The recent Digital Futures seminar held at the DigiTech Centre in Adastral Park opened a fascinating window into the exciting possibilities of Augmented Reality (AR). Guided by experts like Dr. Anasol Pena-Rios from BT, James Lee Burgess of Urban XR, and Dr. Daphne Economou from the University of Westminster, this event revealed how AR is making a big impact in various fields.
The Rise of Visual Positioning Systems: Big companies like Niantic (known for Pokemon Go), Snap (Snapchat), and Immersable are using AR to create amazing experiences. Ipswich even saw the world’s first Visual Positioning system app back in 2020/2021. Urban XR worked with Ipswich Central to explore how AR can be used for communication and engagement. They also used it to preserve historical buildings by making 3D models of places like Wolsey College. These experiences are easy to access on your phone, showing that people really enjoy AR.
Immersive AI Technologies: AR is affecting many areas, from entertainment and healthcare to retail, manufacturing, and training. Dr. Economou’s work shows that AR can be available to students through their phones or other devices, without needing expensive VR headsets. For example, they’ve created simulations, like a crime scene for criminology students, with cool 3D elements. In the world of training, AR is making a big difference, with engineers wearing AR glasses while experts far away give them important data and extra information through their headsets.
While the seminar highlighted how AR is changing various industries, it also showed that there’s a growing need for skilled people in this exciting field:
- AR Developers: The Builders of Digital Worlds: Creating amazing digital experiences, connecting the real world with the digital one.
- UX/UI Designers: Creating User-Friendly Experiences: Making AR apps that are easy to use and fun is a unique challenge.
- AR Content Creators: The Creative Geniuses: The people who design 3D models, animations, and interactive content.
- AR Marketing and PR Specialists: Spreading the Word: Playing a big role in getting the word out and getting people to use the technology.
The seminar showed that AR technology is growing fast, but, we also have to think about the challenges of AR, like the technical challenges, how people feel when they use it, and important concerns like privacy. Facing these challenges is a big part of how the AR industry will grow and the types of jobs that will be available. Plus, AR is connected to exciting new technology like 5G and the potential future possibilities with 6G. These new advancements are driving AR’s growth, and that means great opportunities for people who want to be a part of it.