Nowadays, we have been seeing a lot of involvement of the Augmented Reality technology in our lives. There's no doubt that this AR technology has been contributing a lot in implementing simple tasks as well as the complex ones like adding animation in social media filters and assisting in performing medical surgical procedures.
So, get ready to read about some of the most interesting insights on a trending technology i.e. Augmented Reality!
The term AR stands for Augmented Reality and can be defined as the process of integration of digital data or information with an actual reality-based environment in real time.
When it comes to the concept of augmented reality, many people tend to confuse it with the concept of VR that stands for Virtual Reality. But AR and VR are different technologies that work on separate concepts for example, in VR a completely different environment is created artificially.
But in augmented reality, new information is overlayed on top of the already existing real environment and this is the main difference between virtual reality and augmented reality.
The term 'Augmented Reality' was first coined by Thomas Caudell, a Boeing Researcher in the year 1990. According to him, Augmented Reality is the appropriate term to describe the head-mounted displays that were used by electricians while they worked on complicated wiring harnesses.
In the year 1998, we were able to witness the first commercial application of augmented reality which was during the football games to display a broad yellow line known as 'Touchdown' line in the stadium field.
Since then we sure have come a long way in the field of Augmented Reality as now we have AR Headsets as well as glasses that portray excellent usage of the augmented reality technology in our day-to-day life.
Today the AR applications are written in special three-dimensional programs with which the developer is able to combine the digital information in the program to a specific environment in the real world. This digital information can be both in the form of context or it can also be in the form of animation.
Let's know why the augmented reality products are in such a huge demand from various different industries like Marketing, Healthcare, Travel & Tourism and many more. But first, we need to know how AR actually works.
The working of Augmented Reality is based on the main objective of superimposing digital elements like audio, graphics, images etc on top of a real-world environment, the emphasizing part here is that it is done in 'Real Time'.
Many people mixes it with the concept of Graphics but that's not true as Augmented Reality uses different components to implement this whole process. These are the four basic components that are required to accomplish AR, which are:
As we know that the Augmented Reality applications are written in 3D programs for the purpose of tying the digital content onto an Augmented Reality marker existing in the real world. It's time we take a look at the main types of augmented reality:
The first type of AR is the Markerless type which is also referred to as a Position-based Augmented Reality. Because it is based on the location, several elements like compass, GPS, accelerometer etc. are used in determining the user's location and other details related to it.
So, with the help of features like gyroscope and GPS, you will get data based on a specific area or location. And now that we have smartphones at our service, this whole process becomes easier to implement with the help of maps and direct navigation.
The marker-based augmented reality type is also known as the type which operates like the process of 'Image Recognition'. This is because it needs a special camera with a visual object for scanning purpose.
In a few cases, this device may also require to calculate the accurate positioning along with the orientation of the 'Marker' with respect to the digital information. Once the position is calculated correctly then the marker will be able to display the animated content to the user.
As the name suggests, in this type of augmented reality the objects are superimposed on the real-time environment by replacing the original view with digital content. It can be replaced completely or partially.
In superimposition-based type, the object recognition played a major role. Let's understand it with an example of a famous application that is IKEA Catalog where the user can see if a particular piece of furniture will look good in their house or not, with the help of this concept.
The outlining type uses the concept of object recognition as well but it combines with the projection-based technique. This type is much more easier to explain with a practical example i.e. suppose the user wants to park his/her vehicle but due to darkness or any other factor, the user is facing difficulty in parking the vehicle correctly.
Then this outlining type will help the user in recognizing the road lines and boundaries around the vehicle so that he/she can park their vehicle in the correct position.
The projection-based type is the another widely known type of this advanced technology where a synthetic light is projected by the augmented reality device on a surface. This projection can be interactive as well as non-interactive in nature.
For example, a display of keyword will be considered as an interactive display if the user is able to use its functions through the display. But the display will be considered as noninteractive if the user can not perform any action using the projected display.
These are the five main categories of augmented reality technology. Although, the markerless augmented reality type is the most widely used type but all the types hold significance as well, they are now being researched for other applications.
When it comes to the working part of the augmented reality technology, we have already presented stated the basic components that are required in the process. But there are approaches to take the process ahead and one of the main approach is SLAM.
The term SLAM is the short for Simultaneous Localization and Mapping which has also be known as the best way to render the virtual images over the objects from the real world in real-time. This approach is also efficient in solving the complex augmented reality problems.
Unlike other approaches (Project-based and Location-based), the SLAM approach is known to consist of a set of algorithms that makes it so efficient in solving the localization and mapping issues.
Other devices that support augmented reality are smart TVs and advanced PCs. The input can be taken via a webcam and then it can be easily manipulated by a tracker in front of the screen. But the issue that arises here, is the availability of augmented reality apps which is very less in comparison to the smartphone ones.
Devices like mobile phones and tablets support AR as well and are used by a majority of people who want to experience the world of Augmented Reality. In smartphones, the camera or location-based services are used to provide input into the device and the output will be displayed on the screen of the smartphone as well.
A large number of Augmented Reality apps are available in Google Play Store and Apple App Store for smartphones.
Smart Glasses are one of the futuristic gadgets that the people are super excited about and when the smart glasses supporting augmented reality hit the market, the game was changed. Here are some of the best Augmented Reality supporting smart glasses in the market:
An AR Headset a.k.a the Augmented Reality Headset is a specialized device that allows the user to experience a simulated virtual environment with the help of optic display lens. With this device, the end-user is able to see the digital content as well as the real-world together.
These are the devices that support the augmented reality technology and will help you in experiencing a journey like never before.
With the rise of Augmented Reality, there will be a high demand in augmented reality application development as well. So, keep an eye on the news section of MobileAppDaily to know about the latest AR app release.
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Akash Singh Chauhan is a senior writer at MobileAppDaily and he mainly covers all the latest happenings and tweaks in mobile app technology. Being an Engineering graduate he is always compelled to the technology and tries to discover new trends in the tech world. Along with any tech news he also never misses a single episode of ‘Dragon Ball’.Follow