What is Augmented Reality?

Augmented Reality

Introduction 

Get ready to experience the exciting new world of technology where augmented reality (AR) is becoming a part of everyday life. The popularity of AR can be attributed to the initiation of some tech giants, such as Google, Apple, and Microsoft. In 2017, Apple launched its ARKit, and Google introduced its web API. The development of Apple AR glasses is another notable milestone in the AR industry.

You’re in the right place if you’re curious about AR, its uses and purpose, and how it works. While the concept of AR may seem complex at first, the experience of it is much more thrilling and immersive. 

Read this article to get amazed by the capabilities of AR and how it is transforming various industries and enhancing our daily lives. Click here 

The Fascinating History of Augmented Reality

The journey of Augmented Reality (AR) technology began almost 50 years ago, when Ivan Sutherland, known as the “Father of Computer Graphics,” and his student, Bob Sproull, invented the first AR and Virtual Reality (VR) head-mounted display system. While it only supported primitive graphics, it was a revolutionary development that paved the way for future advancements in the field.

Fast forward to the 1990s, researchers Thomas Caudell and David Mizell at Boeing coined the term “AR,” and Louis Rosenberg built Virtual Fixtures at the US Air Force Armstrong’s Research Lab. These Virtual Fixtures were used to train US air force pilots but later found applications in healthcare and other industries.

In 2000, Japanese scientist Hirokazu Kato developed the ARToolKit, a library that uses video tracking to overlay objects in the real environment. It is still widely used today.

In the following years, AR technology continued to evolve, with the development of products such as Wikitude, an Austria-based mobile AR technology provider that created an AR travel guide in 2008, and popular AR experiences like Google Glass, Microsoft’s HoloLens, and Niantic’s “Pokemon Go” game.

As we can see, AR has come a long way since its invention and continues to surprise us with its endless possibilities and potential to enhance our daily lives.

What is Augmented Reality?

The word “augmented” is derived from a Latin word meaning “to add,” and that’s precisely what AR does. It enhances our experience of the real world by adding elements to it.

But how does it work? Essentially, AR uses a combination of computer vision, image recognition, and 3D rendering technology to superimpose digital content onto the physical world. The digital content is displayed on a device, such as a smartphone or a headset, and the device’s camera is used to capture the real-world environment. The digital content is then placed on top of the real-world environment, creating the illusion that it is part of the physical world.

The concept of AR has been around for decades. Still, it was only recently that the technology had advanced enough to make it widely accessible and practical for everyday use. Today, AR is being used in a variety of industries, from gaming and entertainment to education and healthcare.

Here are some key points to understand about AR:

  1. AR is different from Virtual Reality (VR). While VR completely immerses users in a digital world, AR adds ‘digital elements’ to the physical world.
  2. AR can be experienced through a variety of devices, including smartphones, tablets, and specialized headsets.
  3.  AR can be used for a wide range of purposes, including entertainment, education, training, and even advertising.
  4. AR technology is constantly evolving and improving, with new advancements being made all the time.

Uses of Augmented Reality

One of the most well-known uses of AR is in gaming. AR games like Pokemon Go and Harry Potter: Wizards Unite has gained widespread popularity, allowing players to interact with virtual objects in the real world through their smartphone cameras.


But AR is also being used for more practical purposes. For example, it is being utilized in the education sector to create interactive and engaging learning experiences. Teachers can use AR to bring 3D models, videos, and other digital content into the classroom, making abstract concepts easier to understand.


In the healthcare industry, AR is being used to help train medical professionals and assist with surgeries. It allows doctors to practice complex procedures in a simulated environment before performing them on real patients.


AR is also being used in the retail industry, allowing customers to virtually try on clothes and makeup, see how furniture would look in their home, and even visualize how a finished home renovation project would look.


Finally, AR is being utilized in advertising, allowing companies to create interactive and immersive ad campaigns that uniquely engage consumers.

How Augmented Reality Works

After recognizing the image in the ‘real’ world, the AR device then downloads information about the object from the cloud and presents it in a 3D “experience” superimposed on the object. AR can provide a view of real-time data circulating from products and allow users to control them through touch, voice, or gesture. A 3D digital model, known as the object’s “digital twin,” serves as the bridge between the smart object and the AR and collects information to reflect the product’s current reality.

Few different types of AR:

  1. Marker-based AR and location-based AR. Marker-based AR uses specific visual markers, such as QR codes, to trigger the display of digital content.
  2. Location-based AR uses GPS and Other location data to trigger digital content display in a specific location.

The Future of Augmented Reality

As AR technology advances, we will see more widespread adoption and use of the technology in various industries. Some experts predict that AR will eventually become a part of everyday life, just like smartphones are today.

One potential future use of AR is in transportation. AR could be used to create virtual navigation systems or to display real-time traffic updates on a car’s windshield.

Another possibility is the use of AR in the workplace. AR could assist with tasks such as training and maintenance, allowing workers to access important information and instructions in real-time as they work.

Overall, the potential uses for AR are endless, and it will be exciting.

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