February 24, 2017
Here’s where – and why – Markerless Augmented Reality works
Update (August 2017): Object recognition, multi-target tracking and SLAM: Track the world with SDK 7
We can all agree that computer vision is a key part of the future of augmented reality, mobile or not. That’s why we’ve been working so hard on our Instant Tracking over the last year. Released this January, Wikitude’s SLAM markerless augmented reality tracking is one of the most versatile cross-platform 3D-tracking systems available for mobile. Instant Tracking creates the perfect digital recreation of real world things anytime, anywhere without the user having to scan any image.
OK, cool! But now you’re probably wondering where, when and why should you use it (and no, the answer is not ‘everywhere, all the time, and because we’re awesome’). Here are some interesting use cases for Wikitude’s markerless augmented reality feature.
Where you need to grab someone’s attention, immediately
Getting someone to look at your product is the first step of a good marketing strategy. For both marketing and retail implementations, augmented reality offers immense opportunity to do that. It’s new, easy to understand, and impossible to ignore.
Do you know the first time most of the living population saw the concept of augmented reality (although they probably didn’t know it then)? This scene with Michael J Fox in Back to the Future II.
Maybe it’s not as slick and refined as today’s visual effects, but back in 1989, it was certainly surprising – and attention-grabbing. That’s part of the way AR still works today – especially for the next couple years as wide-spread adoption still continues to grow. The most important thing to remember? If you truly surprise someone, they’ll be sure to tell everyone they know all about it. That’s one thing that won’t change, ever – and why we decided we needed a UFO to appear outside the Wikitude office in Salzburg.
The potential here for both retail outlets (online AND in meatspace) is clear – customers can interact directly with the product, and come as close they can to touching and feeling it without having it in their actual hands. Even more opportunity exists in the gaming and entertainment – as Pokemon Go so brilliantly demonstrated.
When you need to add one small piece of information
AR is at its best when it does just what it says: augment. AR can turn your phone into a diagnostic tool of unparalleled power – perceptive and reactive, hooked into the infinite database of the world wide web.
Adding a few, small, easy to understand bits of information to a real scene can simply help our mind process information so much more quickly – and clearly. Here’s a great example where an automobile roadside assistance service can help a customer diagnose a problem – without actually being anywhere on the roadside.
The opportunities here are endless – factory floor managers, warehouse workers, assembly-line technicians – anyone who needs real-time information, in a real-world setting. It’s a huge technological leap forward for the enterprise – just like when touchscreen mobile devices with third-party apps first appeared.
Where you need to show a physical object in relation to other objects
There’s a reason this idea keeps coming up – it solves a real-world problem, instantly, today.
Architecture, interior design – any creative profession that works in real world spaces can take advantage of augmented reality.
From putting couches in rooms to putting solar panels in places where they’ll produce the most energy, the benefit here is clear – we can understand how potential real-world space will look and function so much better when we can actually see the objects we’re thinking of putting there – while we are there. This last bit is why mobile AR is so important – if we want to make AR a practical technology, we have to be able to use it where we live, work, build and play, and we don’t want to drag a computer (or at least, a computer larger than your smartphone) everywhere we go to do it.
Here’s an example of a placing windmills in a real-world setting:
So be creative in your AR applications – and do something surprising. Developers all over the world are already using the Wikitude technology to build AR apps that grab attention and customers – and it’s already making their lives easier. “Wikitude’s new Instant tracking technology is perfect when you need to quickly bind digital content to user’s environment,” says Stan Kuhn of Analyticadesign.com. “It works instantly and it’s very easy to integrate to any mobile device.”
Want to dig in deeper? We’ve collected a few of our favorite use cases in the infographic below and a list of apps already using the technology on this YouTube playlist. Have a look and see what inspires you to make something cool!
Interested in creating an AR project of your own?
Talk to one of our specialists and learn how to get started.