AUGMENTED REALITY

Since the early 70’s video games have been a great entertainment for all of us. With the recent boom in technology, computer graphics has been so advanced that graphic games are being introduced into the real world surroundings. The photo reality is mind boggling to such an extent that you feel that the games have been plucked out of your display monitors and integrated into your surroundings. Not only the video part, but also sound and also other sense enhancements are integrated into the real world. Such a technology is called Augmented Reality, which clearly makes us doubt whether what we see, hear, smell and feel is real or not.
Virtual reality is an artificial environment that is created with software and presented to the user in such a way that the user suspends belief and accepts it as a real environment. Augmented reality is the integration of digital information with the user’s environment in real time. Augmented reality (AR), is a live direct or indirect view of a physical, real-world environment whose elements are augmented by computer-generated sensory input such as sound, video, graphics.

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AR is a combination of three factors. They are –

• Real and virtual world.
• Interaction in the real time.
• 3D world.

The basic idea of augmented reality is to superimpose graphics, audio and other sense enhancements over a real-world environment in real-time.
There are three components needed in order to make an augmented-reality system work: They are
1. Head-Mounted Display
2. Tracking and Orientation
3. Portable Computer

The goal of this new technology is to merge these three components into a highly portable unit much like a combination of a high tech walkman and an ordinary pair or eyeglasses.

1. The Head-Mounted Display

The goal of this new technology is to merge these three components into a highly portable unit much like a combination of a high tech walkman and an ordinary pair or eyeglasses. There are two basic head mount design concepts that are being researched for augmented reality systems and these are the video see-through systems and optical see-through systems.

2. Tracking and Orientation
Next component of an augmented reality system is its tracking and orientation system. This system pinpoints the user’s location in reference to his surroundings and additionally tracks the user’s eye and head movements.

3. Portable Computer
Last but not the least; augmented reality systems will need highly mobile computers. Highly graphical chips are being integrated into laptops to merge the current computer technology to augmented reality systems.

Real-World Examples
• AR applications can become the backbone of the education industry. Apps are being developed which embed text, images, and videos, as well as real–world curriculums.
• Printing and advertising industries are developing apps to display digital content on top of real world magazines.
• With help of AR, travelers can access real-time information of historical places just by pointing their camera viewfinder to subjects.
• With the help of Unity 3d Engine, AR is being used to develop real-time 3D Games.

A simple augmented reality use case is: a user captures the image of a real-world object, and the underlying platform detects a marker, which triggers it to add a virtual object on top of the real-world image and displays on your Portable Computer screen.

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