What is Augmented Reality?

Augmented Reality

Augmented reality in short AR is the integration of digital information with the user's environment in real time. It 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.

Unlike virtual reality, which creates a totally artificial environment, augmented reality uses the existing environment and overlays new information on top of it. The process of superimposing digitally rendered images onto our real-world surroundings, giving a sense of an illusion or virtual reality. Recent developments have made this technology accessible using a smartphone.

Thomas Caudell a boeing researcher, coined the term augmented reality in 1990, to describe how the head-mounted displays that electricians used when assembling complicated wiring harnesses worked. Augmented reality is often presented as a kind of futuristic technology, but it's been around in some form for years, one of the first commercial applications of AR technology was the "first down" line that began appearing in televised football games sometime in 1998. Today, Google glass and heads-up displays in car windshields are perhaps the most well-known consumer AR products, but the technology is used in many industries including social media, healthcare, public safety, gas and oil, tourism and marketing.

How does it work in smartphones?

Using a mobile application, camera identifies and interprets a marker. The software analyses the marker and perform a number of calculations to do render the image to create a virtual image overlay on the mobile phone's screen. This means the app works with the camera to interpret the angles and distance the mobile phone is away from the marker.

AR applications in smartphones also pinpoint a user's location in the Map. It uses global positioning system (GPS) and compass to point out the user's location and detect device orientation. Sophisticated AR programs used by the military for training may include machine vision, object recognition and gesture recognition technologies. Now a day AR implemented in the field of video games like Pokemon Go.