What haptic communication and superimposition are? What are head-mounted displays and smart glasses? What is Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality? What are the meanings of these digital trends? Will you ever catch up? I made an attempt to sort it all out in this article.

For a lot of people, MR/AR/VR are exotic technologies and quite abstract, most often perceived as part of a Hollywood movie or as science-fiction. 3D virtual models, animate holograms and interactive displays. As a matter of fact, all of these things already exist. Real environment enhanced by objects computer generated exists in so many areas, from gaming to aviation, users are just not conscious of it.

We all tried in recent years to catch Pokemon or fit using the IKEA app furniture into your room. That is Augmented Reality, and it has greater abilities of potential use AR is still being developed and tech companies and multiple engineers globally are working hours unend for its enhancement.


Augmented Reality

Augmented reality is an innovation that expands the physical world around us by placing digital information in layers on it. Unlike Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality doesn’t create entire artificial environments to physical ones with virtual. AR rather manifests in the direct view of a present environment and adds videos, graphics, and sounds to it.

A view of the real world physical environment with computers generated images superimposed on it, thus transforming realities perception, is the Augmented Reality.

The word itself was termed in 1990, and its initial commercial use was in the military and television. With the evolution of smartphones and the Internet, AR gave out its second push and currently is related mostly to the concept of interaction. Models in 3D are projected directly onto physical objects or fused real-time to them, numerous AR applications impact our social life, the entertainment industry, and habits.

Augmented Reality applications link a special marker to digital animation, or using the aid of phone GPS pinpoint a location. Augmentation happens real time and in the context of the physical surrounding, for example, scores overlayed over a live sports event.

Currently, there are 4 kinds of AR:

  1. Superimposed based

This type of AR replaces the real view partially or fully with an augmented. Object recognition holds a big role, without which the entire concept would be improbable. In the catalog of the IKEA app, we have all seen an example of Superimposed AR, that lets users place virtual objects of their furniture catalog in their homes.

  1. Markerless

Markerless AR is also known as position based or location based AR. It utilizes a compass, GPS, an accelerometer and a gyroscope to provide information based on a user’s location. This data is then used to determine what augmented reality content you to get or find in a certain area With the presence of smartphones, this AR type basically creates directions and maps, local businesses information etc Applications include navigation support, information, and events, pop-ups business ads.

  1. Projection based

In projection-based AR artificial light is projected to real-life objects and in some instances allowed to interact with it. These are holograms we have seen in science fiction movies like star trek or star wars. By its alterations, it detects user involvement with a projection.

  1. Maker based

This AR may also be called image recognition. It requires a camera to scan and a specific visual object. This could be anything, a special sign it a OR code that has been printed. The augmented reality device calculates as well the marker orientation and position to the contents position, in certain situations. Hence, a marker cases users to view digital animations, and magazine imagines could transform into 3D models.


How Augmented Reality works

For augmented reality, a specific range of data (3D models, animations, videos, images) may be utilized and users can see the result in both synthetic and natural light. Users will also be aware of their presence in the physical world which is enhanced via computer vision, unlike virtual reality.

AR can be shown on various devices: handheld devices, head-mounted displays, glasses, mobile phones. It utilizes technologies such as S.L.A.M which is an acronym for simultaneous localization mapping, sensor data that calculates the distance to items called depth tracking, and the components listed below:

Sensors and Cameras – Gathering data of a users interaction and delivering it to be processed. A devices camera scans it’s surroundings using this information and locates a physical object and creates 3D models. It could be high-grade cameras such as the Microsoft Hologens or a regular smartphone camera used to take videos/ pictures. Leading AR organizations utilize vuforia, a mainstream library for computer vision.

Processing – Augmented Reality devices will eventually behave like minicomputers, something contemporary smartphones are capable of In a similar manner they require a GPU, RAM, orientation in space, direction, flash memory, CPU, WI-FI, GPS etc.

Projection – This relates to a small projector on augmented headsets, which gathers data via sensors and projects processing results or digital content on a physical surface for viewing. Asa matter of face, using projections in augmented reality hasn’t been fully implemented yet for commercial services or products.

Reflection – Some augmented reality devices possess mirrors to help human eyes to perceive virtual images. Some use a number of tiny curved mirrors and others have a two-sided mirror in order to reflect light to a users eye and to a camera. The aim of such paths of reflection is to carry out image alignment properly.

Major Challenges of Augmented Reality

Before the immense success in 2016 of Pokemon Go when AR was shot into the conciseness of the public, augmented reality was shadowed by virtual reality. A lot of people seemed more positive about virtual reality applications in comparison to AR.

Nevertheless, as VR and AR have grown over the previous years, it is now evident that augmented reality has more to offer in relation to practical use daily. From manufacturing to retail to education, AR is a set to push business value across various sectors. However, there are still some challenges that wait ahead of the mass acceptance of AR. Here are some of them:

  1. Hardware for Augmented Reality

Currently, AR headsets are not available for users. Meta 2 and Microsoft Hololens have put out developer versions, but they haven’t announced when their devices are to be shipped to end users. Even more, Meta and HoloLens boast of high costs at $949 and $3000 respectively. Not to forget the current design of the AR headsets available on the market. Even though the Hololens and Meta 2 provide a user experience that’s compelling, they aren’t sleek for consumer adoption en mass. Also, the Meta 2 has to be tethered to a PC hindering any form of convenience.

On mobile devices, AR cannot be experienced fully as they are not equipped with depth sensing or room mapping technology. Only the Tango is powered by this capability. However, Vuforia has enabled more than 50,000 applications for consumer and business use on a range of handheld and headworn devicesб and that’s a great solution to this challenge. Originally launched in 2011, Vuforia is supported by a global ecosystem of more than 425,000 developers and partners.

  1. AR Content

Another challenge of augmented reality is content. Picture your smartphone without applications. If you possess hardware with nothing for consumers to utilize, it won’t work. When Hololens and other hardware are delivered to users, they need to have programs and apps that can improve the experience of users.

  1. AR Education

One of the major challenges of AR is the education of the broad market. End users are not privy to augmented reality daily and do not see the practical applications in their lives. However, there are a lot of AR experiences present currently that lack the needed exposure to the market.