eyeware

The digital age is upon us, and we now have access to various technological tools and groundbreaking innovations that make life easier. One of the fastest-growing technologies today is augmented reality (AR), an interactive experience that integrates virtual perceptual information with the real world. According to a study published in MDPI, AR enables users to interact with digital information in a physical environment, making it easier to perform tasks efficiently and boosting decision-making capabilities in the age of the fourth industrial revolution.

Today, the AR market is enjoying increasing popularity thanks to its employment in a myriad of applications. A Grand View Research report found that the AR market size value was at $57.26 billion in 2023 and is expected to grow until 2030. This comes as no surprise, especially with AR being used in various industries. Below, we take a look at where AR is taking center stage.

Eyewear 

The eyewear market is one industry that has maximized the use of AR with the goal of making eye care services more accessible. Online glasses retailer Eyebuydirect, a D2C company offering both premium and affordable eyewear, utilizes AR to create immersive experiences for customers through their virtual try-on feature that enables anyone to digitally fit eyeglasses before making a purchase. This allows buyers to check if a particular frame is the perfect fit for their face size and shape by simply enabling their camera settings and selecting from frame options like the Sydney and Ray-Ban RB7025. Customers can also upload an image and use the virtual try-on feature on the still photo. This means buyers won’t have to head out to a physical store and instead digitally wear as many pairs of glasses as they like from the comfort of their homes. 

Gaming and recreation

Aside from the eyewear industry, AR is also being used in gaming and recreation. Games like Pokémon GO can be credited with the growth of AR awareness among casual gamers, and the introduction of Google’s AR platform ARCore meanwhile has enabled users to create AR apps on their Android devices. By using AR stickers, which can be anything from a bird, a movie character, or a birthday cake, you can insert a live AR object within a specific space or environment, which can then be played or tinkered with the Google camera application. The ARCore takes into consideration three things: motion tracking, environmental understanding, and light estimation to allow the phone to estimate or calculate a room’s specific lighting conditions. Similarly, Samsung’s AR Emoji lets you create a virtual character that resembles you, and you can use it to send messages to your family or friends, helping merge your virtual version with real-time messaging apps.

Healthcare

Today, AR tools are also being used in the healthcare industry to make diagnosis and treatment more accurate and seamless. For instance, AR is being used for precise vein visualization of patients, immersive training for medical students, the development of 3D imaging, and error-free symptom detection. A Forbes article on AR in healthcare mentioned how surgeons used an FDA-approved AR headset that helped visualize a patient’s CT scan while performing spine surgery with 100% accuracy. Tools like VisAR, an AR surgical navigation system developed by Novarad, allow surgeons to perform clear-cut spine surgery by creating a 3D hologram that can be seen through an optical visor and laid over the patient for submillimeter precision. This lets surgeons see crucial information like patient imagery and even follow procedural recommendations that are provided by the AR instrument.

Useful tools like AR have been integrated into our daily lives as technology continues to evolve. From making eye care and entertainment accessible to ensuring medical procedures are precise, AR is being employed by various industries to boost productivity and efficiency.

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