Augmented reality and its Applications

Augmented reality

Augmented reality (AR) may not be a hot topic as is virtual reality, but technology is proving quite useful in our day to day lives. The origin of the word augmented is augmented, which means to add or enhance something. From medical uses to gaming augmented reality is becoming quite popular because it brings elements of the virtual world into the real world.

Augmented reality (AR) is an interactive experience of a real-world environment where the objects that reside in the real-world are enhanced by computer-generated perceptual information. This experience is seamlessly interwoven with the physical world such that it is perceived as an immersive aspect of the real environment.

Unlike virtual reality, which creates a completely different environment, AR uses the existing environment and adds new elements to it. AR can be experienced through headsets or mobile devices that people use.

Technology

Hardware

  • Hardware components for AR include a processor, display, sensors and input devices. Modern mobile computing devices like smartphones and tablet computers contain these elements.
  • It often includes a camera and MEMS sensors such as an accelerometer, GPS, and solid state compass.

Software

  • A key measure of AR systems is how realistically they integrate augmentations with the real world. The software must derive real-world coordinates, independent from the camera, from camera images.
  • That process is called image registration and uses different methods of computer vision, mostly related to video tracking. Many computer vision methods of augmented reality are inherited from visual odometry.

Applications of Augmented reality

Augmented reality Military use

  • The Military sector has always been improving in the technological department for the purpose of training and combat.
  • The Heads-Up Display (HUD) is the typical example of augmented reality when it comes to military applications of the technology. A transparent display is positioned directly in the fighter pilot’s view. Data typically displayed to the pilot includes altitude, airspeed and the horizon line in addition to other critical data.
  • Above all, AR also helps soldiers to train in a systematic training environment (STE) which is much better than shooting 2D cardboards. The main objective of STE is to create an environment that seems real enough so soldiers could get the best possible training.

Medical use

  • Firstly, Medical students use AR technology to practice surgery in a controlled environment. Visualizations aid in explaining complex medical conditions to patients. Augmented reality can reduce the risk of an operation by giving the surgeon improved sensory perception. 
  • Secondly, Neurosurgery is at the forefront when it comes to surgical applications of augmented reality. Surgeons also have lots of anatomical data from images at their disposal.
  • The other advantage of this kind of training is that it can be more systematic, rather than random. A training program can ensure that doctors in training see everything they need to see, rather than relying on luck of the draw.

Augmented reality in Gaming

Augmented reality in pokemon go
  • With recent advances in computing power and technology, gaming applications in augmented reality are on a rise.
  • Pokémon GO,  considered the breakthrough AR app for gaming, uses a smartphone’s camera, gyroscope, clock, and GPS and to enable a location-based augmented reality environment. 
  • Popular Android and iOS AR apps include Ingress, SpecTrek, Temple Treasure Hunt, Ghost Snap AR, Zombies, Run! and AR Invaders.

In Conclusion, AR can be used in many different areas of our lives. It is quite exciting to see the advancement of this technology and where it is headed. I am pretty sure this technology will be as big as virtual reality if not bigger.

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