Augmented Reality - Bridging the gap between Real and Virtual World - Blogmantra


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Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Augmented Reality - Bridging the gap between Real and Virtual World
Image Source: Microsoft

What is Augmented Reality?
Image source: surewin

The dictionary meaning of "Augment" is to increase the size or value of things by adding something to it. Augmented Reality turns our surroundings into a digital interface by placing virtual entities in the actual world, in real-time. It provides an indirect view of the physical world enhanced by computer generated images, sounds, videos and graphics. You can simply explain AR as digitally overlaying extra information in our perceived vision.   

Is Augmented Reality different from Virtual Reality?
Image Source: Microsoft Hololens Minecraft Demo

Now, many of you might be confusing Augmented Reality with Virtual Reality. While the central idea behind both technologies is same, there is notable difference between AR and VR. 
Virtual Reality is used to create a simulated virtual environment. The user is only able to perceive those sensory adaptions which are digitally generated and delivered by their VR interface. The user thus becomes a part of the virtual world and is not able to observe any changes in the real world.
Augmented Reality on the other hand, does not remove the user from the realm of reality. Rather, it enhances the user's view of the real world by adding digital elements to the user's sensory stimuli. AR provides more freedom to the users in the sense that it does not deprive them of the current world.

Applications of Augmented Reality
Image Source: IBTimes UK

Recent researches and breakthrough advancements in AR technology has made it a very desirable product. The best feature of AR is that it does not need a heavy and confining headset to implement. It can be implemented on all kinds of digital display devices which allow graphic inputs, like your mobile phones or tablets. The very recent rave game "Pokemon Go" brought AR technology to our fingertips as users caught pokemon in their backyards. 

The latest and the best application was showcased by Microsoft's HoloLens. Launched in 2016, the HoloLens broke the borders of digital interactivity. It is a self-contained holographic computer that can map and process the physical spaces and things in the surrounding environment within fraction of seconds, creating a semi digital world around the user using interactive holograms. It even contains speakers that provide spatially synthesized sounds to give a more realistic experience. 
The HoloLens is available for developers and researchers to further utilize and advance this incredible technology. Microsoft has even provided a SDK for developers to build applications for the HoloLens. It has also found commercial use in the fields of automobile designing, product designing, architecture, archaeology, and even space research.
Image Source: androiftsoftware

So if you are a tech enthusiast, now might be the right time to grab your own set of AR devices and go on a tour of digitally modified reality...  

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