Mobile augmented reality apps on the rise and will spill into health care
Jorge Gomez serves as VP of Global Strategic Alliances at Andago, where he analyzes business opportunities and develops new market initiatives, increasing Andago’s Health and Wellness ecosystem of partner companies. Jorge combines his Computer Science engineering vision with an Executive International MBA background, along with a thriving passion for state-of-the-art technologies and World cultures.
As portable devices get smarter, incorporate cameras and pack more sharing capabilities, more apps can take advantage of the powerful hardware we carry in our pockets. One of my favorite trends is the increase in the use of augmented reality apps, where the user points the camera at objects and the app uses the phone’s GPS, compass, and movement sensors to match his or her position in relation to the landmarks being imaged. Once it identifies what is being looked at, it connects to online databases such as Wikipedia and user generated content over the phone or tablet camera view, and provides additional information in real time and in a semantic context on the building, landscape, or piece of art you are pointing at.
In the future, we will probably reach what the Google Project Glass aims to achieve, where a pair of augmented-reality glasses allows the user to interact with the environment naturally. I know it still sounds like science fiction, but I guess that the first user to walk in the streets with a Walkman experienced a similar feeling. Many analysts predict augmented-reality technologies will be featured natively in every smartphone by 2014, with overall revenues generating up to $1.5 billion by 2015.
Combining health care with augmented reality
Especially when traveling, it is important to follow certain basics that help you travel easier and safer. Anyone who travels often knows about the nuisances of getting sick while on the road. Research shows that approximately half of overseas travelers develop at least one medical complication during their journey. Most of the problems during the trip are easy to manage if the right information is available.
Currently there are several websites and mobile apps that provide much needed recommendations without adding weight to your luggage or needing to visit a local doctor, where the user is able to search on symptoms, quickly cross referencing information on medication side effects, and find local pharmacies and hospitals.
In a similar way to what we currently do with tourism applications, in the future it will be possible to send real time data about your current condition to a hospital or doctor, even if you are in a remote area. The data will then be combined with augmented reality apps to provide position, environmental conditions, and cross the data with your medical health records and clinical history, allergies and current medications, providing accurate information that enables the best possible decision.
So if you are preparing for your summer holidays, remember to download apps for the local weather, translators, money converters, maps, health related apps, and try some of the coolest augmented reality applications currently available. Happy travels, and don’t forget to share your pics with your friends!