Augmented Reality for Energy Audits

Augmented Reality for Energy Audits

An energy audit is useful for homeowners and businesses to understand their quantity of energy consumption. By performing an energy audit, the goal is to reduce expenses and environmental damage. An energy audit is typically done by a utility specialist who is given permission to enter the building and uncover the upgrades or fixes needed to make the space more energy efficient. However, COVID-19 is still a concern to our society and preventative social distancing measures are in order in multiple areas across the country– meaning energy audits can’t always take place like they used to. 

This presents a new pain point for prospective customers who are interested in energy audits and reducing costs but are worried about the current CDC guidelines. Fortunately, new emerging technology like augmented reality (AR) can help solve this issue. By using a smart device– which most everyone has access to– customers can interact with a professional through an app and augmented reality technology. By leveraging a remote expert, customers can be guided through a series of steps to complete the evaluation themselves. With the addition of augmented reality, the process is streamlined with real-time instructions placed in their field of view. 

As mentioned in an article by the AREA, COVID-19 is acting as an accelerator by moving AR from ‘early adopters’ to a more ‘mainstream market’ with ready to use solutions. The article points out, “we’re seeing use cases that are driven by the travel bans caused by the pandemic. The most popular one is remote support.”

Not only can AR technology maintain social distancing orders, it can help the homeowner or business owner become more involved and educated in their energy usage. Tools such as AR-assisted measurement and expert energy advice seek to include the customer in the experience. 

AR takes regular phone calls and remote services to a new level– improving the overall customer experience. Remote expert assistance enables technicians to visually guide and collaborate with the homeowner. Touchless audits, done remotely could continue to work in a homeowner’s favor for years to come. Future use cases of AR could include home inspections or fixing critical home maintenance issues. AR can revolutionize the spread of knowledge and allow customers to take advantage of expertise from around the world.

The current pandemic has opened up a greater conversation on how emerging technologies can be extremely beneficial in our daily lives. The AREA predicts that “by 2021 or 2022. . .you’ll have more use cases with AR as it starts to deliver more value than existing tools. There’s also a big focus now on making more tasks digital and automated by leveraging AR and AI.”  

Reducing our carbon footprint will continue to be more essential as global temperatures rise at an alarming rate. It is reassuring to know that augmented reality can help with our energy consumption– along with reducing costs for businesses and homeowners alike. Think about the positive effects AR can create for our energy efficiency on a global scale. 


 Where do you think AR will make an impact?

AR in e-commerce

In 2019, approximately 1.92 million people purchased goods and services online. There is no doubt that the number of digital buyers continues to grow throughout the 21st century. With more tools than ever before including the internet, social media, and smart devices– consumers are continuing to increasingly turn to e-commerce to make their purchases. 

With that being said, we can see how augmented reality (AR) has the power to disrupt this industry. One of the biggest challenges consumers face with online shopping is the inability to touch, try on, or experience the product they are about to buy. Enter AR, where the customer can get a real glimpse of what the product will look like in their own environment. Not only is AR beneficial for consumers, but businesses who invest in AR technologies may also see a decrease in returns and dissatisfaction. Let’s explore three advantages of AR in e-commerce.

Preview Products 

Think about a time where you found the perfect painting or furniture set online but wished you had the ability to project what it would look like in your own home. AR solves this problem. Using AR, you can position a digitally imposed version of the item in your desired location– customizing the color or design if needed. Companies such as Ikea, Wayfair, and Home Depot have already deployed augmented reality and take the lead in adoption.  

Customer Engagement

For online businesses, the goal is to keep a potential customer on your website as long as possible– eventually leading to a sale. According to Medium, video enhances customer engagement and has a direct impact on purchasing behavior. However, what if photos and videos were taken up a notch– to an interactive experience? Augmented reality can do just that. With Youtube being the second largest search engine in the world, we can see the way consumers like to interact with today’s content. Implement AR, and the numbers will skyrocket. In fact, 61% of shoppers have already said they prefer to make purchases on sites that offer augmented reality technology. 

Product personalization

AR also has big opportunities in fashion and retail as “try on” technologies have been created using AR to give customers the ultimate buying experience. Brands like Sephora and Topshop have introduced new AR features that allow customers to try on a lip shade or clothing piece virtually. The greatest part is that users can interact with the products in their own way and personalize their experience. AR takes away the limitations of not visiting a physical location by allowing customers to interact with products as they would in person.

The Time is Now

Emerging technologies like augmented reality will increase customer satisfaction and user engagement. AR is a powerful tool for merchants and those who adopt sooner than later will reap the benefits. 

How do you predict AR will disrupt e-commerce?

The Future of Humanity and an Interconnected World

The Future of Humanity and an Interconnected World

With each new generation, comes lessons learned. Some may argue that traditional values have been replaced with freedom and acceptance of all. Of course, there are always two sides to a coin, as structure can be good. But, in the name of Technology, is this really such a bad thing? By uprooting what hasn’t worked in the past, we can make space for new and exciting opportunities.

Think about the Internet and the lessons we have learned from its growth and immense impact on our daily lives. For example, issues such as fake news, misinformation, and the jeopardization of privacy– have all been topics of discussion. Clearly, there have been challenges that came with a more connected world, and developers, providers, and users alike have a role in addressing them. We struggle with the question could we have predicted these challenges?  And with more experience behind us now, we now face the question will humans be able to take course correct and take their power back as emerging technologies like Augmented reality and Artificial Intelligence make headway?

The acceleration of technological progress has been the focus of this last century. We are quite possibly at the edge of another massive change in our society. Soon enough, we will flip from the ‘digital native’ to the ‘interconnected human’. Information will be served to humans in a much different way, people will interact “online” differently and data will become ubiquitous. 

We can only predict what Generation Z will do with such an immersive and configurable world. Generation Z, already projected to be the most diverse and best-educated generation yet, has the opportunity to hone their skills by taking advantage of augmented reality. They also have little to no memory of the world without smartphones, tablets, or computers. Generation Z never needed to adapt to a technology-centered society, it came naturally to them. We can argue this made them more progressive, as it gave them access to a much larger library of information than ever before. Social media and internet forums and communities now give users the opportunities to appreciate and acknowledge other’s perspectives from across the globe. 

It can seem frightening and intimidating to accept a technology that immerses the physical with the virtual. With talk of a future brain/ cloud interface, which would connect brain cells to a vast cloud-computing network, how could you not be wary?

However, with the new generations who are beacons of change, there is trust that they will have more resources and experience to take the driver’s seat. AR natives should be doubtful of people who wish to use technology to control and separate us. Although, there may be fear that we will repeat history– I believe technology will work to make a better future for us all and we can count on younger generations to challenge the imperfections of governments and industry. If leveraged the appropriate way, Augmented reality could be our tool to tap into a collective consciousness and claim our power. 


The Parallels Between the World Wide Web and Emerging Technologies

The Parallels Between the World Wide Web and Emerging Technologies

Do you remember times before the World Wide Web? With technology being a central part of our daily lives– it feels like a fuzzy memory to recall a world without it. The Web made it possible for people to share information and connect from thousands of miles apart. It is easy to take it for granted now, as everything we need is right at our fingertips. 

What if I told you that we may have another revolutionary period coming our way. That is one of emerging technologies such as Augmented Reality (AR)  and Virtual Reality (VR).  

You may think integrating such new technology is out of the question, at least in the near future. 

However, let’s dive into the story of the World Wide Web a little more. 

The World Wide Web marks the end of an era of frustrating incompatibilities between computer systems. According to Tim Berners Lee, it is defined as “ The universe of global network-accessible information”. The Web, put simply, is a shared information space where people can collaborate and communicate. 

Today, we are certain it has made our lives easier. I personally cannot imagine doing research before the Web. I could list an endless list of other tasks that are accelerated because of this information system. Yet, back then, people still doubted the power of the World Wide Web. In fact, Tim Berners Lee, the inventor of the web, was first rejected when he presented his idea. There was also a great deal of resistance, as skeptics were worried about the adverse effects on the economy and society as a whole. 

In his article, Sergey Galyonkin, recalls trying to raise venture capital for the world’s first internet advertising company in 1995, and couldn’t find a single investor. Nobody believed it would take off, but in a matter of five years, that quickly changed. 

If we had a looking glass into the future we would see that emerging technologies will become an integral part of our lives– much like the Internet and Web are today. AR and VR will follow a similar trajectory to that of the World Wide Web.  

There are definitely skeptics in this space too, with distress over a plausible “hyper-reality” if we merge AR with our current world. Although it is important to take these potential issues into account, we will certainly develop ethics around interactive technology as we move forward. 

Emerging tech will transform industries across the globe. In particular, our education system, which has not radically changed in decades. Children thrive in an environment where they can tap into their creativity– and technology has the ability to customize experiences for each individual student and their learning needs. As computers and iPhones are strictly virtual, augmented reality combines both real and virtual content. Learning could be much more engaging if a student could put on a set of glasses and interact with a multi-dimensional image of the inside of a cell or a chemical element. 

Galyonkin reiterates that “Virtual Reality holds the promise to be even more transformative than the flat Web was — reaching into every segment of every market and remaking it to be virtually accessible”.  He mentions virtual reality touching industries like real estate, eCommerce, and entertainment.

Can we draw similarities to the rise of the World Wide Web and emerging technology? I like to think so. There will always be resistance to change and the unknown, but in the end, we will see how humans and technology can thrive together to create an exciting and transformative future.

The Digital Native– A Series

The Digital Native– a term first coined by Mark Prensky in 2001– to describe the generation of people who have grown up in the digital age. Well, me being a 22-year-old college graduate, I fit into this description perfectly. I decided to do a short series where I am going to explore the monumental rise of technology from my perspective– and other “digital natives” who I work alongside with. 

Yes, it’s true, I don’t quite remember a time without computers. However, I remember the hassle of dial-up internet and extremely slow speeds. My parent’s home office computer was the size of a dinosaur– I may be exaggerating a bit– but you get the point. Using the internet was not even worth it at times. As 6th grade came around, I was uber jealous of my friends who were allowed a cell phone– with the most basic calling and texting functionalities. I, on the other hand, still had to call my friend’s home phones and politely go through the parent who picked up on the other side. 

Then came the rise of Apple. I distinctly recall being able to switch from my hand-held CD player to an iPod shuffle, and I was ecstatic. The idea of having my music all in one place was amazing. One of my top requests on my birthday that year was an iTunes gift card. As each song costs $1.29, I was very wise about my selections. In 2009, Apple released the newest version of the iPod Nano, with the biggest screen yet. Obviously, this was the start of Apple’s big takeoff. Eventually, I got hold of the iPod touch and a phone of my own. I shared my phone plan with the rest of my family, so I had a limited number of texts I could send before we were charged extra. My iPod touch made it easier for me to text my friends on wifi– with no extra charge, I felt like I had the world at my fingertips. 

It is fascinating to look back at my childhood and grasp the way technology changed so quickly. Many people may look back and wish they had invested in Apple or any of the other “Tech Giants” at the time of their rise. Needless to say, it seems like we are at another turning point for breakthrough technologies. Ten years ago, if you would have mentioned artificial intelligence to anyone in the room, they would have thought you were referencing a sci-fi movie. However, today, Alexa has already proven the power of artificial intelligence. Mixed realities– such as AR and VR– are likely to be just as significant as the rise of computers.

As businesses, colleges, and healthcare systems all begin to embrace immersive technology, my life and future career has the potential to look much different than generations before me. It is both daunting and exciting. Yet–as a digital native– it can’t be too anomalous, can it?