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Augmented Reality Basics

Augmented Reality, which is abbreviated as AR, is an improved adaptation of reality (subsisting direct or indirect observations of physical entity which are a part of real-world ecosystem) augmented by means of superimposed computer-generated graphics in a blend with user’s vision of the real world, thereby making an interactive perception of reality with intensification.

‘Augmented’ is the augmentation of a digital entity which deals with adding or enhancing something whereas the term ‘reality’ deals with the real-world entity in proper combination with digital graphics. The concept of Augmented Reality (AR) is a mix of high-end graphics, touch as well as sound where virtual objects get added into our natural world giving us an enhanced as well as three-dimensional user experience (UX).

Virtual Reality (VR) involves the users’ to live in and experience an completely virtual environment, Augmented Reality (AR) on the other hand deal with users’ existing in the natural environment while overlaying the virtual information on top of reality. Hence, both the reality and the blending of virtual digital augmentation coexist harmoniously. Types of Augmented Reality: -

  1. Marker-less Augmented Reality: This type of Augmented Reality is the most popularly implemented AR form where the concept is based on GPS and the working is done via location-based. Hence it is also termed as Position based AR. Other things associated with this type of AR are: accelerometer, digital compass, velocity meter which are embedded with the user's interacting units and devices for retrieving data based on position. Various location centric applications e.g. searching for nearby services with augmented tracking and interfaces are examples of Marker-less augmented Reality.

  2. Marker-oriented augmented reality: This type of AR uses the concepts of markers where image recognition is used and needs camera (for making real world object detection) along with some visual markers (such as QR code, 2D code or other image detection printed boards) which are used for producing AR output only when sensor detects those codes through camera. QR and 2D codes are used for this AR type because it consumes less processing power to recognize and read and start acting on it.

  3. Superimposition Augmented Reality: This type of augmented reality does something different. It actually replaces (either completely or partially) the original view or object with the pre-created augmented (virtual) object which will sync with the real world and will look like a real world entity. This type of concept-based AR is used in augmented applications where consumers are shown different products of choice.

  4. Projection-based Augmented Reality: This type of Augmented Reality uses projection of artificial light in the form of image which is reflected on any real world objects and surfaces. It is then further interacted by human and the human interaction gets sensed by the projected light beams. As there are two kinds of projection - the expected projection and the altered projection, projection-based AR is mostly associated with altered projection. Interactive hologram is a popular project that uses projection-based augmented reality.

Most augmented reality (AR) gadgets use both synthetic and natural light and the user experience augmented objects through that. Some common augmented reality Head-Up Displays (HUD) and gadgets are:

  • HTC Vive

  • Oculus Rift

  • Google Glasses

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