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AR makes you see the world as never before

By Claire Marchand

Augmented reality (AR) may not have developed its full potential yet but the technology evolves at such a rapid pace that it should soon be integrated in our personal and professional environment. Architecture, education, medical, sports and entertainment, workplace are just a few areas that can benefit from AR. Tourism and sightseeing may also be revolutionized by the use of AR.

skin and bones app Smithsonian Institute The Skin & Bones app of the Smithsonian Institute's Natural History Museum brings to life animal skeletons

Augmented reality on the go

Take sightseeing for example. In the past you had carry somewhat heavy travel guides for information on a city’s cultural landmarks, accommodation, restaurants and so on. Then, more recently, you got rid of your heavy paper guides and relied on online versions accessible from you smartphone. Today AR makes traveling a whole new experience. 

Long gone are the days when AR was in the realm of science-fiction together with housekeeping robots and flying cars. Developers are tackling the AR segment and coming up with a number of fun apps that you can use any time when traveling – and in your home town! Get the app and you’re ready to go: you only have to point your smartphone camera at a street, a building or an object and information is instantly delivered onscreen. 

A new, dynamic and interactive experience

AR systems can help tourists find their way in unknown environments, with directional arrows and virtual paths guiding them through streets and showing them the nearest bus stop or metro station. They provide customer reviews for restaurants or hotels, as well as immediate translation services when needed. 

AR takes museum visits to a new level, engaging visitors in an interactive, intuitive and dynamic experience. Kids – and some adults – who may have thought of a museum visit as boring, may change their mind and see it in a totally different light. 

Behind the scene

According to WhatIs.com, AR is “the integration of digital information with the user's environment in real time. Unlike virtual reality, which creates a totally artificial environment, augmented reality uses the existing environment and overlays new information on top of it.“ 

To make it happen, AR uses a wide array of sensors, including a camera, microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) such as accelerometer and gyroscope that detect the rotation and movement, computer components and a display device. The growing popularity of AR apps comes from the fact that today’s smartphones already have all these components. 

AR app developers and smart device manufacturers rely on manufacturers and suppliers for high-quality and reliable electronic components when manufacturing their products or designing their applications. 

IECQ: Safety inside

Sensor manufacturers and suppliers all over the world have a powerful tool at their disposal, enabling their products to meet the strictest requirements: IECQ testing and certification. IECQ is the IEC Quality Assessment System for Electronic Components. 

As the worldwide approval and certification system covering the supply of electronic components, assemblies and associated materials and processes, IECQ tests and certifies components using quality assessment specifications based on IEC International Standards. 

In addition, there are a multitude of related materials and processes that are covered by the IECQ Schemes. IECQ certificates are used worldwide as a tool to monitor and control the manufacturing supply chain, thus helping to reduce costs and time to market, and eliminating the need for multiple re-assessments of suppliers. 

IECQ operates industry specific Certification Schemes:

IECQ is one of the major players that contributes to making your AR experience unforgettable.

More information: www.iecq.org


skin and bones app Smithsonian Institute The Skin & Bones app of the Smithsonian Institute's Natural History Museum brings to life animal skeletons
AR tour of ancient sites AR makes it possible to see sites as they were in ancient times (Photo: YouTube - Yehuda Vinograd)
AR city navigation AR helps sightseers navigate city streets