Augmented reality expands the physical world around us by adding different digital layers on to it. These digital layers are often in the shape of information like graphics, sounds, videos, etc. Unlike virtual reality, augmented reality doesn’t replace the real environment, in fact, it compliments it.
Some AR Applications
From tourism to education – healthcare to eCommerce augmented reality is everywhere. Some of the most common applications of AR are in our smartphones, where an app pinpoints the location of a user or a phone using GPS (global positioning system).
On a more sophisticated level, augmented reality programs and apps are used by the military in training and operations such as object recognition, gesture recognition, and machine vision.
How Does AR Work?
While making use of technologies like SLAM and depth tracking augmented reality can be displayed on different devices like phones, screens, glasses and many other types of displays.
Following components may work together in an augmented reality application.
Cameras: Cameras can simply be used to collect data and then sending it for further processing. With the help of the data received from cameras, AR devices can help locate an object and create its 3d model.
Processing: The data received is of no good if the AR device is unable to process is. To do that, the device should act like a computer and must have components like a CPU, RAM, flash memory, WiFi, GPS, GPU, etc.
Projection: The projection component of an augmented reality app shows the information on a surface so that it can be viewed, analyzed, stored and further processed if needed. Information from an AR device can be projected on a smartphone, smart glasses, smart TVs, and PCs, etc.
Reflection: Many Augmented Reality devices make use of mirrors to show virtual images to a user. There can be double-sided mirrors or many small mirrors on both sides of the device to reflect light into the camera.
Future of AR
The future of AR looks beautiful; it has already made huge strides in the gaming industry. Games like Pokemon Go and Ingress are great examples of how the virtual and the real world can be combined to create amazing things. Similarly, in retail, real estate, etc, the industry can make use of 3D models to create better brand awareness, customer engagement, and more sales.
The exact future of AR is a little hard to predict but we are sure of some exciting times ahead.