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How does augmented reality works?

April 4th, 2014

Augmented Reality or AR is a cutting-edge technology that enables a digitally enhanced view of the real world. It is alive, either direct or indirect, view of physical and real-world environment in which elements are improved by computer-generated sensory input such as video, audio, graphics or GPS data.

The possibilities of Augmented Reality are nearly endless. It enhances one’s current perception of reality. Using Augmented Reality, the artificial information about the environment as well as its objects can be overlaid on the real world.

The main objective of Augmented Reality is to build a system in which the user cannot be able to find out the exact differences between the virtual amplification and the real world. Hence, Augmented Reality is used in almost all industries today.

Now, let’s take a look at how augmented reality actually works. This will give you a pretty knowledge of why and where we are with Augmented Reality applications, and what is going to take this technology up to the next level.

To understand the process clearly, we will break the process down into the necessary components that make Augmented Reality possible.

There are different options, such as a projector that can be placed on the top of the surface you want to augment, or the another common one, a monitor or television that provides a clear view of reality through a remote camera, and also the power to display graphic information based on the things that are added by the production team in their broadcast studios or your computer hardware.

Also, you have some other devices for other senses like a glove or earpiece that could provide more information to both the sense of touch or hearing. Whatever may be, something must be there in between your organic senses to allow them to transform an unseen stimulus into something that you can able to detect.

Window on the world:

The first and foremost thing that you need for Augment Reality is absolutely some reality. If you have some reality, then you can possibly create an exclusive virtual world. So, the main thing that you need for Augmented Reality is a window on the world. Either a remote view through a video screen, or the location with which you want to augment, you need the canvas of reality to add information. If there is no reality, there is no Augmented Reality.

Augmented Reality display device:

After getting your background environment, you need to think about the way of displaying the augmentations. The main idea of Augmented Reality is to provide information about your environment, that is, otherwise not detectable to your naked senses. So, to make this to work, you need a method of exhibiting those annotations that would not normally exist. Most often, an effective frame is needed through which you can look at the world. The typical examples are mobile phones, head mounted display like a visor or glasses, heads up display, or tablets.

The second option is the Internet, which is the great source of freely accessible data. For example, Wikipedia, Facebook, Flickr, Twitter, etc., are some of the sources where you can able to retrieve data such as photos, telephone numbers, status updates, likes, dislikes, and so on.

Connection:

No matter wherever you retrieve information, you need a live connection to that information for Augmented Reality to work. You need to use high-speed cables to have a direct and flawless connection between the computer and your windows on the world, i.e., your Augmented Reality display device. For consistent Augmented Reality experience, the user must rely heavily on coverage and speed of the Internet connection.

Application:

The hardware is in place, however, there is a lot of reality out there and a huge amount of information on the Internet for your Augmented Reality display device to connect to. Now, you need some software to recognize what is coming into your device from the outside environment, call up the needed information according to that, and then instruct your mobile device or HMD to display and overlay the data flawlessly.

However, you will require some graphics processing hardware that works appropriately for the initial recognition part of the process and also having the capacity to generate the augmentations for the users to view. Moreover, all of these have to be done in real-time for it to work.

The initial recognition part includes using GPS to track the user’s location instead of having to rely on the software to perfectly identify the user’s environment based on a view of information through the lens of your mobile device.

Perhaps one of the difficult tasks of all is nothing but tracking the virtual objects and render them perfectly in 3D, so that the users can able to move through their environment while still receiving perfect annotations of what they view.

It might be possible for an application to pull in 3D information of absolutely everything in a scene. Hence, it is significant to have something that is both selective and self-effacing as well. This is nothing but augmented reality, and both the augmentations and the reality are just as imperative as one another.

Conclusion:

These are the elements that made Augmented Reality possible. If you manage to complete that chain from one end to another, then you can have a system that works well, and is hopefully useful at the same time.

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