Augmented reality and virtual reality may sound like some objects from the future, but they have been around for more than 50 years. “What is Augmented Reality?” “What are its uses?” And “How is it implemented?” Let us discuss it!
What is augmented reality?
Augmented reality works with the use of digital visuals, sounds, or any other sensory stimuli which are delivered through technology.
It involves enhancing the physical, real-world environment by adding computer-generated virtual elements.
Augmented reality is a growing trend in mobile computing and business applications. The most famous example of an AR application is the Pokémon Go mobile game. This game took the world by storm when it was launched back in 2016.
How does augmented reality work?
Augmented reality works in four steps. These steps are described as follows:
In the first step, the physical components of the real-world environment are identified using different these devices can either be camera-through devices or see-through devices. These devices include cameras and smartphones. The camera-through devices usually use the camera feed of a device through different angles, and then this video feed is used to visualize augmented reality. While in the case of see-through devices, capture real-world environments and then display them with overlayed augmented elements. Some common examples of see-through devices are head-mounted displays and augmented reality glasses.
Once the scene is captured, it is identified using identification techniques. Scene identification employs two types of techniques to identify the scene. These techniques are:
- Marker Based Techniques
- Non-marker based Techniques
In marker-based techniques, markers tag the real-world items contained within the scenes. As a result, these are recognized by the AR system. While on the other hand, non-marker techniques do not require any markers and can simply use devices for scene identification.
Once the scene is identified by the system, the AR system processing the scene according to the tags provided by the scene identification, then the system provides the corresponding virtual elements according to these tags.
Visualization of Scene
It is the final stage in the augmentation of any reality. The corresponding virtual, augmented elements are projected and overlayed over the physical, real-world scene.
Augmented Reality Use cases
AR glasses/goggles use cases
- Military Fighter Pilot Visors
Military fighter pilots greatly benefit from AR technology. All the crucial information like altitude, speed is displayed right on the pilot’s visor as overlays so that pilots do not have to waste any time looking for this information.
Medical use cases
AR has excellent applications in the medical industry. There are a lot of innovative Medical centered apps that take full advantage of AR technology. Augmented reality is considered revolutionary in healthcare training. These AR apps can illustrate and identify measures and procedures to be performed on a sick person via an overlay. As a result, doctors can have complete control over patients who require constant intensive care.
Healthcare providers can easily install AR training apps on their smart devices. These applications contain a list of medical measures from which a healthcare worker can choose. These AR apps also simulate 3D animations that guide what, when, and where different medical maneuvers can be performed.
Education use cases
Augmented E-books are also a thing now. These AR E-book applications overlay a book over a physical interface.
- Children education
Matching objects and words is a simple game that children are encouraged to play to train their minds. Nowadays, such digitals games are being designed not only for augmented reality but also to boost children’s learning process.
Commerce use cases
- Mobile Coupons
In the past, it wasn’t easy to keep track of their coupons. Since AR technology has developed, users can scan the coupons and transfers all their deals to their smartphones.
- Clothing Shopping
Online shopping is the new trend, but it can be confusing to shop online as the sizes of different brands vary. With AR apps, users can overcome this obstacle and can virtually try dresses on them before buying.
Design use cases
- Machinery Design
AR aims to enhance product design and design development. With the help of AR, designers can experiment with different structures and designs virtually prior to deciding on an ideal design for their machines.
- Furniture Design
Many furniture companies nowadays are publishing their AR apps. As a result, customers can virtually try a piece of furniture to see if it fits or looks good in their space.
Entertainment use cases
- AR Games
With Google ARCore released, AR games are a thing now. You can find all sorts of AR games in smartphone markets that take full advantage of AR technology. These AR games range from interactive maps all the way to virtual showrooms.
- Sightseeing Guidance
Through sightseeing apps, users can easily look at overlayed information about sights they are visiting on their smartphones. AR virtual tour guides are also available to help tourists on their tours.
Future of AR
LIDAR is an emerging technology that can pair with AR to create accurate 3D maps of surroundings. This can boost AR’s capabilities, as the sense of depth can be achieved using LIDAR.
Compact AR glasses are already available on the market, but we can expect AR lenses in the future. AR glasses will become a legacy technology as AR lenses emerge. Imagine putting on lenses and entering a new world!
Based on research by market experts, the AR market is predicted to be worth 470 billion to $75 billion by 2023. In a nutshell, augmented reality is expected to become a more significant sector than virtual reality in the coming years.
The world has seen a lot of different kinds of augmented reality apps, but this concept of layering information over a 3D space may revolutionize the computing industry for decades to come.