I’m excited about Augmented Reality because unlike Virtual Reality, which closes the world, AR allows people to be present in the world, but hopefully improves what is currently happening. – Tim Cook

What is Augmented Reality?

A combination of a real scene viewed by a user and a computer-generated virtual scene that increases the scene with more information.

An AR system adds virtual computer-generated objects, audio and other sensory improvements in real time to a real-world environment.

Let us take a simple example to understand AR: until today the most popular AR game is Pokémon Go, which enables users to catch virtual Pokémon, which is hidden in reality. It uses real places to encourage players to explore Pokemon far and wide in the real world. The game allows players to search for and catch over a hundred Pokemon species while moving around. The app is available for both Android and iOS mediums.

But what will be the Ultimate Goal?

Create a system that does not allow a user to distinguish between the real world and its virtual augmentation of it.

Then how AR works?

AR operates by deploying real-world objects in virtual images. With the input received from a camera or another input device like smart glasses, the overlay is performed immediately. Thus, virtual objects are brought into the surroundings by AR technology.

To put it simply, AR

  • Choose a Real World.
  • Fill in your virtual objects.
  • Delete objects from the real world.
  • Since the environment is real, not virtual reality.

What is the Display Technology used?

Two types of display techs are actually being used:

  • Monitor-based display
  • Head-mounted display

Monitor-based AR: 

  • Easier to use.
  • A small sense of immersion in the environment.

Head-Mounted Display: Again, it is divided into two types,

  • Optical see-through HMD
  • Video see-through HMD

Optical see-through HMD is a wearable device capable of reflecting and enabling the user to see the projected images.

Simplicity, resolution, no eye offset are advantages of this optical view via HMD.

Video see-through HMD is made by Chroma Keying. It combines real and virtual images by comparing pixel by pixel depth.

Advantages of this Video see-through HMD includes flexibility in composition strategies, a large field of view, real and virtual view delays.

The devices that are used in the production of AR are Eye lenses, contact lenses, Virtual retina displays etc. CastAR, Moverio BT-200, Meta, Vuzix M-100, Laster Seethru, Icis, and ORA- S are some of the next products to be released.

Applications:

  • Medical
  • Entertainment
  • Military Training
  • Engineering Design
  • Robotics and Telerobotics
  • Manufacturing, Maintenance, and Repair
  • Consumer Design
  • Hazard Detection
  • Audio

Conclusion:

The future of AR is not far away in our current rapidly growing technology. The face of smartphone apps and gaming has changed, and this step goes beyond virtual reality, which tries to simulate reality. AR apps are growing at an enormous rate as they give companies a new edge that attracts customers.