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The Future of Tech Devices & Healthy Shopping
The term “mixed reality” refers to both augmented and virtual reality, which are two of the trendiest topics in tech these days.
For those who may not be as familiar with them, augmented reality – commonly called “AR” – describes an experience in which you look through a tech device (a phone or a pair of glasses, typically) to observe your surroundings with certain digital augmentations; for example, just to explain the concept, you might look through your phone at field that is empty in reality, but see a house projected there digitally on your screen. Virtual reality, on the other hand – VR – refers to the idea of looking through glasses or goggles to view a different reality entirely; so, in this case, you might be sitting in a field, put on goggles, and find yourself inside a non-existent house, with its full environment all around you.
Currently, these mixed reality technologies are best known for their applications in major industries:
For AR, there’s a lot to be said already regarding business applications. These are broad, and cover a lot of different specific businesses, but we have seen AR used in retail, in design and modeling, in repair, maintenance, and construction, and more. In other words, it has a lot of real-world applications, with retail and even furniture shopping being among the most prominent. Through AR, consumers can now view products remotely as if they’re doing so in person, such as virtually sampling a coffee table in an empty living room. Alternatively, AR devices can provide information about products viewed in an actual store, such as prices, discounts, similar product offerings, etc.
For VR, gaming undoubtedly generates the most buzz. Various mainstream gaming genres have been successfully transformed by VR, including racing games, shooters, first-person adventures, and more. In fact, we’re already seeing VR move into a sort of second chapter with gaming, adapting simpler genres and titles. In some cases this refers to straightforward mobile arcades, and in others, it refers to games plucked from the bustling online casino business. Built via platforms in Canada and Great Britain, and popularized through start-up bonuses and game variety, modern digital casinos go well beyond the same old slots and table games, and employ graphics and themes that are suitable to VR. This, as much as anything, has proved just how many different experiences VR is capable of bringing to life for us.
Hopefully this all provides a good general understanding of what augmented and virtual reality are and how they’re being widely introduced in the modern world. But knowing all of this, how can AR and VR impact our health?
In many cases this question can be answered with a lot of talk about fitness. Augmented and virtual reality tech is already being fused with fitness apps and in some cases whole workout machines to change the ways in which people exercise. This is all quite promising, and may even make the whole concept of exercise more appealing to a lot of people who have trouble sticking to routines. However, here we’re looking instead at how AR and VR might impact nutrition – specifically through healthy shopping and meal curation.
Regarding augmented reality, there are already people asking how grocery stores will change as a result of the technology’s spread. This question can be answered in different ways depending how far ahead we look; for instance, some might imagine entire tech-based interactive checkout systems that incorporate AR. In the near future though, there’s a good bet that AR programs will pair with products and/or grocery stores to help facilitate healthy shopping. Think of it as a universal version of restaurants putting calorie counts on menus. With AR, we could potentially go to grocery stores and look through our devices such that nutritional information flashes before our eyes as we scan items. It’s not unlike the previously mentioned example of being able to look up relevant product information while retail shopping.
From a VR perspective it’s a little bit trickier to guess how the tech will be applied. However, we can imagine a version of smart nutritional shopping that occurs in advance. Just as a VR program can build a game around you, it can certainly put you in a virtual version of a real grocery store, such that you can shop around, build up a cart, and -– conceivably – have it waiting for you upon arrival. One can also imagine this same concept being put to use in meal delivery kit services. So, hypothetically, you could virtually shop through a catalogue full of nutritional information and recommendations, build a meal with help from an automated system, and have it delivered in due time.
These are fairly vague ideas compared to the more fleshed-out AR and VR applications we’ve already seen come to life. However they do speak to the potential for mixed reality to positively impact our lifestyles regarding nutrition.