufacturing can streamline workflows, provide greater visibility, accelerate processes for faster delivery and eliminate barriers to productivity for its various functions. AR provides visualization abilities to design, create prototypes and eliminate structural flaws for manufacturing products, demonstrate how various equipment work, resource allocation for warehousing and showcase it to clients to display how the final product will work.
In healthcare, AR is gaining an increasing amount of importance a clearer understanding of human anatomy, surgical procedures, patient monitoring and providing medical training to doctors, nurses and staff regarding various procedures. It is also being utilized for facilitating remote guidance for surgical and diagnostic procedures.
In gaming, augmented reality aids in providing players with immersive and engaging experiences where audio and video elements are integrated with the playerâ€™s environment instead of creating entire worlds in virtual realities. One of the most popular examples is Pokemon Go, where users had to search for Pokemon based on their availability in specific geographic locations. Other popular games have joined the suit such as Paranormal Activity, Halo, Star Wars, etc. by creating their own AR game versions.
4) Education & Skill Training:
Augmented Reality is utilized in education to replicate and enhance traditional modes of education through 3D computer-generated content as multimedia for better understanding and learning. It can aid teachers in helping students visualize and understand complex subjects by showcasing how things work, their cause and effect, etc and provide students with engaging and interactive experiences that contribute to their knowledge. Virtual classrooms and AR-based training can provide students/ employees with immersive platforms where they can receive a hands-on experience of their prescribed work before joining.
Computer-generated models in 3D for buildings can be created to display how it would appear in real life in specific locations. Especially for tricky structures such as underground tunnels, basements, etc, can be demonstrated to showcase how the construction would take place in these locations by using AR models. With these AR models, additional enhancements required can be found, and structural and design flaws can be eliminated early in the process before the construction of the physical building takes place. This would help save time and resources for the company as they can make the required changes before committing to the construction process of the building.
Augmented reality has paved its way in many industries transforming the process of how the product goes through the journey from conceptualization to completing its development. It makes the job easier for designers and developers to communicate their ideas and progress with people of interest and give their designs new dimensions that aid in an easier visualization process. Moreover, with AR, companies are now able to offer immersive experiences to their customers that go beyond the limitations of 2D screens. Augmented reality has proved its rising significance through its numerous applications and its ability to boost visualization for complex designs for personal, professional and industrial usage. Companies like Apple, IKEA, Android, Target etc are investing heavily to provide their customers with AR-enabled engaging experiences with higher quality and efficient performances.
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