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  • Writer's pictureOm Chachad

How Augmented Reality is Reshaping the Way We Interact with Technology

This article was written for and featured in my school newsletter. I decided to share it on my newsletter as well as my first post, since it's a topic I'm rather passionate about. I hope you enjoy reading it!

For a lot of individuals, the first thought that comes to their mind when they think of the future of technology is Artificial Intelligence, or A.I. for short; and sure, A.I. is going to be- if it isn’t already- an indispensable part of our lives, but there’s something bigger that has been in the works in the industry for years now, a technology that changes how you interact with your devices, one that changes how you interact with AI itself, and it’s called augmented reality. I was first sold on the vision of a future with augmented reality when Meta (formerly Facebook) first showed off their Quest Pro headset connected to a MacBook, allowing the wearer to see multiple monitors wrap around their head as if they were physically there, even though there was actually nothing in front of the user. That’s when I realized how profound this technology is.

While virtual reality is focused on transporting you to a completely different location, augmented reality focuses more on blending virtual content into the world around you. The advent of augmented reality marks something special, a shift away from a world where we have phones, laptops and desktops to a world where the only piece of technology we need is a pair of glasses that augments the world around us. These pairs of glasses will be able to break free from the boundaries of a traditional display on your devices, and place apps and content around you, instead of having to hold a phone in your hands or keep a laptop on a desk.

For every day users like you and me, it can unlock a new way to do our everyday tasks, computing becomes spatial and unlocks possibilities like placing a virtual screen in front of you while cooking to see the recipe, or have three monitors in front of you without actually having to own three monitors, you can have a large 200” TV in front of you without the need of having a room that big, or take 3D photos and videos so that you can relive them like you owned a time machine. Professionals like engineers can use augmented reality to preview and inspect products before they go into manufacturing. And surgeons are already leveraging this technology to perform surgeries with greater precision and to view medical scans with higher fidelity. It’s also a great tool for education, learning with detailed 3D models allows students to engage and interact with the material in a way traditional methods cannot match.

Apple has launched Vision Pro, an incredibly high fidelity augmented reality headset, in an attempt to show us what this future might look like and putting Vision Pro on made me feel like I have been transported to the future. It’s the best version of augmented reality we have gotten to experience till date, and it’s mind blowing. Ironically with these augmented reality headsets, even though your head is now quite literally glued to screens, the ability to be able to see what is going on in the world alongside your apps makes augmented reality much less isolating than being glued to your phone; Unlike smartphones or laptops, which draw your full focus towards them, these headsets maintain a fixed focus distance, allowing you to view your surroundings without shifting your gaze. This subtle difference tricks your brain into giving people and screens around you equal priority, rather than fixating solely on a screen. It's a phenomenon that needs to be experienced to be fully understood.

Vision Pro and headsets of its kind are currently doing a phenomenal job at showing us where this technology is headed, but they don’t have enough battery life, and they’re big, expensive, heavy and cover most of your face. But that’s going to change, just like any other technology this will become more affordable and more compact within the next decade, and these headsets will look no different from a regular pair of glasses; breaking free from the confines of physical screens will open up to a whole new world of possibilities, and developers around the world (including myself) are working on building game- changing experiences for these new platforms and these experiences are what will make augmented reality even more special, and that’s what excites me the most.

Shortly after WWDC, you can expect to see the full Vision Pro review live on my YouTube channel, and it's going to be one of the most interesting videos I have had the chance to work on, so I hope you're just as excited as I am for it.

Thanks for reading!


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