An Unusual Visitor: The Rise of Augmented Reality

One Friday, we had a rather unusual visitor in our Avon Lake office.

He was the sole attendee at a rather important meeting, . . .

snowman sitting in chair

He filled in for a mermaid, . . .

snowman in fish tank

He made a nice addition to our Laser Room, . . .

snowman in laser room

And he posed for photos with three of our employees. (I will refrain from posting those images for privacy purposes.)

The most unusual part?

He was never really here.

The only physical object present was this piece of paper:

paper containing trackable image

Seems impossible?  Try it yourself!

  1. Download the free Junaio app onto your Android or Apple smartphone or tablet. Just search for “Junaio” in your app store.
  2. Print this PDF in color.
  3. Place the printout on the floor (or on a table, or on a chair, . . . just so your mobile device can be held above the paper).
  4. Open the Junaio app. Be sure to close the tutorial information.
  5. Hold the phone directly over the printout, then press “Scan” in the upper right-hand corner.
  6. A 3D model should appear on the paper. Back away slowly to get a better view.
    • Use normal pinch gestures to enlarge or shrink the model.
    • Use two fingers and rotate to turn the model.
    • Use one finger and drag to move the model.
    • Use the camera icon in the lower left-hand corner of the screen to take a photo of the model (or, better yet, with the model!). Be sure to choose the upload icon in the upper right-hand corner to share the photo or save it to your device.

Our frosty visitor is an example of Augmented Reality (AR), a technology that has been around for some time, but is gaining a great deal of attention as more well-known companies are investing in AR solutions.

Augmented Reality uses a combination of a camera and software to recognize an image or a three-dimensional object.  It can then display superimposed content on a screen.  The phone’s location can also be used to display content onscreen based not on image recognition, but rather geographical location.  This technology is most commonly used on smartphones and tablets, but is also used with webcams or wearable technology (glasses, watches) with built-in cameras.

It’s pretty amazing to witness someone’s reaction when they see a picture of themselves standing next to a life-sized snowman when they know that, in reality, they were standing next to a piece of paper!

Of course, AR isn’t limited to just 3D models.  The latest version of our business cards display a series of buttons that a user can press to visit different pages on our website or to watch a video.

the buttons on the back of our business card

The front of our business card also features a 3D model, but this one is designed to be viewed up close rather than far away, as the snowman was, and an audio file is played while the front of the card is being viewed.

a sailboat bearing the GLI logo is the AR content displayed on the front of our business card

AR content can include many types of videos, social media buttons, calendar events, a 360-degree view of a room . . . the possibilities are almost endless!

To learn more about how Great Lakes Integrated’s Augmented Reality solutions can benefit your company, get in touch with your GLI account executive!  If you don’t have an account executive, please contact Jason Schultz at 216-634-5117 or jjschultz@gll.com.

And, don’t forget, our snowman would love to pay you a visit!

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