SLAM allows people to see virtual 3D content in the real world without a marker. AR has traditionally relied on a physical marker (i.e. product or object) to trigger and track the experience however SLAM can project the virtual 3D object into the real world and make it ‘stick’ in the environment.
Algorithms use sensor data to localise the camera position and orientate a 3D object in a fixed location whilst simulatenously mapping the unknown environment. Both tasks are interdependent, so the better we understand the camera position the more accurate the map will be, and visa versa.
The military have been using SLAM in unmanned drones for decades and it’s a component of self-driving cars, robotic vacuums and even Mars rover. Marketers are using the technology to showcase products to potential customers in their home, whether it’s furniture, toys or even cars.