What Is Augmented Reality?

What is augmented reality?

Augmented reality or commonly referred as AR is an enhanced version of the real physical world that is achieved through the use of digital visual elements, sound, or other sensory stimuli and delivered via technology. It is a growing trend among companies involved in mobile computing and business applications in particular. 

AR involves overlaying visual, auditory, or other sensory information onto the real world to enhance one’s experience.

Data collection has seen quite a rise in recent years. AR’s primary goals is to highlight specific features of the physical world, increase understanding of those features, and derive smart and accessible insight that can be applied to real-world applications. Such big data can help inform companies’ decision making and gain insight into consumer spending habits , among others.

Is augmented reality the same as virtual reality?

No. Although the two terms are similar, they are not the same. Virtual reality creates its own cyber environment, whereas augmented reality adds to its existing environment. 

Is Mixed Really(MR) and Augmented Reality (AR) the same?

No they are not. To put it shortly, MR blends imagination and reality so that users can both see and interact with the real world and the virtual environment simultaneously. Think of playing a virtual video game while drinking real coffee and offering an imaginary character some of your coffee in your game – you’re mixing realities. 

Examples of augmented reality 

Some AR technologies are designed to enhance the consumer shopping experience. For example, when buying furniture, shoppers point the camera to the appropriate room and the product will appear in the foreground, this can also be applied to consumers shopping for clothing items. AR benefits can also extend to healthcare, education and business. 

According to INAP, current best examples of AR are:

  • IKEA Mobile App
  • Nintendo’s Pokémon Go App 
  • Google Pixel’s Star Wars Stickers
  • Disney Coloring Book
  • L’Oréal Makeup App
  • Weather Channel Studio Effects
  • U.S. Army equipment 

Primary value of augmented reality

The primary value of augmented reality is the manner in which components of the digital world blend into a person’s perception of the real world, not as a simple display of data, but through the integration of immersive sensations, which are perceived as natural parts of an environment. The earliest functional AR systems that provided immersive mixed reality experiences for users were invented in the early 1990s, starting with the Virtual Fixtures system developed at the U.S. Air Force’s Armstrong Laboratory in 1992.

What’s the leading coding language used in AR?

A survey conducted between late 2021 and early 2022 found that JavaScript was the leading coding language used by software developers in augmented reality and virtual reality projects, followed closely by Python.

How does augmented reality work?

Augmented reality works by superimposing digital information onto real-world objects to create a 3D experience that allows users to interact with both the physical and digital worlds. 

Here is how the augmented reality process goes: 

  • The process starts with using an AR-enabled device with a camera such as smart glasses, a tablet, or a smartphone parses a video feed to identify a physical item or the environment around the user. 
  • A digital twin – a 3D digital replica of the object in the cloud – connects the real and virtual environments. It collects information from the physical object and digital
  • Afterwards the augmented reality device downloads information about the object from the cloud. It superimposes digital information over the object using markers or trackers like GPS, accelerometers, orientation and barometric sensors, and more. This creates a part-real, part-digital 3D interface. 
  • Thanks to real-time data flowing from products, the user can interact with the object or environment by moving around and sending commands to the cloud through a touchscreen, by voice, or with gestures. 

Have you had the opportunity to dabble with AR?
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