Augmented Reality is an enhanced interaction between the real-world and virtual object perception of reality through augmented computer-generated information to improve the user’s visual experience.
In simpler terms, AR is the addition of computer-generated information to human perception.
A typical example of Augmented Reality in action is the Pokemon Go mobile app. This game enabled users to visualize the blended world around them, using their mobile phone camera to portray the game architect as though they where real.
The core value of Augmented Reality is that it seamlessly superimpose elements of the virtual world in a way that it appears as an immersive part of the real world.
A Brief History of AR
Augmented Reality is known to relate to Computer-Mediated Reality and Mixed Reality.
In the late ‘90s, the first Augmented Reality system that provided the Mixed Reality sensation was invented, followed by the U.S Air force virtual system which was developed in 1992 at the Armstrong Laboratory, to enhance training missions for soldiers as well digitally.
That concept became dominant as it helped officials to mechanize battlefields.
Augmented Reality may not be as fantasizing as Virtual Reality. However, fast growing technology is proving itself as a very handy tool for daily tasks.
While Virtual Reality requires you to occupy all the entire environment to be enhanced, however, Augmented Reality only requires your real environment and portray corresponding virtual information on it.
Displays of Augmented Reality
A lot of new technologies popping-in can be employed in rendering AR. These ranges from
the Monitors, OPS ( optical projection system ), handheld devices and other display systems which can be worn on the body.
1. HEAD MOUNTED DISPLAY DEVICE (HMD)
The HMD is a display system in the form of a harness or helmet designed to be worn on the forehead.
HMDs portrays graphics of both the real and virtual object to the view of the user. Newly developed HMDs are often designed with sensors to allow the alignment of virtual information to the real environment in accordance with the user’s head movement.
2. HEAD-UP DISPLAY ( HUD )
The HUD is a transparent display which provides information to users without obscuring the user’s normal viewpoint.
This was first designed to assist pilots by portraying flight data to their viewpoint without the need to look down to the instruments on the board.
AR can also be displayed from devices which resemble sunglasses.
Several versions of this smart glasses comprise of a camera which is used in the interception of the physical world view and re-displaying as an augmented view through the wearer’s lens-piece.
Real Life Applications of Augmented Reality
Augmented Reality technology is used to deploy amazing applications for healthcare which allows medical practitioners and students to train in an AR environment.
During compulsive moments, AR apps can deliver graphical information, that will support and also assist the treatment plans, diagnosis and surgery in Augmented view.
Aside from sales increment, Augmented Reality is sometimes employed in the development of Apps for fun and to engage and attract more users.
Applications under this category include AR gaming apps and AR browsers that provides details from what the camera displays, thus, letting users enjoy an immersive browsing experience.
Augmented Reality application is also rapidly increasing to improve many industries.
The Augmented Reality app ( Gatwick Airport Passenger App ) is a well acknowledged AR app employed in the Airport, which guides passengers using the AR map from their mobile phones to navigate around the airport.
In an academic setting, AR can be employed to standardize school curriculum. Textbooks, Video lessons, and audio can be imposed to appear overlayed in students real-time surrounding.
AR can enable students to become active learners and interactively participate more with knowledge.
5. SOCIAL INTERACTION
AR can provide a risk-free environment for social interaction. The Talk2Me AR social network enables users to access information in an Augmented Reality perspective.
Augmented Reality also introduces its users to a wider form of social interaction with other users in a very safe environment.
Challenges Facing Augmented Reality
1. LACK OF PUBLIC AWARENESS
This is more like a social problem. It takes time for a newly innovated technology to be overtly embraced by the mass. This applies to AR.
A lot of people are yet to be enlightened on the possible potentials of Augmented reality, and so they have less regard for it. There we can say that Augmented reality is still on the nascent stage.
2. LESS CONTENT FOR AR APPLICATIONS
We might own the AR hardware like Google Glasses and Hololens. However, they can be useless without the availability of AR contents, components, and applications to provide users with blended experience of AR. This is more like having a phone without any application running on.
So due to the lack of contents and framework to run the AR, people are less moved to adopt AR technology.
3. TECHNICAL CHALLENGES
Hoping to get a full working AR solution places a lot of demand for the components.
Though the process involved in developing AR application isn’t different from other app making procedures, AR is usually faced with the challenge of adequate components, 3D engines, hardware and lot more, which limits the adoption of Augmented reality.
Thus, unless these challenges facing the adoption of AR daily are tackled, AR cannot entirely be engaged in a corporate scheme of things.