Recently we took a look and explained what virtual reality is from its history to modern times. Today we will take a slight detour and take a look at what is Augmented reality also known as AR.
If you have an understanding of VR then it will be easier to understand this one line description. Augmented reality is a real world environment with elements that have been augemented by computer generated visuals, sound, GPS data and other sensory stimuli.
The workings of successful AR is normally done in real time as the core of the feature is based on the real world environment. This technology is based on a combination of specialized hardware coupled with software running the appropriate algorithms.
Domains of computer science such as computer vision and object, artificial intelligence and facial recognition among others are essential in AR. With these domains we are able to transform a real world scene and transform it into an interactive canvas.
What Does it Take to Immerse Ones Self in Augmented Reality Worlds?
Basically you need hardware with the necessary sensors for the type of applications you want to delve into. Basically you need devices such as smartphone, tablets, computers that have one or more but not limited to the following sensors including a camera, GPS, accelerometer, digital compass, Thermometer, light and proximity sensors, altimeters and such like sensors.
The displays that make it all come to life include computer monitors, mobile device displays, head mounted displays (HMD), and projection systems among others.
Other more interesting displays in the AR domain include eyeglasses such as Google glass and Microsoft HoloLens which have cameras that pick up from the environment and use the data to project on glass information. Also included in the fascinating list is the Head-up displays (HUD) which are transparent displays most notably used in airplane cockpits.
The there’s Spatial Augmented Reality (SAR)which makes use of digital projectors to display graphical information onto physical objects. This medium is ideal for use by groups of users and therefore is ideal for presentation functions. These could be anything from mobile projectors to shader lamps and virtual tables among others.
Now things get a little more interesting. There is development of contact lenses which are Augmented reality capable. Virtual retinal display (VRD) under development at the University of Washington’s Human Interface Technology Laboratory is a personal display device where the display is projected directly onto the retina.
Just like VR, AR has applications in several domains including video games most notably the hit Pokémon Go. Other applications include flight training simulations, medical, military and navigation. It is also used in education, visual arts and architecture among other fields.
Here are more insights and interesting read on augmented reality