Augmented Reality means adding elements to the reality you see through the camera of your device. In contrast to that, Virtual Reality means that users immerse into a virtual surrounding completely, for example by using a Head Mounted Display. Augmented Reality is very suitable for location based services. It is possible to insert information about the surroundings into the camera image based on the user’s position. That could be opening hours of POIs, but also navigation arrows for indoor and outdoor navigation.
Indoor Positioning and navigation with Augmented Reality apps
There are several possibilities to determine a user’s position:
- via GPS (in the open air)
- via pre-defined elements which the app recognizes
- via smartphone compass – attention: can be very inaccurate due to disturbances
- via external signals (VLS, beacons, Wi-Fi)
Under specific conditions, indoor navigation can work by using scans of distinguishable environments for orientation. The user must permanently point the smartphone camera into the walking direction.
Use cases for Augmented Reality apps
- gamification (i.e. treasure hunt in a shopping mall, the game “Ingress”)
- museum (videos and additional information can be shown)
- navigation (indoor & outdoor, positioning is problematic, usability not suitable for longer walks)
- industry (information supporting maintenance work fade in, for example using wearables such as google glass)
- available as SDK for integration into existing systems or as a full service solution