5 Things You Should Know about the AR Cloud

Okay, I know what some of you could be thinking. “Not some other AR jargon! We’ve just barely gotten our heads what AR even is!” It’s totally understandable if you share these testaments. Indeed, AR evolves at an incredible pace. But, just like we did with a concept like WebAR, we’re going to dissect what the AR cloud is.

It’s been called a lot of things, including the future of information and the rightful heir to Google search. Actually, the cloud has the potential to be all that and more. As the cloud is such a crucial topic, this blogpost will be presented in the smoothest way possible; in a good ol’ listicle!

So, here are 5 things you need to know about the AR cloud: 

1- What is the AR Cloud?

Let’s kick this off with a nice surprise. Have you ever used your imagination to think of the world’s future with AR? Well, then, you already have an idea about what the AR cloud is. That’s because the cloud is the way to AR’s true potential. It’s AR done right!

To elaborate, the AR cloud is a digital copy of all the places on Earth. One day, the cloud will carry copies of the street where you live, Big Ben, the Sahara Desert, and literally everywhere else.

What’s in that for you, you ask? This, you curious soul, shall be answered in our next point.

2- How’s the AR Cloud Going to Affect our Daily Lives?

Imagine this scenario. You’re on your way to a job interview and you’re 15 minutes early. Unfortunately for you, you step into funky dog feces. Your shoes are in such bad shape that you can’t clean them. Also, you don’t have time to go back home to change. Your only option is to buy new ones, but you have only 15 minutes to do so.

Without the AR Cloud, you could be pretty panicked at that point. But with the cloud, all you’d have to do is let the cloud show you the nearest shoes shop. That could be through your smartphone, AR glasses, or soon enough, through AR contact lenses. When you arrive there, the cloud would show if shoes of the size and color you desire are available. You wouldn’t have to go into the store to check or ask. And if you’re lucky enough, the entire process would take only a few minutes.

Essentially, that’s what the AR Cloud is all about. It’s about increasing productivity and facilitating our daily lives. The key is that all that happens without having to scroll through endless pages of Google search. Instead, the AR Cloud will have our eyes always focused on our real environments.

3- Why Do We Need the AR Cloud?

As hinted above, the ease of info visualization is where the AR Cloud’s power lies. For sure, reading text has propelled humanity for millennia. However, humans still digest info best when they observe and interact.

Another perk of the AR Cloud is persistence. Current AR experiences all last for a short while and have no long-term effects. On the other hand, info on the AR Cloud stays there and can be accessed forever. In addition, when the AR Cloud is established, everyone will be invited. It will be one neverending mega multi-user AR experience. Consequently, it could make way for innovative collaborations and intimate relationships.

4- Who Coined the Term the AR Cloud?

So this isn’t just some good-to-know trivia. It’s always important to know and follow the pioneers behind the tech. That’s because they usually have their fingers on the pulse of the scene. For instance, Kevin Ashton coined the term Internet of Things over 20 years ago. To this day, he remains an IoT expert with solid insights and predictions.

In the case of the AR Cloud, we have Ori Inbar to thank. Without a doubt, he’s a world leader in AR with founding Augmented World Expo as one of his achievements. In 2017, he coined the term as he addressed the limitations to ARKit and ARCore on Medium

A few months later, he discovered a number of companies operating on his premise of the AR Cloud. Basically, one could argue that Inbar ushered these companies into existence. So it’s high time you give the man a follow!

5- What are Some AR Cloud Use Cases?

As mentioned a few moments ago, the AR Cloud could transform shopping experiences. Of course, that doesn’t go for shoes stores only, but for all brick-and-mortars. 

Beyond the scope of shopping, the AR Cloud has great potential in gaming. Mainly, its promise of shared experiences is what’s significant here. Google’s Just a Line game is a simple but mighty fun example of an AR Cloud game. It allows players to “draw on the world” and to do so together. That includes everything from tic-tac-toe battles to collaborative graffiti masterpieces. Plus, the game is a great opportunity for networking activities during events. In addition, Just a Line could be more than just a game. Google believes users could use it to customize their homes together.

In time, the AR Cloud will be involved in all walks of life and that includes sports. Recently, Harvard Business School’s Digital Initiative took a dive into that matter. Among the uses discussed were AR for coaches that could lead to unprecedented training techniques. During matches, coaches could use AR to visualize info such as shooting percentages. Then, coaches could provide immediate feedback to the players. This brings a whole new level of competitiveness to sports and excitement to fans.

Augmented Reality is the most promising tech in the world today with use cases everywhere. Try it on for yourself right now when you sign up to Augmania’s WebAR creator!

Can AR Improve Creative Self-Expression?

Folks, let me tell you: living in Berlin comes with perks galore, especially on the artistic side. For five months, I’ve lived here to study and to commemorate Augmania’s launch in Germany. And as my wonderful stay nears its end, I must say I’m enthralled by the art scene in Berlin. Simply put, art is unavoidable in Die Hauptstadt. What’s cooler, interacting with artists and getting to know their backstories have been highly inspiring. All in all, I loved being in Berlin because it’s a city that bolsters self-expression.

Yet, occasionally, I did come across artworks like this:

Specifically, this one I pass by every day on my walk back home. And while pedestrians usually deem it funny and cute, it always makes me ponder its message. Forgive my old-schoolness, but I’ve always believed that art is at its most successful when people do interpret it. Hopefully, for the artist’s sake, these interpretations are close to his/her intended message. To me, that is true self-expression.

Anyway, my interpretation of the artwork above is a bit dark. From the first time I saw it, the grizzly bear represented the (nearing endangerment?) species known as introverts. And the artwork a whole pictured introverts’ struggles with self-expression in today’s world. Despite its proven capability as a hunter, the grizzly decides to lie on its couch and stay the night. That’s eerily analogous to introverts avoiding self-expression against their creative competence.

What rattled me the most was the realization that even in Berlin, some, possibly including said artist himself, struggle with self-expression. It’s sad to think that there are still plenty of creative ideas and stories that haven’t seen the light.

Of course, the main culprit here is none other than fear of judgment.

Essentially, the cliche of all of us living under microscopes couldn’t be truer. In some way, we’re all connected nonstop to the public eye and expected to behave in a certain manner. For some (i.e. extroverts), they shine under that pressure. Contrarily, introverts might end up hiding their true selves in fear of not fitting in and the subsequent cynicism. 

However, I, personally, am of the notion that introverts can never really shut off their desire for self-expression. How else could an introverted artist create the reflective grizzly bear artwork above?

So, it’s my belief that introverts do self-express, but they do it subtly. One of the qualities leading researcher of introversion and bestselling author Susan Cain assigns introverts is indeed subtlety.

In most cases, subtlety is a way of self-protection to them. They do tell their stories, but in a subtlety that ensures they don’t fall into wrong (and judgmental) hands. To get access to their stories, you have to unravel that subtlety. In other words, you have to commit and spend effort to gain their trust. You have to leap into different realms of thought to witness the fruits of their self-expression.

In hindsight, that sounds like a pretty efficient strategy for safe self-expression. But, what if I tell you there is a much less complicated way to reach the same effect?

Introverts of the world, allow me to elaborate on the powers of Augmented Reality in self-expression.

If a show of commitment is what introverts require before letting others in, then AR could be just the answer. With AR, people literally traverse to a different reality to explore and unlock content.

Then, in essence, an introvert could create any form of self-expression and then add an AR layer to it. It would be almost like showing everyone the tip of the iceberg. But in order to see the iceberg in all its glory, people dip into the water aka use AR. Except, in this case, only those who feel a connection to the work of self-expression would be stimulated enough to know the full story.

Actually, I think there’s no better way to take this discussion further than by providing examples. So here are some AR tools introverts could use for self-expression.

1- Augmented Graffiti

So it’s only right that we start with the form of self-expression that triggered all this: graffiti. Graffiti is a universal language of self-expression. Artists have used it in every situation there is, including during revolutions. Of course, that’s because of the easy exposure, being on the streets for everyone to see. Cities like Berlin even encourage graffiti. Look no further than all the masterpieces over the Berlin wall.

Now, let’s go back to the graffiti of the grizzly on the couch. Imagine if the full story behind the artwork was accessible via AR. The graffiti could trigger another series of artworks, a music track, or even a short movie in AR. To unlock the AR content, pedestrians would only have to scan the graffiti with their phones.

You know what would be extra awesome too? That would be if the graffiti artist actually updated his/her artwork with new AR content every week. We’re talking a never-before-seen platform for long-term storytelling here. Personally, that would be an epic reward for me as I pass by the graffiti every week.

2- Augmented Tattoos

Tattoos are among the oldest tools for self-expression ever. Originally, some tattooed because they believed tattoos had therapeutic effects. Today, people get tattoos for emotional health. It doesn’t matter if the tattoo honors a passed loved one or celebrates a special day. Many love telling others their stories through the tattoos on their bodies.

With extroverts, their tattoos are usually big, loud, and self-explanatory. On the other hand, introverts get, again, subtle tattoos. That’s the aforementioned tip of the iceberg in the context of tattoos. As such, introvert tattoos only hint at what their possible meanings could be.

Like with graffiti, tattoos too could get the AR treatment to become augmented tools of self-expression. That would be an innovative form of AR print to expand the stories behind tattoos.

Here’s an example of a tattoo coming to life in AR:

3- AR Filters

Quite easily, AR filters might be the most popular AR tools. Brands use them for promotion all the time. Even, Taco Bell is famous for getting 224 million attractions with its Taco AR filter. But in this blogpost, we’re going to focus more on user-generated AR filters and their influence as self-expression tools.

Since not everyone can afford the trip to Paris for social engagement, social media users, especially millennials and Gen Z individuals, have taken to AR filters to gain a following. Also, it’s now easier than ever to create custom AR filters using Spark AR Studio.

Last year, Instagram user Johanna Jaskowska created her super viral filter Beauty3000. The filter turned users’ faces glossy, metallic, and fitting of a dystopian world. As of now, the filter has had over 400 million views.

Credit: Vogue

The potential of AR filters use as a means of self-expression has even led to new stunning inventions. In a dazzling display of technology, Russian teen Mikhail Murtazin created an AR filter based on Flappy Birds. What’s so impressive? Well, you play the game by blinking!

Called Flying Face, the gamified AR filter has amassed 1 billion views. And rightfully so! But what it really demonstrates is how far AR and an urge for self-expression can go together.

The time to self-express in AR is now! Join Augmania’s AR creator and tap into your creativity without ever worrying about code!