As technology advances, AR and VR are currently attracting attention. This time, there was a reference article about AR, so I would like to introduce new services that are expanding while introducing them.
Abbreviation for Augmented Reality.
AR superimposes digital information on the basis of information from the real world, enabling visually augmented reality. It recognizes images and the surrounding space, and displays a composite image of real images and digital information on the display in real time. AR has expanded from its use in advertising and promotion, and in recent years its use in the industrial field has expanded. AR is a technology that enables you to see what you cannot see with the power of a computer.
AR spreading in various fields
It has been used in the advertising and promotion fields with expressions that have never been seen before. In recent years, due to the improvement of AR technology and the processing power of smartphones that execute it, its use in various fields, especially industrial fields, is rapidly expanding.
It will be possible to recognize the package image of the product and display promotional videos and 3DCG contents.
With AR, you can easily perform realistic simulations of items (large equipment, expensive products) that are difficult to confirm in the actual location.
Logistics / inventory management
Individual picking instruction information is displayed to workers wearing smart glasses. Eliminate picking mistakes.
Maintenance / maintenance
The know-how of veterans and experts is recorded as digital information on site. Even beginners can understand it intuitively.
How AR (Augmented Reality) works
AR is a technology that adds digital information to real-world information that can be seen through a camera.
Extend the real world with digital information and create a new space.
There are three types of AR (Augmented Reality)
Location-based AR (location-based)
It is an AR that uses GPS, an electronic compass, an acceleration sensor, etc. to identify the self-position and displays the surrounding information as digital information on the smartphone screen. It is widely used in navigation services and tourist information services. Although it can be easily used outdoors, it depends on the accuracy of GPS, so it is difficult to display the position indoors or accurately.
This AR is a method of analyzing the environment in front of you and adding digital information using technologies related to image recognition and space recognition acquired from the camera. It is often used for publication, printed matter, and product promotion using product package images. There are AR markers with a high recognition rate and natural image types (markerless) with a high design. By extracting the feature points of the image, additional information can be displayed accurately at the required position, but the operation tends to become unstable in dark places where the shooting target is far away or visibility is reduced.
Natural painting marker (markerless)
Abbreviation for Simultaneously Localization and Mapping.
It is a technology that processes camera images and various sensor values in real time to estimate self-position and create an environmental map. It is possible to detect floors and walls and process the space three-dimensionally without relying on specific markers.
AR app development components
AR apps are realized by combining multiple components.
In addition, these factors are fast-evolving fields in which companies around the world are competing, and one of the characteristics is that new technologies are being created one after another.
Therefore, there are innumerable combinations of AR applications depending on the environment and purpose of use.
In addition, when applying AR to businesses, cooperation with existing businesses and systems is also an important point.
About AR engine
It is the basic software for realizing AR.
AR engines are currently being developed by multiple companies, each with different performance and capabilities.
They are also provided as software libraries and SDKs.
There are various types, including paid and free, depending on the range of use.
ARKit is an AR framework for developers provided by Apple. AR apps that use this framework do not require special hardware like ARCore, and can be used on iPhones and iPads with iOS 11 or later. With the space recognition function optimized for iOS devices, it is possible to recognize not only horizontal planes but also vertical planes, place character CG, and measure the length of the room.
It is possible to share AR space information in real time between different terminals. (IOS12 or later)
ARCore is an AR framework for developers provided by Google. AR apps using this framework do not require additional hardware such as depth sensors, and provide the functions required for AR such as motion tracking, horizontal plane, and vertical plane detection on a general Android device. Currently it is only available on a limited number of devices, but in the future it will be compatible with over 100 million Android devices worldwide. With the latest version, it is also possible to realize an AR cloud that is compatible with iOS and allows you to experience it on multiple terminals at the same time regardless of the OS.
ARToolKit is an AR development library that has been supported all over the world since its birth as the world's first AR technology. It is compatible with many platforms such as Android, iOS, Windows, Mac, and Unity, and is now open source * and can be widely used free of charge. It supports both AR markers and markerless, and is now being ported as a WebAR that runs on a browser, and continues to evolve independently. After selling a commercial license for ARToolKit, M-Soft is still supporting the development of AR apps using ARToolKit, making use of its abundant development results and know-how.
AR app structure
It is mainly divided into an AR engine part that analyzes image information from the camera and various sensor information in real time and recognizes coordinates and images, and an application and UI part that controls other functions. In addition, many AR apps play videos and draw 3DCG as content. Cooperation with cloud servers is also common for acquiring these contents.
The AR engine is provided as a library or SDK, and the scope of development of related functions differs depending on its performance.
What is WebAR?
WebAR is a technology that allows you to experience AR on a website without installing a dedicated application. In the case of a native application, it is necessary to install it in order to execute it, but since WebAR is executed by a browser such as a smartphone, there is an advantage that users can easily use AR.
Since it can be used in multiple environments regardless of the OS of the terminal and free open source is provided for development, development man-hours and costs can be kept low. In addition, in the case of a native application, a review is required to publish it, but WebAR does not require procedures such as review and can be released immediately after the development is completed.
From the above features, it is highly expected to be used in the EC industry and IT advertising industry.
Features of WebAR
① Execute on a web browser
(2) No need for examination or installation until the application is released
③ Development cost and man-hours can be kept low
<IOS compatible device>
・ IPhone6S or later, iPad 5th generation or later, iPad Pro, iPad Mini 2019 release or later, iPad Air 2019 release or later
・ Supported browser safari
<Android compatible device>
・ Android model with ARCore 1.9 or higher installed
・ Supported browser chrome
Demo operation procedure
① Tap the cube icon at the bottom right of the lion, the construction machine in the image below.
② The camera will start, so point the camera at the floor.
③ CG appears
④ You can move it to your favorite position by touching it with your finger. Pinch to rotate / enlarge / reduce, W tap to return to original size
All 3D models in the page have loaded
Business changes with AR
AR is entering an era where it is used in the industrial field.
AR, which has spread in the sales promotion / promotion, entertainment / game industry, is attracting attention in many industrial fields due to the dramatic technological evolution in recent years.
By using AR, it is possible to significantly transform business and business.
It is expected to bring about dramatic changes, especially for operations that are of high importance “on the ground”.
Business innovation using AR has just begun.