Fundamentally, it would be safe to call Augmented Reality Portals the future of not just e-commerce but also distinct industries such as healthcare, education, and quite obviously the real estate. But what exactly are these portals about? In this blog, we tell you everything you need to know about Augmented Reality Portals, so read on!
Augmented Reality Portals are like doorways or windows to the virtual world that lets users step into and explore a mesmerizing virtual environment. Thanks to Augmented reality (AR) technology, it enables users to create virtual portals in the physical world, allowing them to walk through them and be transported to new realms.
These portals may be found in a variety of contexts, ranging from popular video games such as Harry Potter (Wizards Unite) to everyday applications such as AR Core, and more recently, IKEA, to name a few.
Not to sound a bit too futuristic but AR Portal apps allow people to hold up their phone, cast a doorway into another world and literally walk through it! The content you see through the portal can be 360 degree video or a fully computer generated environment.
AR Portals can serve various purposes; let us explore some of them:
Entertainment: Through interactive games and immersive storytelling experiences, they can transport users to virtual worlds and enhance the gaming experience for them.
Information: AR portals can provide contextual information about real-world objects or locations, leading to strengthening of educational experiences, tourism, or navigation.
Collaboration: In a business context, AR portals can enable remote collaboration and communication; this allows participants to meet virtually in a shared augmented space and this method is super convenient!
Product Visualization: AR portals can be used for product visualization, allowing users to see how furniture or other items would look in their real-world environment before making a purchase. This can especially work well in architecture and real estate set-ups and can be extremely beneficial, both to the clients and as well as businesses.
Both individuals and businesses have the opportunity to unleash their creative potential by crafting their personalized AR portals. With the convenience of their smartphones, people can easily access and explore entire virtual worlds with a simple tap.
The best part is that this doesn't demand the complex or costly equipment that Virtual Reality (VR) typically does. All they need to do is select a location, any location, and they can establish their own customized entry point.
In light of this, it is quite clear why the travel industry is already flourishing in the realm of AR portals. Many tourism agencies are now venturing into the creation of their AR portals, effectively opening virtual gateways to famous countries and cities. Their objective is to attract people, stimulate tourism, and bolster their economies.
Scotland was an early adopter, and introduced "Portal AR" in 2018. As users step through this Scottish portal, they encounter an array of 360° videos and images, creating a truly immersive experience. From Edinburgh Castle to Scotch whiskey distilleries, this app enables users to savor the beauty and attractions of Scotland without leaving their homes.
Since then, various portals have been curated that can transport people to iconic places like the Eiffel Tower or even the Moon.
Regardless of the destinations these portals lead to, they offer people the chance to experience locations that might otherwise be inaccessible, demonstrating that AR portals are boundless in their ability to fuel the imagination.
The Future is Now
AR portals are not limited to the realm of gaming. They have gradually integrated into our everyday apps. The most notable example is Snapchat, the widely-used photo-based app. Renowned for its playful face-altering filters, Snapchat now ventures into more adventurous territory with the assistance of AR portals.
Users had the chance to immerse themselves in an exclusive Stranger Things portal, which transported them to the Byers' living room. This virtual space was fully equipped with an alphabet on the wall, Christmas lights, and a Demogorgon, creating a sense of stepping into the eerie world of the Upside Down.
As technology continues to evolve and astonish, people's desire for immersive experiences evolves in tandem. AR portals offer an easily accessible means to achieve just that.
While they share some similarities with Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality portals eliminate the need for expensive, cumbersome headsets; all that's required is a smartphone. And with the assistance of apps like ARKit and ARCore, anyone has the capacity to craft their AR portal, or take a quicker route with Google's Portal Painter.
The surging momentum of AR portals makes perfect sense, and as it continues to grow, we can anticipate witnessing an array of unique applications that push the boundaries of immersion. So, hold onto your hats, because the future of AR portals is sure to take you on an exciting journey!