What is Augmented Reality? Transform your Real World

Hey guys, Today our topic of discussion will be centered on Augmented Reality.

As you all know, AR is a form of an artificial environment. But the majority of people doesn’t know about its historical significance and loads of other stuff.

So, it has become important for us to learn about AR.

Through the means of this article, you will learn about Augmented Reality, the underlying technology and a lot more.

Let’s go ahead!

Before bouncing off the article, do check out the bonus video at the end.

What is Augmented Reality? Transform your Real World

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Augmented Reality or AR is an interactional experience of the real world. Adding digital objects can enhance the experience of the artificical environment.

Moreover, it employs the use of computer-generated graphics which affects our senses including visual, auditory, olfactory, and haptic.

However, this information can add some new elements to the environment or can delete (or mask) the existing ones.

As you can see, AR is very much connected with the physical environment. Moreover, it alters the perception of a person towards the existing environment.

However, guys, there’s a catch in it. Do not mix up the concept of AR with that of VR.

VR totally replaces the real environment of the person with that of an immersive and virtual environment. Whereas, AR alters the perception of the person.

MUST READ: What is Virtual Reality?

Key Features of Augmented Reality

The basic concept of AR lies in the manner in which the digital components blends with the people’s perception of the real world.

Its key goal is just not to display the data but to integrate it with the real world and make them perceive as natural elements of the environment.

In 1990, Augmented Reality came into existence. Moreover, it provided an immersive experience of Mixed Reality to the users.

However, in 1992, the U.S. Air Force (Armstrong Laboratory) developed the first AR systems.

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Afterward, the AR industry made its mark in the gaming and entertainment industry. Till then the use of AR has boosted these industries to a new level.

Moreover, Domains such as education, planning, medicines, surgeries, etc. uses the AR technology

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The entrance of AR has transformed the education field such that the whole experience can be brought to the classroom. However, this experience is limited to visual aids only.

Using AR technology, “object recognition” feature can be equipped on a device. The best example is the portrait mode of our smartphone’s camera.

The user is able to digitally manipulate the real world data according to his or her need.

Moreover, this digitally manipulated data can be overlayed over the real world data and can be stored as well.

However, the augmented techniques are performed in real time and in semantic context with surrounding elements.

So, guys, this was about the basic features of augmented reality.

MUST READ: What are the benefits of Virtual Reality?

Now, let us have a deep insight into the technology used in Augmented Reality.

Guys, the technology section is further divided under hardware and software category.

So, stay tuned!

Software Technology used in Augmented Reality

In this section, all the algorithms and computer functions used are discussed in detail. Let’s go ahead.

Algorithm Used

AR systems basically work on the principle of Image Registration. Under this, the software helps in capturing the real world coordinates.

Further, the system uses Computer Vision for Video Tracking. Moreover, video odometry helps us to carry out these methods.

The video odometry consists of two stages. In the first stage, it detects the interest points and optical flow in the camera pics. This step uses a detection method.

At the second stage, the real world coordinates are derived from the data obtained in the first stage.

Some algorithms or methods helps in determining the geometry of the object. However, if still the geometry or fiducial markers are unknown, then Simultaneous Localization and Mapping (SLAM) takes place.

It helps in determining the geometry and helps in mapping the relative points on the object.

Furthermore, AR uses mathematical methods such as Kalman Particle filter, Robust statistics, Projective geometry, Geometric algebra and rotational representation with the exponential map.

I know guys, the concepts underlined above might not be digestible to many of you.

But trust me, this just the basic, very basic. AR technology employs lots of complex techniques which are not mentioned here.

However, now let’s get back to our topic.

Language used

AR uses ARML (Augmented Reality Markup Language). It is a data standard which consists of XML codes to explain the location and design of virtual objects.

Moreover, ECMA Script bindings allow dynamic access to the characteristics of Digital Objects.

So, guys, let’s talk about the hardware employed.

Hardware Technology Used in Augmented Reality

Head-Mounted Display (HMD)

For the means of display, we use devices such as Monitors, Optical projection systems and HMDs.

Almost all of you guys must be familiar with HMDs. Right? As in the case of VR, HMDs are nothing but Head-Mounted Display which is worn on the head.

But, in the AR, the HMDs uses both the real and virtual world to provide an artificial environment to the user. However, VR only employs the virtual world and cuts the user from the real world.

Eyeglasses

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Eyewear provides the display to link AR. This eyewear uses cameras to interpret the real world and re-display the augmented view through the glasses.

Head-Up Display (HUD)

It is a transparent display which provides the data to the user without changing his or her viewpoint. Initially, Air pilots used this technology. This helps them to maintain their sight.

Moreover, Near Eye AR can fulfill the purpose of Head-Up Display. It can show data, images, etc. while the user interacts with the real world.

Contact Lenses

Guys, this seems pretty much hypothetical but AR contact lenses are in development. Yes, this technology is going through R&D and soon will be in the market.

However, many patents including Samsung AR technology has been filed up. Moreover, the basic level of AR contact lenses is already in testing by the American Military.

Virtual Retinal Display (VRD)

This hypothetical seeming device is also under development guys. Yes, its R&D is going on at the University of Washington under the Department of Human Interface Technology.

User’s retina is directly connected with this display. This will provide high-quality bright images with better contrast and high resolution.

Handheld Display

A handheld display is a small display which fits in the user’s hand. Till date, all the handheld AR gadgets prefer video see-through technology.

With the help of fiducial markers, SLAM, GPS, MEMS, and Gyroscopic sensor, AR utilizes the Image Linked Map interface. Games like Pokemon Go and Ingress are perfect examples of handheld AR technology.

MUST READ: What is the difference between Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality?

Other important Hardware Devices

Tracking

AR uses motion tracking technology to offer accuracy and precision. This technology includes a number of sensors and solid-state compasses.

Moreover, it undertakes the movement, position, and orientation of the user’s body.

Networking

Guys, as we all know, AR technology is gaining popularity day by day. However, it mostly relies on networking from the host through strong real-time transfer protocols.

However, the slow connections speeds impose a restriction over this wonderful technology.

Input Devices

AR uses speech recognition, gesture recognition through the means of visual detection or through sensors.

Gadgets like wands, gloves, etc. include these sensors.

Computers

Sensors provide data to the computer which determines the position of the object surface. The input is converted in a digital language. Then the computer processes the information.

Hence, the user receives the augmented data

Computers remain at the soul of the data processing and providing the augmented output.

So, guys, this is all about augmented reality and its technology.

In the end, I hope you found the article to be interesting and engaging.

So guys, what are your views on augmented reality? Do let me know through our social media handles.

If you have any suggestions, do let me know.

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Thank You!!