8 Creative Ideas for Augmented Reality (AR) Vol.1

Soon enough the mirage of Extended Reality will turn favelas into colourful housing estates. Would you take off your glasses to get back from paradise to reality? Will it be possible at all?

Vir­tu­al Real­i­ty (VR) changes our view of the world. Thanks to it, noth­ing will ever be the same again. It helps at work, stream­lin­ing the imple­men­ta­tion of com­plex engi­neer­ing tasks. The most mod­ern pas­sen­ger ship — The Celebri­ty Edge — was designed entire­ly using vir­tu­al real­i­ty. When a fail­ure occurs, repairs will be done accord­ing to the design seen as a vir­tu­al back­drop, seen through glass­es and trans­posed onto real machine parts.

VR versus AR/h4>

Vir­tu­al Real­i­ty (VR) changes our view of the world. Thanks to it, noth­ing will ever be the same again. It helps at work, stream­lin­ing the imple­men­ta­tion of com­plex engi­neer­ing tasks. The most mod­ern pas­sen­ger ship — The Celebri­ty Edge — was designed entire­ly using vir­tu­al real­i­ty. When a fail­ure occurs, repairs will be done accord­ing to the design seen as a vir­tu­al back­drop, seen through glass­es and trans­posed onto real machine parts. In May, in select­ed Adi­das stores, cus­tomers were offered a vir­tu­al walk through the streets of Tokyo.  VR gam­ing salons, where you can save the world from a zom­bie attack, are now spring­ing up like mush­rooms in the rain. The Aug­ment­ed Real­i­ty (AR), for that mat­ter, is for every­one and every­where. It allows you to freely observe the space around you and move around in a com­plete­ly nor­mal way. Addi­tion­al con­tent, 3D objects, images, videos and sounds are vis­i­ble at the same time as the real image on your phone’s dis­play. So you can see the vir­tu­al real­i­ty only when you want to — and only when you’re look­ing at the thing where vir­tu­al con­tent is “hid­ing”. This enables you to act freely — you can shop, ride a bike, refu­el a car, and at the same time see select­ed mes­sages that are invis­i­ble to the naked eye. This vision has been devel­op­ing in the auto­mo­tive world for a long time, so that instead of thou­sands of signs on the side of the road, only those inter­est­ing for the dri­ver appear on the win­dow  in the cur­rent route. It’s a break­through tech­nol­o­gy you’ll love, because it’ll make your life eas­i­er and it’s not intru­sive. Idea 1 — Colour­ful Fave­las Fave­las (Por­tuguese favela) are pover­ty dis­tricts in Brazil. Homes built with the least expen­sive mate­ri­als are shel­ter to the poor­est social groups. It is esti­mat­ed that the fave­las of Rio de Janeiro are inhab­it­ed by more than 20% of the city’s pop­u­la­tion. It is a sit­u­a­tion where slums set the stan­dard of liv­ing for large social groups, pro­mot­ing the grey­ness and hope­less­ness of every­day life. It is a chaot­ic, neglect­ed urban space that hous­es a frus­trat­ed and humil­i­at­ed civic com­mu­ni­ty that can­not afford to improve their liv­ing con­di­tions. The grey and depress­ing space, dec­o­rat­ed ran­dom­ly and with­out a plan, requires the joint work of urban plan­ners and artists in order to give mean­ing to the lives of mil­lions of its inhab­i­tants, inspire them to act and raise their spir­its through a visu­al change in the envi­ron­ment. In such cas­es, AR is a per­fect tool for stim­u­lat­ing cre­ative think­ing and social acti­va­tion through vir­tu­al mod­i­fi­ca­tion and beau­ti­fi­ca­tion of the space. What is vis­i­ble vir­tu­al­ly is already enjoy­able.  How­ev­er, it dis­ap­pears when the glass­es are removed or the phone is switched off. Still, the most impor­tant thing is that this vision stim­u­lates us to do sim­ple work, imi­tat­ing what we liked so much about the pro­posed dig­i­tal project — a project almost as real as if it was real. Vir­tu­al tem­plates and artis­tic projects can be cre­at­ed by cre­ators of urban space togeth­er with artists as part of the activ­i­ties of non-gov­ern­men­tal agen­cies, com­mu­ni­cat­ing the pro­gram to local opin­ion-mak­ers in Inter­net cam­paigns. Paint­ing a few walls does not cost much, and the inspi­ra­tion for action may be the vir­tu­al pro­jec­tion seen on a smart­phone. You don’t need to be an artist — you just need to want to change some­thing around you and paint where you can see you can see your activ­i­ty in the vir­tu­al world. It is pos­si­ble with a smart­phone in one’s hand although, with glass­es on, it would be sim­i­lar to fill­ing in a child’s colour­ing book. The space around us direct­ly influ­ences our mood and cre­ativ­i­ty. Visu­al stim­uli can dis­cour­age or stim­u­late action. Warm, joy­ful colours seen vir­tu­al­ly will release the desire to take action lead­ing to the real­iza­tion of the effect seen on the smartphone’s screen. Aug­ment­ed Real­i­ty offers the pos­si­bil­i­ty of a com­plete­ly new, uncon­ven­tion­al, and yet  very effec­tive, coop­er­a­tion between urban space devel­op­ment organ­i­sa­tions and artists, pro­vid­ing a recipe for improv­ing the appear­ance of space in pover­ty-strick­en dis­tricts. The Aug­ment­ed Real­i­ty is there­fore a tool that gives us a chance to help improve the lives of many peo­ple around us — it becomes a trans­mis­sion belt con­vey­ing knowl­edge and detailed instruc­tions on what to do and how to do it. The social effect of such actions will be colos­sal. Idea 2 – A genie in a bot­tle It is best to help oth­ers when we are hap­py our­selves. Although your apart­ment is more pos­i­tive than the slums of Rio de Janeiro, from time to time it also needs to be refreshed and changed. We like to arrange the space around us so that it not only pleas­es us, but also impress­es oth­ers. How­ev­er, we are not always able to do it. It does­n’t always work out. You search for help in guides, look­ing at the show inte­ri­ors and get­ting inspi­ra­tion from those who deal with it pro­fes­sion­al­ly and share their expe­ri­ence. Aug­ment­ed Real­i­ty can short­en the dis­tance between “I want to do it” and “I know how to do it”. In oth­er words, it’s all about com­bin­ing our visions, tools and mate­ri­als avail­able on the mar­ket with the knowl­edge of how to use them. Suc­cess lies in the abil­i­ty of blog­gers and pro­fes­sion­als to reach out to poten­tial­ly inter­est­ed audi­ences. The Aug­ment­ed Real­i­ty is a chan­nel of com­mu­ni­ca­tion that makes it pos­si­ble. It uses a smart­phone to give you only the infor­ma­tion you need now and only when you want it. It’s a bit like a mag­i­cal genie fly­ing out of a can of paint after it has been opened,  telling you what to do — and what’s more, it shows you what the effect will be. It is enough to com­bine the knowl­edge of the prod­uct we buy with the prac­ti­cal knowl­edge of crafts­men (or even artists, if you are ambi­tious enough). With AR, you will be able to see the select­ed colour on the sur­face you want to cov­er before you start doing so. You will be able to get inspired to make more com­plex projects, and your phone will tell you what mate­ri­als you need and select brush­es, primers and the opti­mal amount of paint. Sim­ple pat­terns avail­able for every­one, sophis­ti­cat­ed, artis­tic designs — for pre­mi­um users. Your smart­phone will rec­og­nize the size and type of sur­face, and if not, you can iden­ti­fy these cri­te­ria man­u­al­ly. Select­ed instruc­tion­al videos will show you which tools to use and  what to do and in what order. You will also know how much time you need and how much it will cost you — so that you can pre­pare your­self prop­er­ly and your work will be a pleas­ant cre­ative process. These were 2 of the 8 most cre­ative ideas for using AR. The next top­ics will be: city tours in the style of Back to the Future and the end of the loy­al­ty card era. I’ll prove to you that you’ll get rid of the cards before the snow falls.

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