Augmented Reality (AR) is the union of digital technology with physical space. Provided by a device like a phone, computer screen, or head-mounted display, it blends both into a single image that appears to our eyes as though we were living in that world. It’s an amazing new tool that designers and artists can use to make original works of art and also allows users to enjoy some exciting forms of entertainment in high definition.
During the Viva Technology event on May 25, 2018, in Paris, France, visitors tried out a virtual reality head-mounted headset Microsoft HoloLens.
The primary reason people are moving away from conventional displays and into augmented reality is the fact that it brings the digital world into real life. When you put on a pair of VR glasses, you’re experiencing a completely different reality — one that is backed by science, but which bends and shifts to fit your personal patterns of perception.
AR gives users deeper insight into their smartphones and tablets than ever before. AR is a technology that allows users to interact with digital content in a real-world environment.
It wouldn’t be hard to imagine computers becoming very powerful as time goes on, but some would say that our current version could handle most of this type of technology without much trouble. The problem is that AR takes processing and bandwidth to a whole new level.
While it’s possible to run some of it on a device we could call a “tablet”, most of the heavy lifting is going to have to be done by computers that are incredibly fast, incredibly vast, and incredibly capable. When you think about the kind of technology that would have to be developed for this kind of thing, it gets even more incredible. Chips currently being worked on will take several years before they are ready for commercial use — and that’s just one example.
For now, though, we get to play around with the stuff that’s already been developed and start seeing what artists can do with it. In this article, we’ll be taking a look at the science behind Augmented Reality, including how it works and what kind of new ways it might be able to help people in the future.
How Does AR Work
We’ve already talked about how augmented reality fools the brain into seeing what it isn’t, but now we need to know how that image gets put together and a way of determining where our real world ends and the digital one begins.
Creating an AR device is a very complex process, and this is because you have to do multiple things at once and coordinate them closely. First, you have to take an input picture, which is then analyzed by software capable of reading shapes and colors, defining their edges, and understanding what they are in relation to other objects. Most often this happens through some kind of visual marker or beacon which the camera uses to determine where it is located in relation to everything else around it.
Once the software has determined where it is, it can then use this marker to make predictions about where real objects are located in relation to it. This is critical for determining whether a particular object is part of the image or not, and it can do this very quickly because of a variety of different factors like lighting and perspective.
When you read a book, your brain uses something called “mental imagery” which allows you to see what the page looks like while reading the words on it, and this is how an AR device works as well. The camera can use this information to trigger an image and create what we would think of as “an experience” with whatever we are holding in our hands.
Your brain really is capable of making a lot of stuff up, and this is one of the things that makes AR so much fun. You can be sitting in your kitchen, for example, but if your device is able to recognize the stove and other objects around you, it can put pictures on what you see. In this case, it might show you a picture of a brick wall and make it seem like that brick wall had been there all along.
What Does AR Do
The basic function of augmented reality is to fool our brain into thinking that we are in a different environment than we really are. It does this by using a camera or other device which can recognize the things around us using some kind of visual marker to determine where the “real world” ends and where the device begins. The brain naturally stitches the two together, forming a single image.
The result is that we see real objects as though they were part of a video game or fantasy world. This can be done with very little effort, especially because we’re used to seeing things in different kinds of contexts all the time.
When you look at an object in the real world, you don’t stop to consider whether or not it is part of your imagination. In fact, when you look at a picture or movie on your phone, this isn’t something you have to think about either — yet it is just as “real” to your brain as anything else.
The Components of AR
Augmented reality applications like those on smartphones use a lot of technology, and it’s pretty complicated to get everything to work together.
First, you need your display with all of the virtual objects that you’re going to see. The biggest problem with many of them is that they’re pretty small, which makes everything look a bit blurry and cheap. To avoid this problem, you can use a VR headset or something like these glasses so that you can see your images in the center of your view.
You also need something to take information from the outside world and create an image from it — such as an AR camera bundled with your smartphone or glasses and tied into a powerful computer system. Here’s an example:
That’s the kind of thing you can get with a VR headset — something that can be used with a VR experience. However, if you want to make it work without being connected to the internet, then you have to have your own computer system that is also capable of doing lots of different things like processing images and recognizing objects.
The other piece of this is software that takes the images you receive and translates them into something that you understand, so they are not complete gibberish. This software can take a lot of information and make it much easier for the user to understand what is happening around them, but even so it’s not going to be perfect every time.
The Different Types of AR
There are four main kinds of augmented reality systems that you can use for different purposes.
The first is called “augmented reality,” which is the most basic version where you just see a virtual image in front of you that is superimposed on your real world view. AR has been around for a long time, and it’s even possible to get both the real world and the virtual one separate from each other, which is what makes it so much fun. There are also other kinds of images that could be offset from the real world.
Virtual objects are computer-generated objects that can be interacted with in an augmented reality system. These objects can be placed in the real world and interacted with in real-time, providing an immersive and interactive augmented reality experience. There are a number of augmented reality apps that make use of virtual objects, and the technology is constantly evolving to provide more realistic and engaging experiences.
The other main kinds are called “MR” and “Mixed reality,” where the virtual objects can be mixed together with the real world view. This is a little bit like seeing virtual objects overlaid on top of everything else, but it can also make it look like they are actually part of what you see.
For example, if you were looking at a real car and saw a holographic image floating in front of it, then that would mean that you were seeing MR as opposed to AR. In this case, the virtual world would appear to be part of your real-life experience, which is something that creates a very different feel when compared to the simple overlay we see in AR.
This is also true if you’re watching MR movies, which are all about making it seem like you’re watching something that happened in the real world, not something created with a computer system.
Another kind of AR is called “RAR,” which stands for “room augmented reality.” This makes it possible to create images on any surface that is around you. With this kind of AR technology, you can see virtual environments on your walls and even your floor or ceiling. You can also see different images in different locations so they would look different depending on where you were standing at the time.
RAR used to be a lot harder to use because you had to have a few different cameras and other pieces of equipment all working together, but now you can use it on your smartphone along with special apps.
The last kind of AR technology is called “VAR” or “Video Augmented Reality,” and it lets you see a video in AR instead of just static images. This is kind of like watching a movie, but instead of seeing it on your screen, you are seeing real video around you that is processed into the video so that it looks like it’s part of the real world.
The Mobile AR Revolution
The thing to understand about augmented reality is that it’s not a brand new technology. Instead, it’s been used to make a lot of different things for years, but most of the time it hasn’t gotten very far.
This is starting to change with mobile AR technology, which can work with any mobile device. The small screens and computers in phones are both powerful enough to display images and move them around without much trouble, and at the same time, they have built-in cameras that can take images from outside your home or place of business.
With iOS12, Apple announced USDZ AR file support for iPhones and iPads.
The biggest difference with mobile AR is that you can create AR applications and do a lot more with them. Today it is possible to use a phone or tablet to make your own movie or game, and even to organize stuff like special events and parties.
Difference Between AR and Virtual Reality
The major difference between augmented reality and virtual reality is that the latter is more immersive. When you put on a pair of VR glasses, you’re blocked off from your real environment in a way that AR never is. This leads to an entirely different kind of experience, with most VR devices providing experiences that are vastly different than those of AR.
Another major difference between the two is that augmented reality is always tied to a device or some kind of image which represents the “real world” in some way, whereas virtual reality completely replaces it with something else entirely. It’s not unusual for AR to use cameras, and for VR it’s just as possible to use a gaming system and a virtual environment.
Someday, we could have this kind of technology in our smartphones, but it wouldn’t be as great as it is when you have powerful hardware on your computer or a device like the HMD pictured above.
Use Cases of AR
AR is great for lots of different applications, but it’s mostly used for things that were once only possible with a 3D computer or with lots of people working together. For example, in the future, you could use it to put together your own Legos in real life and build whatever you want.
It can also be used to make things that are difficult or dangerous to make on a computer, like potentially being able to make complex jewelry or even other objects you need to make.
Computer vision technology is used to interpret the real-world environment and convert it into a form that computers can understand. This AR software enables the real and virtual worlds to interact in a variety of ways, such as providing augmented reality (AR) experiences or powering workflows that rely on real-time data from the physical world.
Here are some other fun and interesting uses of augmented reality:
There are loads of different games that might include a version of augmented reality, whether it’s using your camera to make it seem like you are on the battlefield or playing a game that requires you to use your hands in some way. Twinkl created the first-ever multiplayer augmented reality game, Little Red, and has over 100 free augmented reality educational models.
If a movie is made with AR in mind, then it can be done very easily with just one camera and some markers. However, at this point, most movies made with AR require much more than that — the kind which uses cameras and markers while also relying on other things like green screens.
Using augmented reality books means that you can put images inside any book or even turn a blank book into an interactive experience. This can be a very cool way to use AR.
AR can also make it easier to see places and buildings without actually having to go there in person. For example, you could be shown an image of Paris and then walk around your living room as though you were actually there — though it might feel a little weird at first! In 2011, AR was blended with poetry by ni ka from Sekai Camera in Tokyo, Japan.
Benefits of AR
There is no doubt that augmented reality (AR) technology is rapidly evolving. Consumer AR products such as AR glasses and mobile phone apps are becoming increasingly popular, as they offer users the ability to view digital content in the physical world. This has led to a growing demand for AR developers who can create engaging and immersive experiences for users.
The biggest benefit of augmented reality is that it can be so much more than just a gimmick. Instead, it can actually help you to do things that you couldn’t even imagine possible with the technology we have today.
You can see how this happens with mobile AR technology and games. For example, you could use this to tour around buildings or hotels – a place where you might not have wanted to go otherwise — and then find out what’s really inside them.
You could also use your phone or tablet to learn about the world around you in real-time without having to drive somewhere or pay any money at all. You could see things like the actual conditions of railroads and other transport systems, or even find out what the weather is like on a particular day in your area.
You can also use it to find out about places and times where you’re likely to be able to get some good deals and even to check if there is something going on in a place that you might want to visit. For example, if you’re going away on holiday then you might want to check how busy the place will likely be at different times of day when planning your route so that you get there with plenty of time and leave it as empty as possible while you’re there.
You can do all of this without even leaving your house or office.
The Dangers of AR
It’s easy to fall in love with the benefits of augmented reality and see it as a fantastic new way to improve your life, but there are also some dangers that you need to be aware of.
While it’s true that this kind of technology can have a lot of benefits for people, there are also some dangers at the same time. For example, if you use the wrong app or play too many games with it, then this can affect your vision because you won’t be able to focus properly on what’s really around you.
Another thing to be aware of is that AR could make us lose a lot of face-to-face interaction with other people. While it’s true that we can use computer and phone screens to talk to people over the internet, this kind of location-based technology can make it even easier for us to forget the people with that we’re trying to communicate in the first place.
Finally, you should also remember that how you build an app or game can influence your health when using it. For example, you could be exposing yourself to potentially harmful technology because you don’t know enough about your own vision and health as a result.
Future of AR
There is a growing demand for augmented reality developers as more and more companies are looking to incorporate AR features into their products and services. AR glasses and other AR devices are becoming increasingly popular, and there are a number of AR apps that are available for users to download.
While there are a lot of things that AR is good for, it’s still going to take a lot of time before it’s something that people are going to use all the time. In fact, if you think about how long computers have been around you’ll see that this kind of technology has taken a lot longer than you might expect. Korean academics are looking to introduce mine-detecting robots in the military as of 2010.
However, once the technology gets going then it can start to make an impact on your life. For example, if you want to work efficiently then it’s likely to be a good idea to use something like mobile AR because it can help you to find information that can help you do your job well.
In addition, it will make it a lot easier for people who need the extra time and space needed for things like driving and doing other kinds of activities. For example, if you have an accident then an app could tell you what happened before you got there or even allow someone else in the car or on their phone to give you first aid instructions.
For businesses, this kind of technology can mean that they can see what customers are really thinking about them instead of just making guesses about their needs.
There is no doubt that augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) are two of the most talked-about technologies in recent years. With the release of Pokémon GO and other AR apps, it is clear that AR is here to stay. However, many people are still unaware of how AR works and what it can be used for.