What is Augmented Reality?

Augmented reality (AR) is a sort of trending technology which adds virtual objects in real life and hence is making our life analogous to Stranger Things by adding virtual (not in real) in real world. Its not like Virtual reality (VR), where it makes a whole new virtual surrounding. In AR graphics, sounds, and touch effects are used to enhance a better user experience.

Uses/Applications of Augmented Reality

Being such a powerful technology, AR has found its use in numerous fields. From gaming apps in your mobile phones to mechanics to manufacturing industries, AR has set a benchmark in the history of technology. Some of the areas that by and large now depend on AR for their efficient performance are as follows:

  • Military purposes
  • Medical trainings and healthcare
  • Repair and maintenance
  • Design and modelling
  • Advertisement and promotions
  • Business Logistics
  • Classroom education
  • Gaming zones
  • Entertainment purpose
  • Security purposes
  • Sightseeing

AR consists of various types which makes its more interesting to know about. Let's explore them:

  1. Marker Based AR

In this form of AR, markers are used to separate the real world entity from virtual world. It can be of the form QR code, a sort of 2D code. It doesn’t require much computational power and hence information laid down on the marker can easily be extracted.

2. Markerless AR

It is a very fancy AR which is basically used to get the position or say, location of any place. It uses our location using GPS and shows us where we are and designate all the streets, lanes, shops, roads, buildings, signals, and even tell us where to go by displaying virtual directions on our smartphone screens. It can bring a new era of navigation where we will find real places using virtual tools. Sounds crazy right?

3. Projection Based AR

As the name suggests, in this type of AR, light rays are projected on a real world entity. It is the most closest form of AR which binds real and virtual world very closely. The light rays interact with the real world objects and hence show the virtual objects formed on the real world objects.

4. Superimposition Based AR

This form of AR partially or fully replaces the real objects with virtual objects. So, object recognition plays a vital part in this form of AR.

How does AR even works?

It works as a combination of machine processing, image reflection and projection and the simultaneous involvement of cameras and sensors. It takes the information of the real world, try to make a so-called copycat in its virtual world, implements it in the real world with some other features.

Application of AR

  • It can be used in schools/colleges for practical purpose by using virtual objects processing where real world objects would be difficult to handle.
  • In military, it can be used for marking objects in real time and hence getting proper navigation
  • While visiting new places, it can be used to get directions and get proper navigation more easily without anyone's help.
  • Can be used to monitor disease and healthcare in hospitals.
  • For better gaming experience in real world environment.

Devices using AR

  • Mobile devices like smartphones and tablets
  • AR glasses and contact lenses
  • Virtual retina display