We live in a world where technology moves forward every day at amazing speeds; you can see something cool today and tomorrow it will not be cool anymore because there is something new that’s even cooler.
One of the top features on apps these days is AR (Augmented Reality), which you probably have seen on mobile apps like Pokemon Go, which was reported to be “the most searched game on Google in 2016”, the funny Snapchat filters (yes, those rabbit ears and dog tongue), or simple utility apps already included in your phone like “Tape Measure App”.
A few days ago I was checking the Apple website on my mobile and I found that they included some AR features to showcase their new Mac Pro computer, and to self-test it in your workspace. By the way, this was really funny to try.
Beyond the gaming, simple utility apps and some marketing strategies, AR offers an infinite world of possibilities. Let’s take a look at some different sectors where this can be implemented:
Exploring locations in detail without even being there is a really interesting feature to keep in mind as part of the UX for different applications. This is not only for visiting worldwide museums but also for some of these sample ideas:
- Allowing real estate agents to showcase to potential buyers how the final “house project” will look by creating that feeling of “being there”.
- To help a store visitor to find any department or product.
- Guide travellers to their gate in a big international airport.
This feature can be used for marketing by some brands to showcase their products (as in the Apple sample above) or just to create applications that allow users to try different looks for their living room before spending some money on buying furniture.
There are already some great photography apps that include AR as their working core. These apps allow users to explore the sky when searching for any particular star, planet, or constellation in order to set up their telescopes or their DSLR cameras to get that amazing shot of the Milky Way.
Keep in mind that Augmented Reality is not only limited to smart phones or tablets. There are a bunch of other devices that support this technology such as: smart glasses, head up display (HUD), helmet mounted displays, and holographic displays.
It is never too late to start learning and practicing using AR in our designs. We have seen some UI design challenges in the past where this was requested as part of the UX exploration, like the RUX – Vulcan Visual Collaboration Tool Design Challenge or the LUX – 48 hours – Deloitte Pixel(TM) presents Hacking Citizen Engagement among others. It is our duty as UX/UI designers to be on top of the latest technologies and design trends.
Here is a list of different articles about this technology:
- Applications of Augmented Reality
- 2019 Augmented Reality Trends
- 5 Important Augmented And Virtual Reality Trends For 2019 Everyone Should Read
- Designing For Augmented Reality
I have said it before and I repeat it now, “learn something new everyday”. I’m sure we will start seeing challenges with this requirement more often.