Augmented reality is the ability to insert an overlay of interactive digital and virtual information into the real world thereby, changing the way we visualize the world by 360 degrees. It is a revolutionary concept that allows the user to browse life just like browsing the web. The concept is to overlay digital information onto the physical world. This technology has infinite potential that can be applied beyond chasing Pokemon into traffic to ease travel and shopping as well as medicine and education sector.
IKEA has already implemented augmented reality to its catalogue which recognises various images in the catalogue and presents them as animated 3D furniture once the camera is pointed over the catalogue.
Image source: Dailymotion
One of such app that can be downloaded to use augmented reality is Yelp
Image source: Mashable
In the above image monocle feature of Yelp help in viewing restaurant reviews and information around you.
If you want to measure the length of a door frame to buy a curtain. It can be done easily with Google Measure app which lets you accurately measure length width height and even volume of anything as below.
Image credit Beebom
Image credit: wired.com
Microsoft Hololens is an amazingly awesome wireless headset enabled with the power of Augmented Reality for delivering an electrifying almost real experience by understanding the user’s environment. Finding design and technical solutions to deal with heat power and weight issues related to this approach have been dealt smartly with Microsoft.
NASA is keen on using Hololens at the space station to empower astronauts to work with a remote expert who can view what the astronaut sees to assist them with unfamiliar tasks. The device might also act like an augmented-reality instruction manual that can use 3-D images to teach an astronaut where to place equipment.
Minecraft meets Magic with Augmented Reality
Image credit: menxp.com
An interesting advantage that AR holds in gaming is an interactive social experience. Imagine yourself playing Minecraft with your friends AR will help you to interact directly with them and help them to build a castle.
Apple’s newly released ARkit delivers the amazing experience of Minecraft that is not only engaging but also magical where physical surroundings get in perfect sync with the block-based world of ‘Minecraft’. Multiple tools from ‘Minecraft’ enables gamers in layering a virtual world over real environment. This will let them experience the acts of the characters exactly in front of them. Refer the below video for complete insights to get spellbound.
Interestingly the latest AR headsets enable you to pick up the virtual items and move them around pretty much like Iron Man. The advantage of this new virtual age is very expensive experiences and very expensive stuff will become very affordable and shareable. The distance to a location won’t matter any longer. It will allow surgeons visualise what is wrong with your organs.
Image source: goodworklabs
Augmented Reality and Education
AR is poised to make knowledge transfer easier, faster and more universal thereby radically invert out interaction with data by limiting the learning curve and boosting our brain’s productivity. It has potential to completely change how we learn work and think. AR will let emergence of application that works best with your brain.
Being in development phase apps are being designed to increase our interaction and engagement with data, information and knowledge. The approach will unlock the untapped potential in the upcoming years. I mean how cool would it be when a surgeon can exactly explain the upcoming the brain surgery to a patient with help of 3d brain scan or a professor teaching human genome while a DNA string is floating in front of students.
Augmented Reality Challenges
Before augmented reality is made available as a platform. Below significant challenges must be dealt with before its mass adoption.
Augmented Reality Hardware
Currently, hardly any AR headsets are available for users. Microsoft HoloLens and Meta 2 have not been announced for general public. Apart from that, both devices carry a hefty price tag of $3,000 and $949 respectively. As far as design is concerned sleekness is not sufficient for large scale adoption. Not to mention the computer tethering required which seems an additional task.
As long as smart enough headsets hit the market AR can be experienced on mobile devices but the issue is lack of room mapping or depth sensing technology.
It is a serious area of concern. Would it be offensive to point the smartphone at a person and extract information from that person? The hurdle is the development of a technology that it will be like training the system and camera to do facial recognition and use the network to compare it over the internet could reveal personal data. Image search will match profiles on multiple social media platforms and personal information like date of birth or marital status can be easily revealed.
The capability to sharply track user position, his focus and his head gestures and accordingly decide where exactly the virtual information is required to be layered over user view of the real environment within in few milliseconds is essential towards ensuring a realistic AR experience. This requires motion sensors and cameras to work in sync and provide a stable virtual view which in itself is an another layer of complexity.
When real reality is not enough and virtual reality is too much then augmented reality is exactly right. Sooner the augmented reality will eventually replace anything or everything in your field of view. Unlike Virtual Reality, AR requires a lot less CPU and GPU power to function smoothly.
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