Augmented reality is not new and, interestingly, it has been around since the 1950s, where fighter jets had used the early version heads-up display to showcase compass headings, altitudes and banking angles onto their cockpit canopy.
However, augmented reality was never taken noticed by the public until recent years when technological advancement allowed smaller computers to be sufficiently powerful enough to be used in daily lives. Now you can have your very own augmented reality experience in the palm of your hand.
With the rise in demand for AR experiences, rapid development of AR technology and unlimited potential opportunities for AR in industries like gaming, tourism, education, retail and more, this is just the beginning.
What exactly is Augmented Reality?
By simple definition, augmented reality (AR) is a technology that superimposes computer generated image or data onto the real world where users are able to interact with.
Augmented reality has impacted the gaming industry in terms of interactivity and user experience.
Augmented reality has impacted the tourism industry in terms of language and communication.
One of the biggest hits with augmented reality, in the gaming industry was Pokémon Go, an AR game produced by Niantic Labs. Players are forced to physically move around in order to collect virtual monsters using their smartphone. Another example is Asobo studio, a French game company that had partnered with Microsoft, using HoloLens headsets. Games such as Young Conker, turns an entire physical room into an interactive virtual environment during gameplay.
What about the impact on the tourism industry?
People connect closely with each other when they are able to speak or understand a common language. If you were in a foreign country and met someone who could speak your local language, would you feel more comfortable?
Tourists, in particular, struggle with language barriers, when visiting other countries. Augmented Reality is breaking down that language barrier. It has a huge potential to revolutionize the tourism industry, from the way people communicate to the way people behave and move around in foreign lands.
Take a look at Google Translate’s Augmented Reality Feature App, called World Lens.
Simply fire up the app and use the smartphone’s camera to point at a sign, menu or document that you’d like to be translated. You don’t have to take a photo because the augmented reality feature works on live video feed and does not require any internet connection.
This is just one of the many augmented reality translation apps you need to keep your eye out. Here’s a video by the Google Translate team showcasing the app, live:
With the potential for such application, you don’t have to worry about what food you’re eating, which train you should take, or what direction you should go, this will no longer be a want but a necessity for all tourists and can you imagine the potential market for this?
But what about business translations?
Although augmented reality translation can be seen as an advanced technological development, it is still far from the level of providing professional translation services when it comes to business.
Similarly, with more software and apps on the rise claiming to provide instant translation services, convenient transcription services, or live interpretation services, it cannot meet the requirements and demands at a business level at this point in time.
Businesses still require professional language solutions services and if you’re in a specific industry like manufacturing, engineering, medical, finance, media or legal, you won’t want to rely on a general software or app to translate your documents. Augmented reality translation is not at that level yet. It is still more ideal to engage a professional language solutions service provider who has a pool of specialized language specialists who can provide engineering translations services, medical translation services, or even transcription services and interpretation services.