Augmented reality, or “AR”, has been a hot topic throughout the tech industry over the last year and a half. A lot of this buzz has been focused on the anticipated release of Apple’s new iPhone X which is set to be released this later this Fall. Apple’s big selling point on the X model, outside of it being the first thousand dollar phone, is that the processor will be built to handle a wave of new augmented reality apps and games. So how does this affect the HVAC industry? To understand how augmented reality can potentially enhance your home’s heating and cooling system, we must first understand what augmented reality is.
What is Augmented Reality?
Augmented reality is a type of technology that works in conjunction with sensory technology, such as GPS signals, to give viewers a computer generated view of the real world. Unlike virtual reality which creates an entirely separate digital eco-space, augmented reality uses our real life surroundings and overlays digital imagery that can be accessed through a phone or lens. In most cases, your phone will use sensory recognition technology to overlay online creative over an existing image accessed through your smartphone’s camera.
Examples of Augmented Reality
- Pokemon Go
- Snapchat Filters
- Augmented Reality GPS Features
Looking Ahead with AR
Just like almost every new feature that has been released on the iPhone, AR is expected to take off. Apple has already released an online development community with the hopes of encouraging developers to build augmented reality apps. It is expected to take off in the first quarter of 2018 as developers will rush to get their concepts out to iPhone X smartphone users. Many analysts expect massive corporate investment on to this platform ranging from automotive to online retail clothing. Imagine picking out a shirt online, then being able to point your phone in the direction of a mirror to see how it would exactly look on you. Or trying to decide on a color to paint a wall in your home by flashing your camera on the wall and browsing through different selections.
Why Augmented Reality Will Impact the Heating, Cooling, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) Industry?
There is no better example of how augmented reality can increase and industry’s user experience than the HVAC industry. Two of the hottest trends currently happening throughout the HVAC landscape play right into the transition to augmented reality.
Home automation has been a hot topic over the last couple of years when it comes to heating and cooling after Google released the Nest Smart Thermostat. In a lot of ways, this was the first product that really set off a light bulb with consumers on how digital products can help increase the effectiveness of their heating and cooling system. As more products that could sync with smart home thermostats became available to consumers, home automation continues to become more and more a part of today’s homes.
Indoor Air Quality
Along with smart thermostats, indoor air quality has also produced man revolutionary products over the last couple of years aimed at eliminating indoor contaminants and increasing the quality of your indoor air. Many indoor air quality products now can work in conjunction with some of the latest home automation products.
How Will Augmented Reality Figure In to the HVAC?
While the possibilities are virtually endless, we estimate AR to initially impact the diagnostic side of the HVAC industry. Just as home automation has started transitioning into indoor air quality, we envision augmented reality becoming a tool for HVAC repair technicians to use with diagnostic tools to help customers identify problems within their home.
Examples of Augmented Reality Could Be Used in HVAC Repair
- Imagine having diagnostic equipment that synced with an iPhone X that an HVAC repair technician could use to monitor carbon monoxide leaks? Or having indoor air monitors throughout your home that synced with your iPhone that a homeowner could log into an app to see where particular indoor air pollutants are located.
- As energy efficiency remains a top priority for today’s homeowner, what if there was an app that synced with a monitoring device that allowed you to walk around your house and monitor where cold air was accessing your home? You would essentially be able to energy assess the efficiency your home from your iPhone.
One Thing We Know is that Augmented Reality is Here to Stay
As one of the nation’s largest tech giants is investing almost everything into AR with their next line of products, one thing we know for sure is that augmented reality is only going to get bigger over the next couple of years. As innovation and development grow, make sure to keep an ear to the ground on how this new technology can help increase your heating and cooling experience throughout your home or HVAC business.