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Most of us would have experienced the discussion between our parents while deciding which colour and shade will look best on the house wall. The parents would ponder over a company catalogue and would look at various shades available and would try hard to visualize the new look of the house. Well! Augmented Reality makes the job much easier, more realistic and yet shareable.

What is Augmented Reality?

Augmented Reality is the expansion of physical reality by adding layers of computer-generated-information to the real environment. Augmented Reality is different from Virtual Reality which is a completely computer-generated, immersive and three-dimensional environment that is displayed either on a computer screen or through special stereoscopic displays, such as the Oculus Rift. Augmented Reality (sometimes called Mixed Reality) combines both the virtual and the real.

Dulux Visualizer App

Last year, the paint manufacturer Dulux launched a new ‘Visualizer App’. Using the app, one could snap a wall through the camera of a smartphone and place different colours of his choice. What one could now have is the visualization not in the mind but on the smartphone screen. Although, the app had a few glitches such as the whole wall didn’t appear painted or the furniture would be included in the paint, still it was a great move ahead. Since then, Dulux has added several updates to its Visualizer App which is available in 40 countries. The current version doesn’t require you to be present in the room which you want to paint. Also, one can create a virtual scrapbook on the Dulux site for sharing and future use.

The Early Bird IKEA

Something similar has been done by IKEA. Back in 2013, IKEA launched its first augmented reality application. The user could look through the camera of a smartphone and place different furniture around the house. The app would give a real feel of how the object would look in the house. If a person also had a print catalogue with him, then he could even get the exact size of the furniture that would fit in the room. This made life easier not only for the customer but also for IKEA. Curious Art Print Visualizer app, Sayduck app and Home Depot Project Colour app are few more apps which work on similar lines and can help you decorate your home with ease.

Road Ahead

Though organisations are trying to find more and more uses for augmented reality, it’s still in its nascent stage. Recently, AkzoNobel Visualizer app won the Innovation of the Year award at the Digital Communications Awards 2015. Using unique patent-pending computer vision technology, the app can tell the difference between wall space, furniture and fixtures and will cleverly paint around them as you move your smartphone or tablet around the room. We expect to see more developments in future.

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Md Tahir
Md Tahir is a student of Innovation and Intrapreneurship at Symbiosis Institute of Business Management, Pune. He has graduated in Computer Science & Engineering and worked with Infosys for three years. With a keen interest in innovation and technology, he has worked in projects on different emerging technologies.
Md Tahir

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