What is Augmented Reality(AR) Technology? Ultimate guide

What is Augmented Reality(AR) Technology? Ultimate guide

Wouldn’t it be awesome to have a brunch sitting next to your own homegrown tiger?

Yes, but that ain’t possible until you are one of those Arab kings who happen to have enough money to buy anything on the planet earth.

Wait, that was so true before the evolution of Augmented reality.

But the world had changed a lot since then. Augmented reality can bring not only a tiger but anything that you can imagine and place it wherever you want.

Ok, that sounds cool but:

What is Augmented reality Technology?

Augmented reality is the ability to insert an overlay digital and virtual information into the real world.

That’s so geeky definition, but what it actually meant is:

Augmented reality helps to enhance the real world with a set of magical virtual objects in it.

When a person’s real environment is supplemented or augmented with computer-generated images usually motion tracked then that’s AR.

Before we learn how this tech works let’s see:

Augmented Reality examples

If you have ever watched Ironman series, then you’ve already experienced augmented reality. All those things that pop up inside Ironman’s helmet are created using AR.

He sure as hell is 😉 let’s move on.

Not just in Ironman, by knowingly or unknowingly you’ve already used and harnessed the power of AR in your day to day life. Here are few examples of ’em.

Gaming: Augmented reality is first used in Gaming industries. Pokémon is the first AR game that grabbed almost all people’s attention. This game literally made people crazy.

Car industry: Now even car companies are taking advantage of AR to repair their customer’s car. Mechanics will able to view the parts of the cars overlaying.

augmented reality

They can easily mantle or dismantle the spare parts. This will save time and money.

Healthcare: Now surgeons use AR applications to operate complicated operations. AR app will give them a better visibility of the human body which makes them easily operate.

So I think it’s time, let’s answer the question:

How does Augmented Reality work?

Firstly your camera detects the target image and will figure it out how close or far, and at what angle, the target image is from the camera using sensors.

Then the AR app will project the digital information onto to that image and tada – Augmented reality.

Well, this isn’t the only approach how AR is produced. Here are few other approaches:

SLAM: SLAM simultaneously localizes sensors with respect to their surroundings, while at the same time mapping the structure of the environment.

Location Based: Location-based AR relies on a GPS, digital compass, velocity meter, or accelerometer to provide actual information about the location and the augmented reality visualizations are activated based on these inputs.

Let’s kinda break AR for a moment and discover a new piece of tech: Virtual reality.

Augmented Reality vs Virtual Reality

If you happen to live in the 21st century then I’m pretty sure you’ve heard about the hot buzzword Virtual Reality along with Augmented reality.

So, we learned about AR in previous sections, but what’s VR? and how do they differ? let’s find out:

Current VR technology most commonly uses virtual reality headsets or multi-projected environments, sometimes in combination with physical environments or props,…

…to generate realistic images, sounds and other sensations that simulate a user’s physical presence in a virtual or imaginary environment.

Bottom line:

AR and VR both combined would make the earth the better place for mankind. Let’s get back to AR and see:

Best Augmented Reality devices available today

There are so many AR devices available for consumers right now. Since we are interested in the abstract view of AR I’ll just discuss few of ’em.

1. Microsoft Hololens.
AR glasses, in general, is a more convenient way to present AR than a smartphone/tablet device. However, this particular device from Microsoft is very expensive and has a limited field of view.

Experts say that:

AR in Hololens demo videos looks more attractive and convenient comparing to what you actually see in glasses (too narrow field of view in a vertical direction).

2. Google Tango.
This refers to technology/platform rather than to a specific device.

So far Google has only a dev kit tablet for developers. However, there is the first consumer version of Google Tango powered smartphone from Lenovo.

Lastly, let’s have a look at apps that are available in the market which are already harnessing the power of AR.

Augmented Reality apps for Android

Basically, there are a ton of apps that are built upon AR. Since I can’t list all of ’em I’ll just talk about few best apps in the market.

1. Hola

augmented reality

Holo is an AR app you probably can’t imagine using, but once you do, you’ll get hooked on using it all the time. With Holo, you implant holograms of characters and objects into the real world.

This makes for some pretty hilarious selfies and other photos you won’t be able to resist sharing on social media.

2. Inkhunter

This one’s favourite on this list. If you love tattoos then I’m pretty sure you’ll love this app. If you’ve ever considered getting a tattoo, but not sure how one would look, then this app is perfect for you.

augmented reality

Pick one, and just point it at the part of your body where you’re considering getting the tattoo.

Inkhunter uses AR to display your chosen tattoo design on your arm or anywhere else. Moving your arm or phone allows you to check that it’ll look great from every angle.

Let’s not be too naive, what about ios users? How can one forget jobs followers 😉 IYKWIM

Here’s the list of apps that are available for ios and Android both. Hope this will please ios users out there.

Lastly, let’s see where are we standing in AR and VR world

Latest developments in AR world

  1. Every up-to-date Windows PC comes with built-in AR and VR platform and every major PC maker like Dell, hp had built a headset for it.
  2. Magic leap which never even released a single product had raised 2 billion in funding to develop AR related product in coming days.

With all these said, let’s tryna wrap up our discussion regarding AR.


Wrap Up

I know we haven’t travelled a long way in the road of Augmented Reality. But the journey had begun.

With all tech giants investing a lot of money in AR to develop something amazing, there’s no doubt that we gonna experience something great down the road.

Wait, let’s take a moment to appreciate Pokemon Go’s role in making AR reach people at large scale.

Not only that this game has also become a stepping stone Augmented Reality games that came after Pokemon Go.

Did you like this article?

Do let us know through comments. Thanks for spending your valuable time here. Also, check out, Introduction to Decentralized internet with Blockchain [Internet 2.0]

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