Augmented Reality Definition (AR)
The origin of the word augmented is augment, which means to add or enhance something. In the case of Augmented Reality (also called AR), graphics, sounds, and touch feedback are added into our natural world to create an enhanced user experience.
An enhanced version of reality where live direct or indirect views of physical real-world environments are augmented with superimposed computer-generated images over a user's view of the real-world, thus enhancing one’s current perception of reality.
Introduction to Augmented Reality (AR)
AR may prove to be a very useful tool in our everyday lives. It holds this potential because it brings elements of the virtual world, into the real world, enhancing the things we see, hear, and feel. Among the other reality technologies, augmented reality lies in the middle of the mixed reality spectrum, being between the real and virtual world. Augmented reality is the integration of digital information with the user's environment in real time.
Augmented Reality vs Virtual Reality
Unlike virtual reality, which requires you to inhabit an entirely virtual environment, augmented reality uses your existing natural environment and simply overlays virtual information on top of it. As both virtual and real worlds harmoniously coexist, users of augmented reality experience a new and improved natural world where virtual information is used as a tool to provide assistance in everyday activities.
Types of Augmented Reality
Several categories of augmented reality technology exist, each with varying differences in their objectives and applicational use cases. Below, we explore the couple of types of technologies that make up augmented reality:
Markerless Augmented Reality
As one of the most widely implemented applications of augmented reality, markerless (also called location-based, position-based, or GPS) augmented reality, uses a GPS, digital compass, velocity meter, or accelerometer which is embedded in the device to provide data based on your location. A strong force behind markerless augmented reality technology is the wide availability of smartphones and location detection features they provide. It is most commonly used for mapping directions, finding nearby businesses, and other location-centric mobile applications.
Superimposition Based Augmented Reality
Superimposition based augmented reality either partially or fully replaces the original view of an object with a newly augmented view of that same object. In superimposition based augmented reality, object recognition plays a vital role because the application cannot replace the original view with an augmented one if it cannot determine what the object is. A strong consumer-facing example of superimposition based augmented reality could be found in the augmented reality furniture catalogue. By downloading an app and scanning selected pages in their printed or digital catalogue, users can place virtual furniture in their own home with the help of augmented reality.