AR or VR (augmented reality or virtual reality) enriches reality with a whole series of information to be superimposed on what the eyes see. “Increase reality” does not only mean immersing yourself in futuristic and science fiction scenarios, but trying to amaze consumers with new adverts. (as Pepsi did in London) or innovative services as in the case of the application of Ikea.
Augmented Reality is a recent and constantly evolving technology. If we wanted to define it, in a simple way, it is the representation of an altered reality in which other artificial and virtual information is superimposed on the normal reality perceived by our senses. All this begins to become public domain thanks to Google Glass which, through a small display positioned above the eye, fills the visual field with information and data on the surrounding environment of the wearer.
The concept of AR or VR, however, also conquers the make-up and skincare sector, leaving the foundation samples and lipstick testers to remain only an old memory. Many of the big names in beauty and cosmetic multinationals have thus presented consumers with the fruits of many researches and studies applied to make-up, skincare and hair style. Some companies that use it, have made an application available to the consumer that uses the recognition of Google Lens images so that they can try out the different color ranges through the camera of their smartphone. Another company has also bet on virtual reality, launching a revolutionary project in the field of hairstyling. It is a mirror with augmented reality that will be positioned inside the hairdressing salons and through a facial recognition mechanism it offers looks, colors and hairstyles, offering a 360 ° view to the customer.
The concept of AR, however, has started to take its first steps in much more technical and specific areas such as military and scientific and medical research. The first examples of augmented reality were introduced in the air force sector in the form of a head-up display (overlay vision) on fighter planes to show pilots flight data. Virtual reality is also having an important impact in the medical scientific research sector: its ability to simulate a real experience, thus recreating a three-dimensional environment similar to that perceived daily, makes it the ideal tool for research, study and development of new therapies, even during Coronavirus times (Covid-19).
In recent years, in fact, there has been a rapid evolution of technology so as to find positive results in the use of virtual reality applied to the management of acute and chronic pain, anxiety disorders, phobias, post-traumatic stress disorders, food and in rehabilitation. In addition, AR or VR is also of great importance in the field of professional health training; just think of the possibility for a surgeon to simulate an operation in a controlled virtual environment. Up to now we can say that Virtual Reality has improved many aspects of our life so that we can become our real ally in the future. Only continuous research and development in this sector can help improve the effects and consequently increase the applications and results of this technology in the medical field and beyond.