4 min read | By Admin | 18 January 2017 | Technology

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The history of Augmented Reality traces back to 1990 and the term Augmented Reality was initially coined by Tom Caudell.Augmented Reality is the process of enriching the physical, real-world objects with digital information. Augmented reality is very close to the concept of Computer Mediated Reality. It is the ability to modify one’s perception of reality. This is done usually by the help of some electronic devices such as wearable, handheld devices, Eye Tap which act as a visual filter between the real world and what the user perceives. So here the current perception of reality is enhanced by the technology.

Augmented Reality has developed more than any other technology we have seen in television broadcasts. Sports scores on TV during the match is one of its many examples. Some of the new TV effects such as RACEf/x and the Super Imposed First Down Line both created by SportVision, show the advanced technology in Augmented Reality. The current systems display graphics only for one point of view whereas next generation Augmented Reality systems will show graphics for each viewer’s perspective.

It takes mobile user experience to the next level. Augmented Reality for mobile phones is an exciting development, very simple, helpful by providing the right information in time. There are many applications of Augmented Reality for iPhone and Android. Few of the applications already in the market are Layar (Used in Netherlands), Monocle, Wikitude, Urbanspoon, Ink Hunter, WallaMe, Star chart, Theodolite, Spyglass etc

Layar application uses the phone’s camera to gather information about the restaurants and other sites in the surrounding and then display it on the screen. It can also be used to project it on a building and know if any company in that building are hiring, or any other relevant information related to companies in that building.

Monocle, an Augmented Reality component in Yelp, uses the GPS and compass in the phone to display the information about the restaurants along with its reviews on the screen. Wikitude finds information about surrounding from Wikipedia.

Retail sector can be revolutionized with Augmented Reality. In this sector technology will diminish the gap between physical and online shops, by providing the rich experience and delivering the personalized promotions to the right wearer. There are huge investments on games using Augmented Reality. Ex: Pokemon Go, Baseball game, Human Pac-Man etc.

One of the major importance’s of Augmented Reality is in the field of Military. A head mounted display with Augmented Reality, can layout the blueprint or a view from a satellite or overhead drone to the soldier’s field of vision. Google glass and Apple watch are few more examples of Augmented Reality.

Limitations of Augmented Reality

  • Though the improved image recognition technology is used, GPS works accurately only within 30feet.
  • Privacy is a big concern. Augmented Reality will allow a person to project the device at a person and get all the details about him instantly (from his social media accounts etc).
  • Social acceptance and to become profitable for business are few more challenges.
  • In mobile phones, Augmented Reality must work with limited processing power, little storage and a small amount of memory.

In spite of having these limitations, there are many advantages of Augmented Reality.

Few of them are as listed below.

  • Just by pointing the AR-enabled phones at a place, we get the information. So we get to learn so much from this.
  • In construction, we can save materials by using virtual markers to identify where the beam should go or which structural support to inspect etc
  • Once mixed with social media applications it’s easy to know about the coupons or offers.
  • It’s highly useful to paleontologists, artists, doctors etc

Some spheres where Augmented Reality has bright future are:

  • Computer games.
  • Medicine – for training students.
  • Military – to know the location of enemies.
  • Industry – assistance in prototyping.
  • Fine art – media ad artworks.
  • Teaching – visualizing learning material.

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