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What is Augmented Reality Technology?

Source: InfinitoVFX Studios

People sometimes confuse augmented reality with virtual reality (VR), the two aren’t the same. Augmented Reality simulates artificial objects in the real environment; Virtual Reality creates an artificial environment to inhabit.

Augmented reality is altering the way people consume content, whether they are learning about geography in a classroom, playing a video game, or building new products and parts.

Augmented reality is used to enhance natural environments or situations and offer perceptually enriched experiences.
With the help of advanced AR technologies (e.g. adding computer vision, incorporating AR cameras into smartphone applications and object recognition) the information about the surrounding real world of the user becomes interactive and digitally manipulated.

AR can enhance a simple shopping experience with augmented product previews. It can also improve accuracy in complex situations, like overlaying surgical directions on a patient’s body as a guide through a life-saving procedure.
E.g. Augmented reality can let you see how furniture would look in your living room.

While Augmented Reality may seem ultra-modern, the principles behind it have been around for some time. As far back as the 1950s and 60s clever folk in leading Universities were conducting extensive experiments on "human-computer interaction".

Source: Microsoft Hololens

Types of Augmented Reality

Projection based AR is appealing and interactive where light is blown onto a surface and the interaction is done by touching the projected surface with hand. The widespread uses of projection-based AR techniques can be used to create deception about the position, orientation, and depth of an object.

Example: Holograms! Projection-based AR is used to create 3D objects that can be interacted with by the user. It can be used to show a prototype or mockup of a new product, even disassembling each part to better show its inner workings.

Recognition based AR this type of AR provides us more information about the object after it focuses on the recognition of objects. It detects the object in front of the camera and provides information about the object on the screen.

Example: QR code scanning, once the QR code is detected, an action is triggered and the user can be redirected to video content, landing pages, and much more.

Location based AR this technology works by reading data from the mobile’s GPS, digital compass and accelerometer while predicting where the user is focusing. This AR is all about adding location information on screen about the objects that can be seen from the user’s camera.

The objects are mapped out so that when a user's location matches the predetermined spot it is displayed on the screen.

Outlining based AR Outlining AR recognizes boundaries and lines to help in situations when the human eye can’t, situations such as rainy, night or mist conditions. Outlining augmented reality uses object recognition to understand a user’s immediate surroundings.

This technology can help us save pedestrian lives as well. It is capable of outlining people crossing the road on a HUD (Heads Up Display) windscreen can be more useful than having a separate infrared video feed.

Superimposition based AR Superimposition AR recognises an object in the physical world and enhances it in some way to provide an alternate view. This can include recreating a portion of the object or the whole thing in its entirety.

This is done by replacing the entire or partial view with an augmented view of the object. Here object recognition plays a vital role where replacing a view of an object with an augmented view is done.

Augmented Reality has brought tremendous changes in the current market, the race is on for mobile application development companies to act as a bridge to reduce the gap between imagination and reality.

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