Last month Lighting in Design attended an IESSA meeting in Northriding, Gauteng. The presentation of the evening, ‘Augmented reality & the lighted environment’ was by Retief Coetzer from BEKA Schréder who is passionate about the topic, having envisioned – and then driven – the process to create a first in the world Augmented Reality (AR) app for street lighting applications.
Two years ago AR was new even to Coetzer, but it is now predicted that with the fourth industrial revolution, in a short five years everyone will interact with AR in some way in their day-to-day lives – on some sort of device. Tim Cook, current CEO of Apple, says of AR that, “Once it arrives, it will be everywhere. I don’t think there is any sector or industry that will be untouched by AR. The real difference between virtually reality (VR) and AR is not the immersive aspect, but that we will use AR in our everyday lives, where we live, learn and work. It will become as much a part of our day as eating three meals.”
The benefits of AR include it being immersive and accessible by all – smartphone sales grew by 12.4 percent year on year in South Africa in the first quarter of 2018. “Most importantly for me,” he said, “is that it is educational and easily understood, as you can explain a concept so much easier visually.” Lighting to the lay person can be difficult to comprehend, especially when trying to explain certain terms and ideas, such as photometry, polar diagrams, lux, candela per square metre, isometric and symmetric distribution. “I believe AR will play a vital role in educating clients by explaining certain terms visually and making it more immersive. AR will enable manufacturers and designers to reach people who have never known that lighting is a ‘thing’ and miss it only when it’s not there,” said Coetzer.
Lighting in Design will be exploring this topic in depth in our next issue. In the meantime, however, in this issue we present other exciting lighting developments including the rapid rise of specialist horticultural lighting as well as an innovative lighting installation at Rosebank Link which features a dramatic 124 sqm full-colour LED video screen that has been custom-designed and engineered to be an integral part of the building’s fabric, and to contribute to the edifice’s striking appearance. Elsewhere, we showcase The MARC, located in the ‘Golden Square Mile' of the Sandton CBD, the 37 Commerce Crescent renovation project in Kramerville and the recently inaugurated Yves Saint Laurent Museum in Marrakesh. Features this issue also include Hospitality lighting and Residential lighting.