Augmented Reality – new application possibilities for your presentations

Augmented reality as a design opportunity of the future

Do you want to make the USP of a product or service emotionally tangible? Special techniques such as augmented reality offer new and interesting design possibilities.

What is augmented reality or augmented reality?

Augmented reality (AR) is the term used to describe computer-based perception that blends the real and virtual worlds. Text information and graphics are superimposed in real time over the real world currently being viewed. The application purposes range from information about the immediate surroundings, to navigation superimposed in the field of view, to games.

Unlike virtual reality, augmented reality does not create a separate fantasy world. Virtual realities, which are separate from our reality, are generally used to immerse ourselves as intensively as possible in foreign worlds. In augmented reality, the real world is enhanced with additional information through technical measures.

Even though augmented reality can in principle refer to all sensory perceptions, the term, like virtual reality, is associated primarily with vision.

In this process, additional digital information such as videos, images, texts or 3-D graphics are superimposed on a real image. Perhaps imagine a digital city map that additionally displays current detours, parking situations or information about important buildings. More familiar are sports broadcasts where times or rankings are superimposed. The additional data enables a user to record both specific and everyday processes in an optimized manner and to carry out work processes in a time-saving manner. The enhanced information enables the user to achieve greater benefits for himself. Optimized information allows facts to be communicated more effectively. Digital data can be made available and usable in the real world in real time with this technology. So when texts, infographics, images or videos are superimposed on a real image, it is called augmented reality.

The beginnings of augmented reality

The first attempts to use this technique were made by Ivan Sutherland in 1968. Sutherland developed a pair of data glasses connected to a computer. With the glasses, simple patterns could be superimposed in digital form. In the early 1990s, Tom Caudell and David Mizell developed a corresponding solution for the Boeing company. These were glasses that displayed important information to the technicians. The principle also became known in modern aviation, where helicopter pilots, for example, can call up additional data via their helmet visor.

Today, the use of augmented reality is widespread, even if we are often not aware of it. Modern SLR cameras are equipped with them, as is almost every cab, which displays the current fare for the passenger in the rearview mirror. Corporations like Apple and Google are in the process of spreading and harnessing technology everywhere in our everyday lives. The interaction between technical device and user is to become increasingly simple.

More and more app manufacturers are also using AR applications to make their products even more flexible, simple and useful for the user. Especially products that leave little room for different control elements such as buttons can significantly increase the user benefits of individual devices – such as smartwatches or the Google Glasses – by integrating augmented reality. The latter is a pair of glasses with a microdisplay and camera that can be operated via voice input. One of the functions of the Google Glasses is that the wearer of the glasses transmits information about his surroundings to the Internet and in turn receives corresponding instructions from the Internet, for example in the form of navigation instructions. AR apps thus offer users supplementary information about individual products, objects or their current surroundings.

Augmented reality offers an almost unlimited wealth of possibilities in the field of information, education and entertainment. Especially in the area of mobile devices such as smartphones or tablets, we are at the beginning of an exciting development.

Example of augmented reality: IKEA advertising

Use augmented reality for your own presentations

For your own presentations, you can use augmented reality to present complex issues in a more comprehensible way, to convince demanding viewers with the use of state-of-the-art technology, or simply to professionally incorporate entertainment elements. If you have an Internet connection during your presentation, you can upload and display up-to-date additional info via a browser. Since almost everyone now has a smartphone, you can also share more information with your audience, for example, via an app.

For important presentations with a limited number of participants, tablets can also be distributed to the audience in order to insert additional illustrative elements.

Presentation expert and coach Matthias Garten. PowerPoint trainingsDipl.-Wirtsch.-Informatiker Matthias Garten is the expert for multimedia presentations. He is an entrepreneur, speaker (TOP 100 Speaker), trainer (TOP 100 Excellence Trainer), multiple book author, presentation coach (presentation training), member of the GSA and Club 55, organizer of the Presentation Conference, Presentation Bootcamp and Presentation Rocket Days. In addition to PowerPoint and presentation training, he inspires and advises companies to present themselves even more effectively and thus stand out from competitors. He is the business owner of the presentation and PowerPoint agency smavicon Best Business Presentations and with his team has created over 15,000 presentations for over 150 industries since 1993.