Berlin (dpa-AFX) – One in five young people or adults in Germany currently uses at least one app that enables so-called augmented reality (AR) technology. This emerges from a representative survey by the digital association Bitcom published in Berlin on Monday. With AR technology, digital content can be displayed in a real environment. It can also be used for games. The association cited as an example the smartphone game Pokemon Go, in which players capture virtual fantasy creatures, train them and allow them to compete against each other in battles. 15 percent of those surveyed have already tried it.
With “augmented reality,” or AR, virtual objects, game characters, or information are displayed in a real environment. The connection between digital and analog life often works through a smartphone camera or glasses.
In contrast to “virtual reality” (VR) applications, AR users are not completely isolated from their natural environment. For example, AR glasses can show a warehouse worker in a real environment, on which shelf a particular spare part can be found. In modern cars, head-up displays and AR technology can be used to extend the driving experience by projecting relevant information such as speed or navigation instructions on the windshield.
In a representative study last fall, 1,165 people aged 16 and over were surveyed on behalf of digital association Bitcom. 12 percent said they already use camera filters that add digital content, such as funny ears or glasses, to faces and photos. Six percent have already used apps that display navigation instructions directly on an image of the surrounding area via AR.
Bitcom's head of consumer technology & AR/VR, Sebastian Kloss, says that compared to virtual reality, augmented reality is a more subtle technology that can be seamlessly integrated into everyday life. “While most people associate AR with gaming and entertainment, what is often overlooked is that AR is already being used productively in organizations – from training and remote maintenance to collaboration and planning.”
Bitcom envisions everyday AR glasses looking almost identical to regular glasses. One result of the survey was that one in two people (51 percent) could imagine using AR glasses in general. However, three-quarters (77 percent) would only accept such glasses from others without built-in camera functionality./chd/DP/mis