Crash Course: Augmented Reality
Augmented reality (AR) is a key part of the use and function of Grib. It allows turning shapes drawn on paper into virtual objects. But what is AR?
AR transforms how we see reality. In AR, computer-generated additions, like pictures or 3D-objects are placed into your real surrounding. This means it is actually quite different from Virtual Reality, which replaces the user’s view with a computer-generated, fake one. AR overlays the generated additions on top of (usually) a live image of reality. The user then watches the combined image through a display. The device that makes the additions and the display can also be one and the same, for example, a smart device. Just imagine, walking in a shopping mall, selecting the shop you want to go to on your phone, and the phone displaying directions overlaid on a what the phone’s camera sees.
Apart from this AR has many other use cases. It is pretty useful e.g. in sports, where scoreboards and additional information can be displayed right into an ongoing game. And you have probably heard of Pokemon GO. A mobile game revolving around catching monsters also used AR for its presentation. In both cases, the main use of AR is to enable you to view additional information without the user needing to know and keep track of the information themselves.
How Grib uses Augmented Reality
At Grib we found a completely new way of utilizing AR – simply with an app on your smartphone. We turn a shape you draw on a piece of paper into a three-dimensional object by using image recognition. The app recognizes the shape of the drawing. By simply moving your phone, you can extend your drawing into the third dimension. The screen of your device becomes a window into the augmented reality. and lets you move around and manipulates the object however you like.
With AR, Grib makes the user experience intuitive. It makes it easy understand shape and size of your 3D object by just projecting it into a real space. This is especially useful when designing parts for 3D printing. Additionally, shaping objects by touch gives a hands-on experience to the user, as if they were shaping something real.
AR offers several ways to improve user experience considerably. Right now, it is used mainly to make information available right when and where it is needed. But Grib now is using AR to enable You to design the future without having to learn to use any difficult 3D modeling tool.