LancasterThrivingFallWinter2017 - 16

BUSINESS: TECHNOLOGY

Where Your Customers
Are Going Next

D

epending on who you talk to, virtual reality is the
next big thing, a trivial pursuit only for children or
something somewhere in between. And if you try
to talk to most of those same people about augmented
reality, most of them will wrinkle their nose and ask if that's
the same thing as virtual reality.
When it's comes to new technology, it's often said that
pioneers suffer and settlers prosper. As this is very much
the early days of Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented
Reality (AR), I decided to saddle up and learn more from
those in Central PA that are attacking these technologies
head-on. And along the way, I opted to take a few
arrows myself.

AUGMENTED REALITY - A NOT-SO-SIMPLE DEFINITION
Right now, you have two choices. The first involves going to
the app store and downloading Pokemon Go. If you do that,
you'll understand what augmented reality is, completely,
within a few minutes. If not, keep reading.
Augmented reality creates a digital layer on top of the real
world. The most popular way this is accomplished is by
looking through the camera lens of a smartphone or tablet.
A less popular way, today, is by looking through the lens of
smart glasses. (You might remember Google Glass from a
few years ago.) If that seems more on the bleeding edge
than the leading edge, well, you're right. The applications of
augmented reality that seem to be taking off are doing so
through smartphones and tablets for the simplest reason:
we all have them.
Once you understand what augmented reality is, the
potential applications will come to you easily. Imagine

16 | LANCASTERTHRIVING! | Fall/Winter2017



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