Augmented reality: A New World

Written by Satvik Tripathi

Simply put, we believe augmented reality is going to change the way we use technology forever. We’re already seeing things that will transform the way you work, play, connect and learn. —Tim Cook

Augmented Reality (AR)​ may not be as exciting and thrilling as a virtual reality roller coaster ride, but the technology has proved to be a very helpful tool in our everyday lives.

From social media filters to surgical procedures, AR is expanding rapidly. It is a technology that brings elements of the virtual world, into our real world, thus enhancing what we see, hear, and feel. When compared to other reality technologies, Augmented Reality lies in the middle of the mixed reality spectrum; connecting the real world and the virtual world.

In this article, we would be encountering some questions such as- what is AR (by definition), what are its types and how it works.

What is Augmented Reality?

Augmented reality (AR) is an interactive, reality-based display setting that utilizes the capabilities of computerized simulations such as, visuals, sound, text, which results in improving the user's real-world experience. Augmented reality blends real and computer-based graphics and images to produce a combined but improved look of the world.

Augmented reality holds countless various implementations and applications, but its prime goal remains to render an intense audiovisual experience. AR operates by applying computerized simulation and various other methods to combine a virtual display on top of the real world.

How does Augmented Reality work

The origin of the word augmented, which means to add or enhance something. In the case of Augmented Reality (also called AR), graphics and sounds enhancement along with touch feedback are Icoprated into our natural world to create an enhanced user experience.

With the help of comparison between AR and VR, I will explain the main difference and area of application. Unlike Virtual Reality, which compels you to dwell in a fully virtual environment, Augmented Reality uses your existing natural environment and simply adds a layer of virtual information on top of it.

They can help in enhancing understanding, and providing accessibility of data. As both virtual and real worlds coexist on the same plane, augmented reality provides an experience of a whole new and improved natural world where virtual information is employed to help you in your everyday activities. Applications of augmented reality can be as mere as a text-notification or as complex as a tutorial on how to perform a life-threatening surgical procedure.

Types of Augmented Reality

1. Projection-based AR

As the name distinctly depicts this type of AR projects images on physical surfaces in the real space. This image can be interactive and AR can also project a keyboard on your table or a dialer on your palm. It is deeply interactive and can be utilized to produce a projection of articles or things that you can re-locate as per your choice and even see in-depth. For example, it might help you with instructions on how to fix the car if it breaks down in the middle of a highway or you could enjoy an immersive game inside your home.

2. Recognition-based AR

Whenever you scan a QR code or scan an image, it might seem to come to life, but recognition-based AR is actually coming into play. The AR app detects and detects something called an AR Marker. Once the marker is recognized, it replaces the marker with the corresponding object. Another implementation of AR-based recognition is the one that translates the words seen through the camera. This type of AR also seems to be the most widely used, apart from the one mentioned earlier.

3. Location-based AR

Location-based AR takes advantage of the location-detection features of smart devices. If you're a traveler and want to discover new great locations, this method will use your location by reading your smart device's GPS, compass and accelerometer and providing you with relevant information about what you're looking for on your screen.

4. Outlining AR

Outlining AR uses object recognition to function, and could look a little like an AR-based on projection. For starters, if you park your modern car in the dark, the Outlining AR recognizes the road boundaries and outlines them for you. In architecture and engineering, this method can also be used to outline the buildings and their supporting pillars.

5. Superimposition-based AR

Superimposition based AR also uses object recognition to replace a whole or a part of an object with an augmented view. For example, if you have ever played FPS(First-Person Shooter) games, you would know how your soldier in the game have advanced military equipment that shows an infrared view and radioactive view–this is all superimposition based AR. A doctor may also use this technology in medicine to superimpose an X-ray view of a patient's broken arm bone on a real image to give a clear understanding of what the damage to the bone actually is.

As these types of AR are growing every day, they are becoming a part of our daily events, it’s hard to imagine the wonder that Augmented Reality can create in the upcoming future.

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