What is Augmented Reality?

By | December 11, 2018

The dictionary defines the word augmented as the process of making something greater in size or value. In technology, augmented bears an almost similar meaning; It is used to refer to a series of actions taken when adding digital information to a given physical object or environment, so as to gain further understanding of the subject at hand.

Augmented Reality…

Technically,it can be defined as the process of enhancing a physical environment by including digital information -which cannot be detected naturally by the human eye. Such information includes images, animations, videos and 3D models.

In simpler terms,

Ever watched CSI or crime related movies where officers use special glasses to view the environment and track down criminals? Such glasses usually enable them see things such as hidden weapons, drugs, distance between objects and angles among other technical details. Another good example would be crime investigating scenes where they recollect what happened (e.g a fire accident) by reconstructing the physical environment digitally using available information.Well, if you have witnessed such scenes, you pretty much have a good idea ofwhat Augmented reality (AR) is. 

You may be tempted to equate it to virtual reality- these two are totally different. among other Whereas Augmented Reality analyses the real world by adding computer generated details to it, virtual reality creates a totally fictional computer generated environment. 

How Does AR work?

Augmented Reality makes people more aware of their environment by adding to it. The technology can help calculate depth and distance of objects(among other technical details) which is then displayed on glasses, screens, hand held devices, displays or mobile phones. AR operates through four main processes:

 i. Data Capture- It collects relevant data through devices such as cameras and sensors then coverts them to readable 3Ddata.

 ii. Data Processing- It interprets the collected data and is able to provide speed, direction, angle, orientation, dimensions e.t.c

 iii. Projection- It is able to take processed data and project it onto a given surface for viewing.

 iv. Reflection- For users to be able to clearly view required data, AR may include an array of small curved mirrors that properly align images for clarity.

Where is Augmented Reality Applicable? 

l Schools- to facilitate learning processes.

l Real Estate- to market and present 3D models of properties

l Military and security – for tracking and navigation purposes

l Entertainment- for games and other reality fun activities

l Hospitals- to diagnose and monitor illnesses.

l Complex business models- to calculate and analyze different parameters

l Retail- to lure customers to purchase given products by analyzing them in detail.

Due to its wide application and usefulness among other AR has grown in popularity and is now used worldwide. Currently, IT experts are working towards finding new ways maximize its benefits. The future only seems brighter for this i invaluable technology.

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