What Is Augmented Reality(AR)?

What Is Augmented Reality(AR)?


3 min read

AR allows virtual objects to be overlaid in real-world environments in real-time.

Augmented Reality Definition :

Augmented Reality is defined as the technology and methods that allow overlaying of real-world objects and environments with 3D virtual objects using an AR device, and allow the virtual to interact with the real-world objects to create intended meanings.

Unlike virtual reality which tries to recreate and replace an entire real-life environment with a virtual one, augmented reality is about enriching an image of the real world with computer-generated images and digital information. It seeks to change perception by adding video, infographics, images, sound, and other details.

Inside a device that creates AR content; virtual 3D images are overlaid on real-world objects based on their geometrical relationship. The device must be able to calculate the position and orientation of objects concerning others. The combined image is projected on mobile screens, AR glasses, etc.

On the other side, there are devices worn by the user to allow viewing of AR content by a user. Unlike virtual reality headsets that completely immerse users into simulated worlds, AR glasses do not. The glasses allow adding and overlaying of a virtual object onto the real world object, for instance, placing AR markers on machines to mark repair areas.

A user using the AR glasses can see the real object or environment around them but enriched with the virtual image.

Although the first application was in military and television since the coining of the term in 1990, AR is now applied in gaming, education and training, and other fields. Most of it is applied as AR apps that can be installed on phones and computers. Today, it is enhanced with mobile phone technology such as GPS, 3G and 4G, and remote sensing.

Types Of AR :

Augmented reality is of four types: Marker-less, Marker-based, Projection-based, and Superimposition-based AR. Let us see them one by one in detail.

  1. Marker-based AR

    A marker, which is a special visual object like a special sign or anything, and a camera are used to initiate the 3D digital animations. The system will calculate the orientation and position of the market to position the content effectively.

    Marker-based AR example: A marker-based mobile-based AR furnishing app

  2. Marker-less AR : It is used in events, business, and navigation apps, for instance, the technology uses location-based information to determine what content the user gets or finds in a certain area. It may use GPS, compasses, gyroscopes, and accelerometers as can be used on mobile phones.The below example shows that a Marker-less AR does not need any physical markers to place objects in a real-world space:

  3. Project-based AR : This kind uses synthetic light projected on the physical surfaces to detect the interaction of the user with the surfaces. It is used on holograms like in Star Wars and other sci-fi movies. The below image is an example showing a sword projection in AR project-based AR headset:

  4. Superimposition-based AR :

    In this case, the original item is replaced with an augmentation, fully or partially. The below example is allowing users to place a virtual furniture item over a room image with a scale on the IKEA Catalog app

IKEA is an example of superimposition-based AR

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