Augmented Reality-a digital trend

 8/5/2016  576

Technology is unendingly developing, and the introduction of new devices acts as a touchstone to the landing of a totally new technological worldview. Video games have been entertaining us for nearly 30 years, ever since Pong was introduced to arcades in the early 1970s. Computer graphics have become much more sophisticated since then, and game graphics are pushing the barriers of photorealism. Now, researchers and engineers are pulling graphics out of your television screen or computer display and integrating them into real-world environments. This new technology, called augmented reality, blurs the line between what's real and what's computer-generated by enhancing what we see, hear, feel and smell.
On the spectrum between virtual reality, which creates immersive, computer-generated environments, and the real world, augmented reality is closer to the real world. Augmented reality adds graphics, sounds, haptic feedback and smell to the natural world as it exists. The basic idea of augmented reality is to superimpose graphics, audio and other sensory enhancements over a real-world environment in real time. Both video games and cell phones are driving the development of augmented reality.

Origin:                                                                                                                                                                                                        It was Professor Thomas P. Caudell, then an analyst at Boeing, who initially used the term 'augmented reality' in 1990. He was referring to a head-mounted digital display that guided specialists through amassing electrical wires in aircrafts.

Definition:                                                                                                                                                                                      Augmented reality is the interaction of superimposed graphics, audio and other sense enhancements over a real-world environment that’s displayed in real-time. In other words, it is a technology that layers computer-generated enhancements atop an existing reality in order to make it more meaningful through the ability to interact with it.

Present:                                                                                                                                                                                                    2016 is set to be the year AR ventures. Pokémon Go- The augmented-reality (AR) game that—since its release on July 6, attracted 21 million users and became one of the most successful mobile apps ever—has been praised for promoting exercise, facilitating social interactions, sparking new interest in local landmarks, and more. Education writers and experts have weighed in on its implications for teaching kids everything from social skills to geography. And while it seems clear at this point that the game is a fad that has peaked—one of the game’s biggest triumphs has, arguably, been the hope it’s generated about the future of play. While electronic games have traditionally caused kids to retreat to couches, here is one that did precisely the opposite.

Possible domains where AR can be used:
There are many possible domains that could benefit from the use of Augmented Reality technology such as engineering, entertainment and education. Doctors can examine patients while viewing superimposed medical images; children can program their own LEGO constructions; construction engineers can use ordinary paper engineering drawings to communicate with distant colleagues. For instance, a project management in building and construction will be more easily and safely carried out when site managers can virtually view and monitor work in progress in real time through Augmented Reality markers placed on parts or equipment being built. Furthermore it is now possible with advanced Augmented Reality Applications to provide more authentic learning and engage learners in ways that were never possible before. Each student can have their own unique discovery path through real-life immersive simulations, with no time pressure and no real consequences if mistakes are made during skills training. In addition it could be also used in business for advertising, gaining more customers and higher market share.

Issues & concerns:

  • Threats to privacy and issues of the privacy control. Walking up to a stranger or a group of people with AR device might reveal status, Tweets, and other personal information that may cause breache of privacy.
  • Regarding user experience, socially using Augmented Reality may be inappropriate in some situations.
  • Spam as it is easy to imagine that spam could overwhelm the augmented world with unwanted advertising or unwanted information of any kind.
  • Price – as the technology is still developing it may be quiet expensive to use it in everyday life and it might be less accessible for small businesses.
    Internet addiction- an over reliance on augmented reality could mean that people are missing out on what's right in front of them.

Both virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) are on their way to changing the way we travel the world, learn new things, do our work and interact with others. Virtual reality has been around in various forms, but has really found its footing in the computer gaming industry, and is also gaining new uses in industry, health care and education. Augmented-reality glasses let you see the real world, but can also project additional information that only the wearer can see. The enormously popular smartphone-based game Pokemon Go is one example. Both technologies are ideal for learning and practicing new skills. According to the digital industry analytics, by 2020 the revenue from VR and AR may reach $150 billion, with augmented reality taking the lion's share.

Practice question: Augmented Reality has become the new trendy buzzword of 2016. Compare Virtual reality with Augmented reality. Highlight concerns associated with augmented reality technology?

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