Immersive tech gains steam with new iOS AR app

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KAYE VILLAGOMEZ-LOSORATA

Apple devices recently added an iOS update that supports better augmented reality while the UK government announced funding for immersive technology. If you haven’t been that absorbed when it comes to using your mobile devices, wait until immersive technology reaches its peak.

Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) have gone mainstream with devices and apps hand in hand to deliver these experiences on a daily basis. It won’t be long until immersive tech becomes part of our digital routine the way streaming is.

The standard.co.uk predicted immersive tech as one of 2018’s best bets for tech trends. “This year, we could see immersive technologies like virtual reality and augmented reality make a move from gaming into other areas. AR, in particular, is having impact in hospitals through initiatives like the Patient’s Virtual Guide. It’s an AR app that guides children through the hospital environment before they’re admitted as patients, intended to ease stress and anxiety.

Apple’s website devotes a segment on AR used in practical experiences. “Augmented reality is incredibly useful for solving everyday problems. Put furniture into your space to see how it looks and fits your home. Or navigate complicated spaces without ever looking at a map,” said the website.


Just how forward this development already is? American Airlines is now ready with its own AR map via “prototype that overlays real-time information so your surroundings at airport terminals so you will be able to effortlessly find your way to a cup of coffee, the nearest restroom, and of course, your departing gate.”

If key cities around the world will have virtual overlays, navigating foreign countries will be literally and figuratively be a walk in the park.

In February of this year, California State University focused a spotlight on immersive tech as a learning tool. “Students in education, nursing, astronomy, geology and journalism — to name just a few fields — are using augmented/virtual reality technologies to learn at campuses across the CSU. And, faculty say, they’re loving it,” read an article in www2.calstate.edu.

The University is looking at making the following possible: “A nursing student is virtually placed into a complex, dangerous medical procedure; a teacher candidate leads a virtual classroom, interacting with her third-grade students as she introduces a new curriculum; an astronomy student is able to move a simulated moon and stars with the flick of a finger; a geology student forms virtual mountains and canyons with the sweep of a hand; and a journalism student reports a story complete with 360-degree photos and video.”

As more devices help migrate immersive tech from marginalized to mainstream, we are bound to see more of this trend. Apple just released the iOS 11.3 upgrade that contains the ARK it meant to “build unparalleled augmented reality experiences for hundreds of millions of users on iOS 11—the biggest AR platform in the world, said Apple.

ARK it blends digital objects and information with the environment around you, taking apps far beyond the screen freeing them to interact with the real world in entirely new ways.”

If you’re an iPhone user, sample this mobile AR trend now via Dinosaurs! app.

The author is a former broadsheet entertainment and lifestyle reporter and section editor for an entertainment magazine before crossing over to corporate and marketing PR.

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