Immersive digital experiences within natural environments
Augmented Reality (AR) overlays digital information on real-world elements. Augmented Reality keeps the real world central but enhances it by overlaying it with other digital details and a new strata of perception that supplements our reality and environment.
Possible Applications at GSA
Below you will see examples of how some organizations within GSA could effectively advance their Augmented Reality (AR) utilization technology to further their mission:
Exterior architecture visualizations
PBS could effectively visualize digital depictions of property construction, staging, upgrades, and renovations. This would allow for better decision making and reviewing large complex projects prior to making critical decisions.
GSA-IT and TTS
With augmented reality, GSA users could conduct self-help troubleshooting by being presented with overlays of where certain actions should be performed. This could save the agency money and time as users would be able to resolve their issues independently.
Augmented Reality Examples can be used in training simulations for surgeons, the operation of production, and immersion of teaching experiences within the classroom. The economic benefits of AR are expected to be felt everywhere and many use cases can be used for many things and go further in the future.
AR tools are currently assisting teachers by creating an interactive learning experience for their students. AR has helped students visualize mathematical concepts through visuals and interactive 3D models. One example helping students learn geometry more interactively is an application called Merge Cube, which allows students to virtually hold, view, and rotate 3D objects. Augmented reality also helps incorporate gamification through a virtual platform thus creating an experience for the student to learn in a more interactive and fun way.
An important and popular application for augmented reality in education is the use of AR apps directly in the classroom. For teachers it provides a visual representation of the material, and then students can test their knowledge.
AR has an advantage of offering training to the student in a restrictive environment without actually being in a restrictive environment such as a construction site or other difficult or dangerous places to learn.
It can be a prototype of training because of the pandemic and its physical location limitations.
Immersive learning experiences including 360 degree videos and 3D environments with scales and orientations that offer an advantage to the student are possible.
Within the Health Field, AR can create virtual environments that show surgeons how to go through organs, conduct virtual surgeries before performing them in real-life, manipulate and interact with the entire composition of the human body down to the cellular level.
Companies and Contracts
Augmented Reality adoption has been growing quickly over the past several years. Industries such as healthcare, retail, gaming, education and government are looking to take advantage of its capabilities and potential benefits. The ability to add sounds, images and specific textual information in a digital way along with ‘real’ life situations allows a more immersive experience for the users.
Several companies have entered the space as both VR/AR with a few focusing on the latter.
List of Augmented Reality Companies (Source):
- ScienceSoft – US (McKinney, Texas)
- Niantic – US (San Francisco, California, USA)
- Scanta (Lewes, DE, USA)
- Next/Now (Chicago, USA)
- 4Experience (Bielsko-biala, Slaskie, Poland)
- CitrusBits (San Francisco, California, USA)
- Apple – US (Cupertino, California, USA)
- Microsoft – US (Washington, USA)
- VironIT (San Francisco, California, USA)
- VR Vision Inc. (Toronto, Canada)
- Groove Jones (Dallas, Chicago, USA)
- FundamentalVR (London, Great Britain)
- Valence Group/8ninths (Seattle, Washington, USA)
- Gravity Jack (Liberty Lake, Washington, USA)
- TechSee (Herzliya, Illinois, USA)
GSA Contract(s) & Vendors
As of now there is one major vehicle for making use of Augmented Reality, however the categories within the Virtual/Augmented Reality space are listed among other emerging technologies to be acquired within specific Task Orders. (8ASTARS3) - SubContracts and Vendors (STARS3 ET)
Laws and Legislation
- S.1790 - National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020
- H.R.6395 - William M. (Mac) Thornberry National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021