What is Augmented Reality?
Augmented Reality (AR) is a technology that overlays graphics and information onto a real-time view of the world. This differs from virtual reality, where everything you see is simulated.
At the heart of an AR system is the graphics display. It needs to display information, without obstructing your view. Currently, smart glasses, tablets, phones, and visors are being used to accomplish this. In the future, contact lenses, holograms, or brain-machine interfaces could be used.
Behind the scenes, an AR system needs to make sense of what is in view of the user, and have the applicable information available to display. That requires a head-mounted camera and a computer with access to the cloud.
Augmented reality systems can be used for marketing, computing, education, gaming, travel, training and more. Some AR examples and concepts can be seen in the resources below.
Google Glass is a very cool AR product that had an epic fail. People were creeped out that the smart glasses could snap photos or record video just by glancing in their direction. I’ve always wondered what the public response would have been, if Google Glass did not have a record feature. The product is still under development
Augmented reality will likely become a ‘thing’, long before virtual reality. AR has more practical applications than VR, and takes less computing power.
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AR glasses By Leonard Low from Australia (Concept for augmented reality mobile phone) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Augmented Reality greeting card image by Daniela.Plam (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Augmented Reality Articles and Videos
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