Augmented Reality 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 or GPS data. With the help of advanced AR technology, the information about the surrounding real world of the user becomes interactive and digitally manipulable. It is different, a personalized piece of media.
Augmentation is conventionally in real-time and in semantic context with environmental elements, such as sports scores on TV during a match. With the help of advanced AR technology (e.g. adding computer vision and object recognition) the information about the surrounding real world of the user becomes interactive and digitally manipulable.
Artificial information about the environment and its objects can be overlaid on the real world.
As a technology AR is more versatile than QR-Codes, for example, as it can use any real life object or scene to trigger virtual overlays on smartphones, tablets or PCs, from location based information to images, audio, videos and 3D animations.
Augmented Reality can also be used to increase productivity, learning and personal development efficiency within organizations.
AR increases engagement and interaction and provides a richer user experience, Research has shown that AR increases the perceived value of products and brands and AR is an inexpensive alternative to other media platforms as no specific media needs to be purchased.
The key to augmented reality is the application. Augmented reality programs are developed in specific 3D augmented reality softwares such as D'Fusion, Unifye Viewer or FLARToolKit.
These softwares permit the developer to link animation or contextual digital information in the computer program to an augmented reality "marker" in the actuality.
AR applications for smartphones contain global positioning system (GPS) to determine the user's location and its compass to detect device orientation. Innovative AR programs used by the military for training may include machine vision, object recognition and gesture recognition technologies.
Some of the various actual or potential applies of augmented reality:
• The altering maps for weather reporters.
• A navigating display screen embedded in the windshield of a car.
• Visual displays and audio guidance for complex tasks.
• Photos of historical recreations combined with the present environment.
• A display screen in a pilot's helmet that enables the pilot to, in effect, see via the aircraft.
• Mobile marketing including product information showed above that product or its location.
• Video games with digital elements combined into the user's surrounding.
• Virtually wearing clothes through a webcam while online shopping.
• Displaying related information about a tourist attraction by pointing a phone over it